This year marks the ninth annual Travelers Conference, which will be held September 25-27 at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas. It is the largest gathering of traveling healthcare professionals in the country and a great place to meet and network with people in the industry. (To learn more about the conference, check out the the Travelers Conference official website at http://travelersconference.com.) Personally, I have found that the Travelers Conference is a great educational tool within the industry and a great way to connect with other travelers and share experiences. I am pumped for TravCon 2016 and excited to share my top four reasons why you should also attend:
Networking with Fellow Travelers
This is the number one reason I go to this conference. It is a conference of travelers! How cool is it to be surrounded by hundreds of travelers who do the same thing as you and face the same challenges?! If you have ever wanted to connect with other travelers, this is the place to do it! Whether you are looking to make friends, meet a travel buddy, or exchange stories/housing recommendations, etc., the Travelers Conference is your opportunity to do so. While it is a great place to meet new people, it is also a wonderful place to reconnect with people you have met on the road. Think of it as a travelers reunion! In 2015 I shared a room with a fellow traveler, Laura, who I worked with a year ago and was stoked to see again in Vegas! During TravCon 2015, I became instant friends with two traveling nurses and their partners who I remain great friends with today. After the conference, I got to attend the wedding of one couple and am hoping to meet up with all of them again on assignment this summer. These are definitely lasting friendships I would have never made otherwise.
Whether you are new to traveling or a seasoned traveler, there is a lot to learn at this conference. The day before the official start of the conference is a day dedicated to a Newbie Boot Camp, where new travelers can go and get tons of information about starting out in the industry. That same day, there is also an all-day medical intensive Spanish program. The next day, the regular convention begins and workshops range from talking about Per Diem Stipends and Tax Homes to Contracts, etc. While many of the courses are catered towards traveling nurses, there is a lot to learn as a traveler in general. CEU credit may vary depending on your state and national organization. Any questions about using credits for CEUs should be addressed to your licensing board.
Meeting Agencies and Professional Contacts
A large portion of the conference is an exhibit hall filled with traveling agencies and their representatives who can be found answering questions and recruiting travelers. There are also professional booths related to the traveling industry, including tax professionals and other traveling industry consultants. I will say that I was a bit disappointed, from a therapist perspective, because the agency representatives were primarily representing the nursing side of the industry and could not answer many questions about travel therapy. Nonetheless, I did learn about a lot of agencies and met with many knowledgeable people from the industry. In general, the booths are also just a ton of fun and very entertaining. I pocketed enough free pens to last me for a good six months at work, grabbed a handful of highlighters, a USB phone charger, and a couple of free bags.
Free Food, Drink & The Infamous Closing Party
Yes, this is Vegas, and there is something to be said about kicking back and having fun. Lucky for you, you will find that most of your food and drink at the conference can be found gratis thanks to the wonderful convention sponsors. You get two meals a day with your convention registration (registration is $99 total). On top of that, the agencies represented at the conference hold nightly small group dinners where they wine and dine prospective travelers. The Gypsy Nurse also hosts many events with complimentary food and drinks, and some agencies will hold happy hours after the conference. The conference concludes with an all-conference party, which has traditionally been held on the rooftop of The Palms and has become quite infamous. It is well-known for hours of dancing and rooftop fun. If I sold you on coming to TravCon this year, look for me there!