ACGME Educational Project Manager Victoria Kreps, PMP's name is likely familiar to anyone who has attended or participated in any recent ACGME educational course or the Annual Educational Conference. A key member of the Department of Education's Educational Activities team, Ms. Kreps works year-round to plan for and meticulously attend to details of courses and events, especially the Annual Educational Conference, to ensure an enriching, inspiring, and successful experience for participants. We asked her to tell us a little more about what her Conference experience is really like.
Q: What's your role at the ACGME and for the Conference?
A: The vast majority of my role is centered around the Annual Educational Conference, but I also support the Education Committee, a standing committee of the ACGME Board of Directors. When it comes to the Conference, my role involves conference logistical and operations management, training for our amazing volunteer staff members, and managing the Call for Topics and the Call for Sessions. Since we were virtual this year, I was also able to take the lead role on the creation of the virtual conference platform!
Q: How long have you been with the ACGME and involved with the Annual Educational Conference?
A: Almost four years with the ACGME, and four Annual Educational Conferences!
Q: When do you begin preparing for the Annual Educational Conference?
A: Not many realize that while the planning and execution of one conference is occurring, we have already begun planning for the next year! Each Annual Educational Conference is years in the making. As you can see here, we have conference dates set years in advance!
Q: What's the best and most rewarding part of your job?
A: Seeing everything come together and connecting with conference attendees during the conference! Every year the team and I keep trying to push the boundaries and make the conference fresh and exciting. To get real-time feedback from attendees makes everything come full circle.
Q: Can you share a little about how the experience was for you with an entirely virtual conference?
A: Everything that I normally do for a live, in-person conference was completely reversed when it came to planning the virtual experience. I enjoy planning live, in-person events, but diving into the platform and being able to build parts of it was thrilling! The biggest undertaking was trying to figure out how to bring elements of the in-person conference into the virtual environment and what that would look like for our attendees. Second to that, was exploring how we would bring the educational content to attendees through the virtual platform. I worked alongside our Distance Learning and AV teams to figure out how sessions could be pre-recorded for on-demand and semi-live sessions and conducted through Zoom for live sessions. All in all, the 2021 Annual Educational Conference brought along some very interesting challenges, but led to some great learning and insights into virtual learning and conferences!
Q: Is there anything you already know you would like to add or change for next year? How will that depend on the conference being in person versus virtual versus a hybrid of the two?
A: To truly answer this question I need to analyze all the evaluation data from the 2021 conference. The feedback we receive drives the conference. Networking is such an important part of our conference. It's probably the number one thing people get out of our live, in-person conference. The 2020 Annual Educational Conference was the first year of our Mentor/Mentee Program, where individuals could connect and try to find a mentor or mentee. I would like to further individuals' networking opportunities to find a mentor and/or mentee while still minding social distancing protocols.
Q: So what do you do after the conference is over?
A: Read all the evaluations and continue to plan for the next conference! Feedback is very important to me and the team. I personally read every single comment that is gathered through our evaluations. It is the goal of our team to ensure we are producing a conference that is meeting the needs of the GME community to the best of our abilities.