The Dentistry Show at NEC 2023

I spent two days at the NEC Birmingham last week, which proved to be more reassuring than I had anticipated!

The Dentistry Show in 2022 was different, and the reason I left within an hour. The fresh start I was hoping to see post-Covid was just more of the same. The headline speeches and tone of what was on offer didn’t resonate with me, leaving people like me and those without teeth who need your help at a loose end.

2023, however, has been different. Firstly, because the BAPD kindly invited me to speak about…


…so, the event couldn’t fall off my calendar. Secondly, there were refreshing conversations happening – conversations that suggest a shift in perspective for many.

It’s been great to see at the Dentistry Show, for the first time I can remember, consideration for the following issues:
• Green dentistry, sustainability, and the environment
• Public conversations about community, access, the working poor, values, and social conscience
• Recruitment problems tackled by leadership and behaviours, not by increments of 50p an hour

These are the things that matter, to our patients. So, they should be our priority issues. Not excess and gaining ‘more’.

In attendance with BAPD this year, I presented Rose & Co’s new conversation – The Wheelie Bin Search Engine. You will already know the concept behind this from my previous blog. And, if you have attended workshops of mine in the past or are a Club Connect member, you will know that the topic of conversation within our group of dental professionals takes us on various in-depth discussions. One important piece we unveiled and vowed to take away from the show was this:

When business went wrong in the 80s/90s, it was down to ‘more’. More; excess; money; profit; shareholder value… These desires came at the expense of everybody else. Your staff and patients.

The emotional development of businesses is what’s crucial, and dentistry has a lot of catching up to do. Develop (or found) compassion in your dental business, and the results and numbers will follow. That’s the trade-off for investing in your people, your culture.

I encourage you to take comfort in knowing that big businesses want what you have, but they will never get. This is because the gap between you and your team is a few walking paces and theirs is measured in miles, targets, KPIs, leads, and conversions.

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