This month, nearly 4,000 professionals in our field will visit Seattle for the 55th American Society for Health Care Engineering (ASHE) Annual Conference & Technical Exhibition. Since 1963, the ASHE Annual Conference has been a place for us to get together, share best practices and find solutions for our most pressing challenges.

This year’s conference promises to be a top-notch event. I encourage you to make the most of your time at the conference, and hope the advice here can help you navigate the educational sessions, trade show and networking opportunities.

The educational sessions at the ASHE Annual Conference are peer-reviewed to ensure that they are interesting and provide the information we need to succeed now and into the future. I suggest using the ASHE Events mobile app to create your own conference agenda so that you do not miss sessions that are important to you.

In addition to the sessions, I encourage you to take advantage of other opportunities to gain knowledge. For example, representatives from The Joint Commission, DNV GL-Healthcare, Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program/Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care and the National Fire Protection Association will be available for questions at the ASHE codes and standards counters. The ability to ask questions directly of these experts is a huge benefit to many of us.

The exhibit hall contains hundreds of solution providers. To navigate the trade show floor and make the most of your time, I suggest making a list of the top challenges you are currently facing in your organization. Be sure to visit booths of organizations that can help you with those challenges, and spread your visits between Monday and Tuesday exhibit hall hours to be sure you have plenty of time to learn about what each exhibitor can do for you.

Finally, I encourage you to make the most of the unique networking opportunities at the ASHE Annual Conference. The conference is a great opportunity to catch up with old friends, but I also encourage you to meet new people to help grow your network. Our field is changing fast, and a network of trusted colleagues can help us during future challenges.

Bradley R. Taylor, MBA, CHFM, ASHE President