Several months ago I had the opportunity to attend a dental conference as a guest. No, I do not work in the dental industry, but one of my great friends that owns several practices wanted me to attend a conference at the Gaylord Hotel and Conference Center in Washington, DC. I had to take this opportunity as I knew this location very well; it is right beside the MGM National Harbor Casino. So, this is what I experienced while at the Gaylord Hotel and Conference Center and the dental conference.
The first thing I want to say is that no one can beat Dr. Adam Moore’s laugh. It is amazing. He is a dentist in Garner, NC and works with some other dental practices in the Triangle area. He has partnered with Dr. Gladwell to offer Invisalign. As most people in the dental and orthodontic industry know, Dr. Gladwell is the most popular Raleigh, NC orthodontist. Heck, at this point he is the most popular orthodontist in the state of North Carolina and maybe on the east coast. When you see these two guys together, it is a lot of fun and many laughs.
What I learned is that most dentists are happy. The dentists I met at this conference were very much the owners of their dental practices. They made all the decisions from hiring and scheduling all the way to where their marketing dollars are being spent. There were a few marketing companies at the conference but I don’t think that is what the dentists were really looking for. They were there to get their CE credits and improve the bottom line of their business. I know the bottom line can be improved by spending money on marketing but that was not the focus of the conference.
When it comes to the Gaylord Hotel and Conference Center, it is absolutely stunning. I had the opportunity to have a room that overlooked the terrace and bar area. It also gave me a view of the water. It was truly once of the nicest “indoor views” I have ever seen in a hotel. Fortunately, the cost of this was covered by the practice that I attended the conference with. I would imagine that type of room would be very expensive during a major conference at the Gaylord.
The food in and around the Gaylord Hotel and Conference Center is a little bit lacking. We went to a BBQ place, an Asian fusion place and a sandwich shoppe. When I looked on the Yelp app, there were not many great four star plus restaurants within walking distance. This is disappointing because you all know that I love to eat. You also know that I trust Yelp more than any other app when it comes to ratings for food and drinks. One night we did go all out to a nice Mexican restaurant but it wasn’t that amazing. Three stars at best.
I know you all want to know about the dentists and the casino. Well, it was exactly what you would probably think. It was a bunch of very smart business professionals playing games of chance in which they think they can win. Some of them won big, some of them lost big and everything in between. There was nothing overly crazy. I did see people from the conference at the casino both nights we were there. I do not have the deep pocket book to gamble that much so I mostly watched and had a good time with the people I met at the conference.
Overall, going to this conference was a positive weekend. I learned a lot about how the dental world socializes. I also learned that the Gaylord Hotel and Casino at the National Harbor has one of the nicest indoor views of any hotel. If you get the chance to go, you should see the amazing plants they have on the bottom floor. These plants thrive because the entire front of the Hotel is glass and it is very bright throughout the entire day. There is also a little manmade creek that runs through the middle of the building.