Selecting Sessions at an EMS Conference

In the weeks or months to come, are you attending a regional or national EMS conference? I am looking forward to the EMS Expo this week.

Many times I want to attend several presentations that are offered simultaneously. With some careful thought and review of the session descriptions, I create a conference itinerary specific to my needs and interests. These are my tips for selecting conference sessions.

1) Review the conference program before you arrive.

2) Look for "presentation tracks" for specific interest groups like training, fire and rescue, or assessment.

3) Review the sessions in the track or tracks most applicable to your career and interests.

4) Read the session titles and select session titles and/or speakers to read more about.

5) Investigate the session description which should list the objectives and desired outcomes of the session. Do these match your needs and interests?

6) To narrow your choices find out if you could get the same or similar information from specific speakers from a published article or previous conference video.

At the conference, ask other attendees for recommendations if you are having difficulty selecting between two sessions. Also consider trying one or two sessions outside of your expertise or training. For example, if you are an EMT, go to a paramedic session. Maybe it will spark your interest in more training or confirm your contentment as an EMT.

Remember, if a session does not meet your expectations, you can leave. Speakers expect some deserters. As a presenter, I would rather be left with the people who are most interested and engaged. Which sessions or speakers are you most looking forward to at upcoming conferences?

About the author

Greg Friese is Editor-in-Chief of He is an educator, author, paramedic, and marathon runner. Ask questions or submit tip ideas to Greg by e-mailing him at

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