From October 6 through October 8, we packed more than three hundred Private Practice Owners and their staff into the conference hall at the Hilton Uptown in Charlotte, North Carolina. The mood was excited and the attendees were eager to learn how to bust through their barriers! Dozens more joined us virtually so we could spread the word even farther.
The theme was “The Power to Lead.” It doesn’t matter if you have a small practice or a big one—having the power to lead is a huge element in your success. Attendees were hungry to grab this power and put it to use in their practices. And the Peds-A-Palooza® Community and Conferences team delivered from the first minute to the last.
We started off with our traditional, much-anticipated networking Meet and Greet which was punctuated by exuberant greetings and new meetings. It was the perfect way to welcome this capable, enthusiastic crowd to an intensive weekend of enlightenment and application.
Day One: Cultivating Leadership and Big Think for Private Practices
For the early risers among us, the day started with a dynamic Vinyasa flow yoga class presented by Jessica Lynn. The smooth, continuous movements poured plenty of oxygen into every person who joined the class, getting them ready for the day.
I was so happy to kick things off with a big, fat welcome to this PALOOZAversary where we celebrated our fifth year! Keynote speaker Diane Crecelius, Founder of ABC Pediatric Therapy Network, then instilled inspiration and motivation into all attendees. Diane has furnished her leadership and wisdom to Peds-A-Palooza® Community and Conferences members since the beginning, and has provided lessons from her experience building multiple locations up to 3,000 visits per week. She covered how to boost your own leadership and executive ability as only she can.
We then welcomed back Matt Hanses, founder and CEO of Uplift Marketing. In our last conference, Matt gave all the attendees plenty to think about with presentations on recruitment, marketing and public relations. This year, he taught practice owners and staff how to achieve “Big Think.” But it wasn’t rah-rah—it was the exact nuts and bolts of how to break out of “Little Think” and into “Big Think”! He also showed us the secret to the right kind of planning that leads to the right kind of growth and ends up in achievement of goals.
Following that amazing presentation, Dr. Cassandra Sanders-Holly PT, DPT, PCS and founder and CEO of Leaps & Bounds Pediatric Therapy, spoke on “Building Community While You Build Your Business.” She’s discovered an effective way to integrate business with charitable outreach. Attendees were eager to hear how she built a non-profit while having a for-profit corporation and the ins and outs of all of that.
New Insights on Private Practice Management and Growth
Matt returned and revealed the typical growth patterns experienced by practice owners that win big. Using the real-life examples of Diane and Emily Watkins, SLP and owner of Pediatric Therapy Partners, he showed the audience how the right training followed by the right decisions can blow the roof off any practice. The whole path to expansion was spelled out right in front of everyone.
His presentation was followed by the first breakout sessions. The owners’ breakout was organized by practice size. In that way, they could learn how to successfully address challenges faced by similar-sized practices. The staff had their own breakout session which covered topics to amplify leadership abilities such as “Soft Skills for Hard Times” including communication principles and practical exercises. They learned how to handle difficult situations thus boosting their confidence and unburdening the owners. Throughout the weekend, the breakout sessions covered everything from size-appropriate social media to hiring and retention, and, for staff, how to control their own productivity and income.
Day Two: More on Leadership and Inspiration for Practice Owners and Staff
Diane was back and pulled no punches as she taught the audience how to move into the thinking and delegating habits of a true leader. When she finished, we paused to look back over five fabulous years of Peds-A-Palooza conferences. How far we’ve come!
Craig Ferreira, CEO of Survival Strategies, our conference sponsor, then came to the stage to present a beautiful award to both me and Diane for our contributions in helping Survival Strategies clients help more patients. Needless to say, this brought tears to our eyes! This lovely moment was followed by more breakout sessions that provided answers on how to face the most difficult challenges encountered in every practice.
Diane then returned to the stage to explain how essential it is to establish systems in a practice. Systems should begin with recruitment and team-building and be sustained until you achieve the practice of your dreams.
Day Three: Simplifying the Keys to Private Practice Success
The day started with breakout sessions providing insight into ways to create a positive and inspirational culture for your staff.
The always-brilliant Patrick Valtin then wowed the crowd in two sessions. Patrick is an associate of ours and has instructed corporations around the world on recruitment and management. On day three, he deconstructed the key elements to success for any practice. He spelled it out so simply that it was like lights going on all over the room!
Enjoying Charlotte and Its Delights
Charlotte did not disappoint. The city has some stunning architecture, delightful museums that showcase art from around the world, and restaurants our attendees raved about. We all loved the Mariposa with international cuisine created with local ingredients, and Amelie, the French bakery—ooh la la!
And finally, here’s more good news. The dates for our next Palooza have been finalized! They are Saturday, May 4 to Sunday, May 5, 2024. So save the dates! The city is Dallas, Texas. We chose a central location to make it easier for everyone to attend. We promise to knock your socks off yet again. See you there!