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Kenny Cox, CHCP, FACEHP: Welcome to the Alliance Podcast. I'm Kenny Cox. For many of us in the CME community, our days are about planning educational conferences, meetings and activities with clinicians in mind. However, in a recent episode of the podcast that featured our Alliance 2024 Annual Conference Planning Committee Chair Chris Keenan, we learned there is immense value in taking a behind the scenes look at planning education for educators, and how we can translate these takeaways into what we do for our own learners. Today on the Alliance Podcast, we are joined by the founders of CMEpalooza, Derek Warnick and Scott Kober, to talk about their fan favorite event, and how they shift from their day jobs of CME for clinicians to planning education with CME educators top of mind, and most importantly, how their strategies can help us enhance our own CME programs. Derek and Scott, welcome to the podcast. Thanks for joining us today. Let's get started and talk about CMEpalooza. What's the story about how it was created? What inspired you to do that? What was the first conference like, guys?
Derek Warnick: Thanks, Kenny, for having us on here. I guess I will go ahead and pick this one since the very first CMEpalooza back in 2014, March 2014. was a solo venture by me. And it really was two events that inspired it. Both of them Alliance related. So the first one was back in the 2013 Alliance Conference. There was a session from Lawrence Sherman called ‘Turning Medical Education Inside Out and Upside Down.’ And no offense to Lawrence. It was a great session. It wasn't actually the content of his session that inspired me. It was more a couple of days leading up to his presentation, I had been, I noticed a conversation back and forth between him and one of his collaborators on the session. And they were tweeting back and forth. This is back in the days when Twitter was still Twitter. And we actually had a CME presence on Twitter. And she was lamenting the fact that she wasn't able to be at his session because she was based over in the UK and that she was disappointed. And I thought, at the time, I was like, well, I could probably stream his presentation live, you could watch it. I remember this is back in 2013. This was a little bit more of a novel idea at the time. Because it just so happened, at that point, there was this little social network called Google Plus that probably 5% of the people who are listening to this can even remember, Google had a social network. It was a weird combination of Twitter and Facebook. It was yeah, it didn't. It didn't succeed. But it did have Google Hangouts as part of it, which more of you maybe are familiar with. Google Hangouts was a video conferencing platform more for personal use. And then professional, there weren't a lot of those around. And then on top of Google Hangouts, they had Google Hangouts On Air, which allowed you to be able to stream your Hangout, your video session, live for people to watch. And so I did. I talked to Lawrence. And I stood up at a session and had my laptop, streamed it, Google Hangouts On Air, it worked great. His partner was able to watch it, everything was fine. Other than the fact that I never actually asked anyone at the Alliance whether or not it was okay that I go to their session. So I got into a little bit of trouble for that, but ultimately, it invokes a good learning moment for me. Then, later, that same year, summer of 2013, I very kindly was accepted, one of my abstracts was accepted, to present at the next Alliance Conference in 2014. However, they had for the second year in a row asked me to change some things. And I had to change the different format that I wanted to do, some other things. And I was feeling a little bit frustrated and annoyed that the second time, I wasn't able to do my presentation the way that I wanted to. I talked to a few other people who were feeling frustrated that they had had theirs rejected and it made me think, wouldn't it be nice if we could have a conference where we could just go and we can talk about whatever we want to do in whatever format we did, and kind of control it ourselves. And then in the process of thinking about how that would even be possible, I had some extra time because I was not really working for anyone at the time. I was consulting. So I did have some time to be able to focus on these kinds of things. And I thought, well, maybe I could just use Google Hangouts On Air and stream presentations for people to watch. And that was sort of how it all began. I had a blog at the time. It was not the CMEpalooza blog. It was another one where I mentioned the idea. I talked to a few people just to make sure if I did this would anyone even be interested in presenting. So I had a couple speakers lined up, but then posted it on the blog, that you know, if anyone wanted to sign up to present, we weren't going to reject any abstracts that came in. People did. Around February, I realized I had way too many presentations to be able to do in one day, so I had to expand it to two days. So it became March 20th and 21st. And even frankly, up until the you know, the day of the conference, I had no idea that it was going to work. I didn't know if speakers were actually gonna show up. I didn't know if anyone would watch them if they did show up. I didn't know if the software Google Hangouts On Air was going to work as well as I was hoping that it would work. So there were no sponsors, I wouldn't, I couldn't dare ask anyone for any money or to charge for it when I had no idea that it was actually going to work. Total cost though, for doing it was zero dollars. I had a free WordPress site using Google Hangouts on there. And we went forward with it. First session was, of course, Brian McGowan. Why adult learning theory is insufficient to drive learning. Some things never change. We had 21 total sessions over two days. We had about 20 to 30 viewers per session, I think, with a high of 50 and a low of 10. I was thrilled that people showed up and watched. I had a terrible goatee. I went back and looked at the archive, you can watch the archive, I have no idea, I don't remember. I think. Don't go back and watch the archives. But it went better than I expected. There were not that many glitches, there were a few things. I didn't think ahead about having like spacing between different sessions. So I would hop off one and have to hop on the next one. And there would sometimes be delays. Because again, it was just me. Scott had not come on board at that point yet. But at the end I had a splitting headache. I was exhausted. I didn't know if I would do it again. But it went pretty well. People seemed to like it. That got positive feedback. Speakers seemed to like it and people who did watch seemed to like it as well. So from that point, Scott, if you want to add in when you came on board.
Scott Kober, MBA: I'll kind of add in a lot more of a pithy fashion. So I sort of watched the first CMEpalooza sort of from a proof of concept perspective. I didn't really know Derek at the time. I think we had met just prior to the first CMEpalooza. I kind of had sent him an email saying, Hey, I've used Google Hangouts On Air, we've done some live streaming, I'd be happy to sit down and kind of talk you through, talk through some of the potential pitfalls of it. And then I watched just to see, okay, what's this going to work from a technology perspective? Did he sort of know what he was doing? Were people going to be interested? And then after watching a few sessions from that first spring meeting, I reached out to him a couple months later and say, hey, you know, if you're interested in kind of continuing this kind of in a little more of a formal role, you know, let's I'd be happy to kind of sit down and talk about partnering on future iterations of CMEpalooza. So, while as Derek said, this was sort of his creation, he did the first one his own. We've kind of had that partnership together ever since then.
KC: That is a fascinating start to a very successful conference. Where did you come up with the name CMEpalooza?
DW: Well, I mean, completely ripped off from Lollapalooza, the conference. I can make no bones about. It's funny because I get people will, every once in a while, send me things like, I don't know, there's some like PetPalooza or all these paloozas, like they're stealing your idea. But no, they're not. I stole that years ago. But it kind of I liked it because it gave you know from the very beginning, I thought of this as more of an informal kind of conference. And I just bought like the kind of the Palooza name, maybe, you know, gave that idea of that this will be more fun and interesting and lowkey. And so that's more or less where it came from.
KC: I want to take a second and talk about change. What are some of the more significant ways the conference has changed since the very first one?
DW: We talked about a couple of things already. One that now there's two of us who do it instead of one and that works great. That was a massive difference in being able to go back and forth on who's leading the sessions. We’re able to do a green room. We call it a green room where you know, we always if you've never done or been part of CMEpalooza, we ask everyone to come on to the session about at least 15 minutes ahead of time, and then we can test audio and video and workout and the issues. I always think it would be sort of funny to have those recorded because sometimes there's a lot of scrambling going on. There's been times when I haven't been able to get someone on for whatever reason we're having in 30 seconds before the session starts. All of sudden we work it out, and then we just pop up on screen like everything's been fine. So those are big differences. We have sponsors. Now that's a big, a big difference that makes a lot of things easier. We have more structure to what we do now, again, that especially that very first one, people could present for however long they wanted. Now, everything it's an hour, an hour long. And we focus on panel sessions. Not every session is a panel session. But we try to encourage panel sessions, encourage discussion, versus just didactic slides and audio kind of presentations. We do use StreamYard now instead of Google Hangouts On Air. That I don't remember what year. That was like 2018, or 2019? I think it was when Google Plus went kaput. And then a little while later there, just the random notice popped up like oh, by the way, we won't have Google Hangouts On Air anymore. And we're like, what are we gonna do now? But luckily, there is a service. I think Scott found that’s called StreamYard, which pretty close to replicated what Google Hangouts On Air did. Especially now, better than that. They had some added things that made it nice. And that's the big difference. Now everything is just, technology is better. Everyone knows how to use it. We have the pandemics and everyone's an expert at doing video conferencing. So there's less glitches, less delay, smoother user experience. I think maybe what is surprising is how much it hasn't changed over the past 10 years, maybe not from the very first one. But for that second one, when Scott and I work together, there's a lot of things that are still pretty much the same from the beginning stages. So that's one thing that stuck out to me.
SK: Yeah, I had a lot more hair back then, Kenny. And maybe you did too. So uh, so probably visually, it looks a little bit different. But I think Derek's right, you know, if people would go back in our archives and watch sessions from the fall of 2014 versus the fall of 2023, you're gonna see a lot of similarities.
KC: So what I hear you saying is that CMEpalooza has really held on to a lot of those same beliefs and strategies that made it popular from the beginning. And one thing I can tell you that you've done extremely well, and that has really helped with the program is your ability to build your brand, your marketing that you've employed with the conference. Can you talk a little bit about those strategies and even more so, what can we as healthcare professionals do to keep those strategies in mind when building our own brand?
SK: Yeah, I would love to say that a lot of this was intentional and that we really sat down and had a two-day powwow of kind of how we wanted to market CMEpalooza, but it really has just kind of naturally evolved over the years, kind of based on our personalities. And you know, I went back and looked at some of the kind of initial blog entries and they were very much more traditional marketing. Hey, CMEpalooza is coming up on this date, here are the sessions we have, here are your speakers, here is why we think you should watch it. And over time, it's just kind of naturally kind of just Derek and I have sort of brought out more of our personality. And, you know, a lot of what we write about really isn't even related to CMEpalooza as a meeting or sometimes even CMEpalooza itself or the CME industry itself. You know, we try to use this as sort of, you know, kind of have a little fun and kind of talk a little bit extemporaneously. Derek is big on his top five lists, his haikus and sort of have some of the some of the things that we each sort of bring to the table. And, you know, we get, as many people say, we love, you know, we look forward to reading your blog entries every week, that's the highlight of our email. And we're probably known as much for that as for anything else at this point. You know, we have lots of these giveaways, which are, again, you know, we've kind of added them on over the years. We, I think, for this fall, we had four different events, that we kind of gave away money for people just to do a little bit of work for it. But, you know, it's kind of another way to kind of bring people in, get people involved. And to have a little fun, you know, while sort of, you know, watching a free event.
DW: Yeah, just gonna add on to what Scott said. I think a lot of, especially with the blog, entries that we use, a lot of it's come, you know, the 10 years that we've been doing this, that's a lot of blog posts to write up. And I, part of why we do what we do is because we're trying to entertain ourselves as much as anything. So to continue to write blog posts about you know, it's essentially the same thing. We're talking about CMEpalooza and to find creative new ways to do it. I feel like you know, if I can write something that at least makes me laugh, that it's worthwhile. I think sometimes maybe I write things that make me laugh and maybe don't make anyone else laugh. But whatever, I find amusement and I get another blog post out there for, you know, to help with CMEpalooza further. So I think a lot of what we do has just come out of years of doing this over and over.
KC: I think one of the things to talk about in your marketing plan is you've done so well with just emails and blog posts. How many times in our industry have you heard it said that emails just don't reach clinicians anymore, that you need to do other forms of marketing. But just like you said, Scott, your emails, people look forward to, I'm right there with them. I look forward to reading your emails when they come through. So mark that down as a key part of your marketing success. You guys have done an amazing job with that. Let's take a minute to talk about the success and growth of the program. You know, this year's conference in October you had over 1200 learners come through. That's phenomenal. What kind of challenges have you faced in building CMEpalooza to the levels that you've got it now? And what can we keep in mind as the CME community to find our own challenges, strategies that we might be able to apply to our own programs?
SK: Yeah, I mean, I think as our audiences grow, I mean, it seems to grow like 10%, year after year after year, but we're really reaching the same sort of audience. It's not like we're suddenly going after in, you know, we're trying to reach, you know, practicing physicians, you know, we're reaching the CME community. So whereas maybe one year, we had 100 people from hospital settings who were watching CMEpalooza, the next year, we’d have 150. So it's not like, you know, as our meeting is evolving, our audience is growing. But it's mostly the same demographics that year that we're reaching year after year. You know, one of the biggest challenges that we sort of, you know, always talk about is finding ways to bring the audience into our sessions. And as Derek said, as technology has gotten better, it's easier to incorporate audience response through poll efforts. But we've tried to do it in unique ways. We don't just okay, we're just going to have some ARS questions and that's it. You know, we'll kind of have sessions where, you know, we've had trivia sessions. We've had, you know, I think we did a session called the Master Provider, where people had to guess who the actual person on the other side of the camera was. Things like that. It's easier for people to ask questions now. And we try to incorporate those kind of things as often and, and as easily as we can. So, you know, whereas you're having the remote experience of watching from home, we try to bring some of the concepts of kind of live interaction, kind of into our sessions, more and more.
DW: And I think that we have some of the same challenges that other conferences have as well, with, like things with the agenda. I'm keeping it balanced between, you know, new, maybe less understood topics versus old popular topics or topics that have great appeal to a select portion of the audience versus topics that have a broader appeal. Not that we have sessions that maybe are more interesting to net, or are more interesting, for those interested in accreditation, or whatever it may be. Those are important topics, and we do them. But we generally are going to have as we know, we're gonna have a smaller audience for those probably then one that has a broader, broader appeal to it. And just and it's challenging, not repeating the same topic over and over again, you know, people always want to hear about more things about grants, they always want to hear more things about outcomes. And that can be, you know, when you're on your ninth session about tips for writing grants, or that kind of thing, how do you make that new, interesting, not just rehashing the same old information over and over? And also, I have a newfound respect for those who are in charge of finding faculty for these kinds of things, because it can be, it can be tough. You know, one of the comments we get we do, we usually put out a survey after every CMEpalooza asking people for your feedback. So I'm sorry. And one of the things that I forget sometimes is that, you know, they'd like to see new faces, new voices, and not always the same old ones. And we try, I mean, we really do try and sometimes are successful, but we had a lot of people say no, and it's hard finding people who will be willing to talk about things sometimes. And that's one of the reasons why sometimes you'll see the same people talk. That and that usually they're pretty good at it as well. And so, using the same person to talk when they are good at presenting and they provide quality content isn't such a bad thing either. But that is a challenge trying to balance that out as well.
KC: Shifting gears just a little bit. Gentlemen, I have a logistical question for you. How have you built your archived access up through the years? Because I know for me, there are certain CMEpalooza activities that I will go back to and watch again. They're extremely informative. How have you built that? And is it used by those in the CME community?
SK: Yeah. So one of the great things about both Google Hangouts On Air and now StreamYard is that they are linked to YouTube and they archive automatically. There's nothing more that we need to do to have these recorded and live on. So they're all available both on our website and you can even go to YouTube and search for CMEpalooza. And then after each event, you know, Derek will just kind of update the session archives, and put them in there. So it's really not a lot of work. But it is one of the many reasons that we chose the technology platforms that we did, because of the ease of archiving. Now to your question of Do people come back and watch them? Yes, absolutely. Typically, our live sessions will probably have I think, probably now it's skewed about 60%, 40%. Sixty percent of people will watch the live sessions as they're happening. And then 40% will kind of go back whether it's a day later, a week later, a month later, to watch those sessions that took place when they were either traveling, unable to watch for whatever reason.
KC: Yeah, I think when we first started doing the first few, we didn't necessarily think of it as come for the whole day and watch the whole thing. You know, we're all busy, at least in the early days, I don't think either of us were bold enough to think that, you know, people would want to spend their entire day doing this, but come watch a session or two that interests you. And then we have the archive. You can go back and watch these other sessions when you want. And people did take advantage of that. I think over time, now it's filled up. And I think more people now work into their schedules to be able to watch things live. But I, every time we do this, I always get feedback from people like Oh, I couldn't, you know, I wasn’t able to participate the day of, but I'm looking forward to being able to go back and watch sessions on the archives. And Scott’s right, that's one of the reasons why we chose these platforms is just how easy it was to archive and it's gotten even easier with using StreamYard now. It used to be a little more, there was cut and paste code and all these different things, there was a lot of work that went into it. Now, almost everything happens automatically, practically. And we can have it ready to go leading up to the conference. So sessions are basically archived and ready to be viewed as soon as they're done. Once they're over, it's already up and available, links ready for people so they can come and watch even the same day as the conference.
KC: So let's talk about that participant experience just a little bit. You've had your audience grow year after year after year. And you have to balance the various diverse learning needs and preferences for all these attendees. How do you do that? What are the steps you take to make sure you're covering as much as you possibly can and keeping it balanced? And what recommendations do you have for those of us that are planning meetings in education as well?
SK: So I mean, I could say for the last few years for our spring meeting, we've had people submit abstracts, and one of the nice things about that is, you know, number one, it kind of puts a little bit of the burden off of us to kind of plan every session and invite speakers. But number two, it allows us to kind of see what sort of trends people are interested in learning about and speaking about. So if there's any consistency in the topics of the abstracts that we get, we can kind of say okay, this is probably a topic of interest, sort of across CME. So for, for instance, for this year, we had several submitted abstracts on diversity, equity and inclusion. Several submitted abstracts on the impact of artificial intelligence in CME. And some of the abstracts kind of covered a lot of the same grounds. We said, okay, we can do a couple things. Number one, we can combine some of these presentations and presenters, so that we can kind of have a diverse panel. And number two, you know, we can potentially include these within our spring session as they were submitted, but then sort of, you know, build off of it and kind of build off of the education again in the fall. So it sort of allows us to kind of see the heartbeat of CME and kind of what direction people are interested in learning about in both the short and long term.
DW: We do have, I already mentioned it, we do have the surveys that we ask people to respond to and we put on there topics of interest, that kind of thing. And we do read through those. Sometimes it's the same thing over and over again. So after a while, it's like, we're not doing that again, we're gonna do something different. But there has been a number of times when especially new ideas that maybe we didn't even think about, have kind of gotten their piece, their initial spark has come from a comment out of the survey. So that's a great resource for us.
KC: Okay, so a big question for you. For all of this history of CMEpalooza, the various conferences you've held over the years and all the key learnings and takeaways that have been shared. How do you feel like you've influenced or even transformed the CME industry? What do you think your impact has been?
DW: Trying to think of a way to answer this question without sounding like a total diva. But I mean, you make a fair point, I think the fact is that we have over 100 free sessions available, 100 hours of content, over 10 years, you know, we now have routinely 200 plus viewers per session. So if CMEpalooza hasn't had some sort of an influence on the industry, then we're doing something wrong, probably. So if I had to pick one area, where I would say CMEpalooza has been influential, I think it would be in demonstrating how you can have a high quality educational program, which can be produced relatively inexpensively that shows how education can be both cheap and effective. And it doesn't have to cost tens or hundreds or thousands of dollars to produce. And maybe this sounds less impactful now, in a post-pandemic 2023, where everyone's an expert in Zoom and Teams. But again, you know, back in 2014, 2015, 2016, this was a more unique concept, to be able to do this for, again, not paying huge licensing fees, whatever it may be. And I did have people who came up to me, again, in those first couple of years and talk about how, after either being a speaker or panelist on CMEpalooza and seeing how easy it was, or by watching the sessions and seeing, you know, what relatively decent quality that we were able to do for such a cheap, overall cost, that they went out and kind of started to use that as part of their strategy for putting on programs or at least starting to check out different types of, you know, how they may be able to do something, replicate that themselves. So I guess that would be perhaps one influence that we've had.
KC: Scott, anything to add to that?
SK: No, I mean, not really. You know, I, you know, when we first started Google Hangouts, that's what I used professionally when I was live streaming things. Now that we use StreamYard that’s the platform that I use when I'm developing a credit education, typically for indoor activities, but we've live streamed some stuff live using that platform as well. So you know, I think, as Derek said, just kind of showing the, that, you know, being an expert in kind of live streaming education doesn't necessarily take a tremendous amount of know how, doesn't take a tremendous amount of resources and money, you don't have to hire a studio team to kind of be on site and you don't have to fly faculty in from across the country. You can sort of get the same sort of experience and make it not only cost effective, but much, much easier for your faculty to participate in this sort of education.
KC: Alright, let's talk about the future a little bit. What do you think that looks like for CMEpalooza? How do you see the conference going forward and continuing to have impact on the CME industry?
SK: I mean, as far as the future of CMEpalooza, for right now, nothing's really going to change. You know, we're still kind of even though it's been 10 years, we're still kind of zooming forward. We don't really have any discussions about winding things down. I think at some point, it would be great to kind of bring in some different voices and different perspectives. You know, we've kind of tried that a little bit over the years. But for now, you know, it's something that you know, Derek and I have managed to sort of carve out our niche. We have time in our schedules to kind of kind of make this work. You know, as far as kind of, you know, other trends that are going to affect CME and CMEpalooza. Um, you know, from a technology perspective, we were obviously, you know, much more well positioned than most, during COVID to sort of make, you know, any sorts of adjustments. Really, we really, we really didn't have to do much. I mean, we were an online conference before COVID, we're an online conference after COVID. So, you know, we're still the only free educational event in the CME industry. So we sort of have kind of carved out our niche, one of our, our, you know, big tenants is that our education is always going to be free. And so that's something that we have always really stuck to, you know, we don't, we don't ask people to register, we don't collect any information. You know, we've had sponsors come to us and say, Hey, it'd be great if you had a mailing list. Like, that's not what we do. You know, that's not who we are. So we've been, you know, pretty strategic about figuring out who we are and who we aren’t. And, you know, we're not going to be everything to everybody. I think that that's one of the things has definitely helped us succeed.
KC: So we've got the upcoming Alliance Conference down in New Orleans, February fifth through the eighth and you guys are doing a session around CMEpalooza. What can our listeners expect from that session?
SK: So I think I was trying to remember Derek, and maybe you remember. The only time we've actually spoken live, in a live setting about CMEpalooza, this was about six or seven years ago. And I don't know. What it was like, I think it was like it was a World Conference of CME or something like that? CME Congress? And we talked about technology. That was more of a technology presentation. I think we were in the exhibit hall. We had like . . .
DW: I think I was in my hotel room.
SK: Yeah. So this is going to be actually something we're gonna have to prepare for a lot more, give a lot more thought too. And I think the title of this session is ‘10 Years of CMEpalooza: Lessons for the CME Community.’ So we're not just going to talk about okay, you know, this is what CMEpalooza is and what we've talked about today. We're going to talk about okay, what have we learned from our 10 years of CMEpalooza that is going to be applicable to people who are planning accredited education. And at the same time, this isn't going to be just us kind of giving a slide presentation for an hour. You know, as with most sessions that people throw together 48 hours beforehand. I can't say three months out that we have a lot of structure and ideas around what specifically, the format is going to be, what we're going to exactly talk about specifically. But I can pretty much promise you that this is not going to be like a typical live session. We're not just going to be up there, kind of talking back and forth for an hour. We're going to figure out ways to kind of make this a little bit more fun. So I feel bad for whatever the sessions are going to be that are going to be flanking us in the exhibit hall because people are probably gonna be a little bit louder, rowdier than normal, which is why they put us at the end of the day so people can kind of go right from our session straight to the bar.
DW: I already have my part of it done. Scott, what are you waiting for?
SK: Derek, put together the title slide. And then he said, Okay, you've got the rest.
DW: I’m taking notes so I know what we need to talk about.
KC: I am looking forward to attending that session. I will definitely be there. Alright, one last question I always like to ask people in these podcasts. Give me three or four things that I can take away from this podcast, something that I can use when I sit back at my desk and a few days and think about listening to the guys talk about CMEpalooza. What three or four things can I take away from this podcast?
SK: I think number one is figure out ways to have fun at your job. And you know, whatever, you're responsible for figure out ways to kind of make it a little bit more lighthearted. You know, I think that that's one of the big selling points of CMEpalooza is we don't take it we don't take ourselves too seriously. And sort of that sort of personality that we've been able to put out.
KC: That wasn't three things.
SK: I'm letting you go.
KC: I’ve got one. But Derek, is yours gonna be a haiku? Or are we going to have to . . . ?
DW: I can do it in written form. I can’t do it in verbal form. No, I mean, I think the one thing I would say is a good takeaway is, I don't really know if this necessarily came up. But when I think about, you know, again, this is what's gonna be our 10th anniversary of CMEpalooza coming up. So we've been doing this for too long. But why? One of the reasons, a big reason why we've been able to keep this going and it's been relatively successful, however you want to define success. It’s the fact that it's just, it's just the two of us. And it makes it so much easier to be able to make decisions and answer questions. We don't have a, you know, a board of 10 to 15 people who have to weigh in on every kind of decision. You're able to be way more flexible. And the fact that we both have an understanding of the mission of CMEpalooza and agree on that just makes everything much easier. You know, we really don't disagree that much on things, despite the bickering back and forth that we do sometimes. And when we do disagree, we probably, again, we probably already know what the other one is going to be disagreeing about. So there's no big surprises, or anything. So being, you know, give consideration to being a mean, lean fighting machine, well aligned and everything, it does make the process go much easier.
SK: Yeah, I think that sort of feeds into what my next one is going to be is find the right partnerships. You know, a lot of what we do as CME providers is, you know, we partner with organizations on our education. Sometimes we'll kind of partner blindly, we'll just kind of reach out to an organization in therapeutic area X, Y or Z. And say, they look like they have kind of, you know, whether they have, you know, a large audience, whether they're a patient advocacy group, and you know, and kind of learning who they are before we partner with them on education. I think one thing that makes CMEpalooza work, as Derek said, you know, we get along very well, and we're able to work together cohesively. Now, you know, sometimes as you're planning CME education, you know, your partnerships aren't always going to go so smoothly, aren't always going to go so well. You know, you may be working with groups that, you know, make you sit and wait for days and days and days to turn things around. So it's really finding those partners and kind of building those lasting relationships with those who you work well with is kind of a really valuable thing to kind of make everyone's lives easier for those of us who do work in the CME industry.
KC: Well, gentlemen, that brings us to the end of our podcast. My thanks to Derek and Scott for this great session around CMEpalooza. If you're going to be at the conference in February, make sure you stop by and attend their session. I think it will be entertaining and enjoyable. I wouldn't want to miss it. And I hope to see you there. Thanks for listening to the Alliance Podcast.