Tradeshows are a great way to get connected to your industry peers, learn from continuing education courses, and shop for the latest products the market has to offer. If you are planning to head to a tradeshow this year for a new eyecare practice management software, it can be especially overwhelming when there are literally hundreds of booths on exhibit. With so much to do and so little time, try treating the experience like a speed date! Here is some handy advice to consider when shopping for a new software. You can even apply these on your next speed dating session!
How to Speed Date for an Eyecare Practice Management Software
- Determine Your Type
As shallow as it sounds, we all have preferences! Just like how you find certain characteristics in your date attractive, you should determine what you look for in a software before you go to the show. What do you like and not like about your current software? Do you need a software that doesn’t require hardware maintenance? Do you want to work from home? Are you participating in meaningful use? Make a checklist of what you’re looking for. It will help you eliminate a good chunk of the candidates.
- Give Everyone a Chance
You get at least 3 minutes with each candidate on your speed date. So whether you are interested in the person right off your first impression; you are stuck with that person for that amount of time. So might as well give them a chance! Even if you are not impressed with a seemingly quiet tradeshow booth, go up and see what they have to offer – you’re already there! You never know what you might get! Plus, there are tons of freebies at tradeshows. You could always use another tote bag.
- Look for Clues
Although you don’t get a lot of time with your date in 3 minutes, there are certain things that can be a deal breaker. Do they sound too good to be true? Do they avoid certain questions? Your interaction with a vendor can hold important clues about the solution. If there is a wait for a demo, how is the booth staff handling the traffic? Do they put you on hold and never come back? Does the salesperson answer all of your questions or do they pass you around to look for answers? If they do, it’s likely that customer support won’t be helpful when you need help.
- Follow up
If you liked what you see and want a second date, make sure you leave your number, or ask for one! If you liked what a particular solution had to offer, make sure you leave your contact information or get a contact, so that you can request a demo or more information when you get back.
- Ask for Opinions
Just like how you’d talk to your friends about how your date(s) went, you might want to consult your staff about your software options. After all, they are the ones who are going to be using it. Give some consideration to how your staff is going to adapt to the new solution and ask them how they feel about changes. You will want everyone to get along, so make sure they are happy with the solution you pick!
Before you go to your next tradeshow, make sure that you go prepared! Time is limited, so get the information you need quickly, and then evaluate later. If you need more help determining what to look out for, download our practice management and EHR solution buying guide! And if you're going to be at Vision Expo East be sure to stop by our booth, #MS6743, and say hi!