Anyone who has ever attended Vegas Cosmetic Surgery (VCS) can vouch that the multispecialty meeting is seamless in execution and flawless in presentation.
A lot of this has to do with Delphine Hepp, the executive director?of the Multi-Specialty Foundation, a group whose main objective is the coordination of an annual symposium that brings together key opinion leaders from oculoplastic surgery, dermatologic surgery, facial plastic surgery, and plastics.
Hepp has been working side by side with the group’s founder—S. Randolph Waldman, MD, a facial plastic surgeon in ?Lexington, Ky—for the past 12 years. She started off as more of a practice manager, but as VCS—now in its 11th year—took off, her job morphed into that of a full-time event coordinator. The planning, plotting, and prepping for the next event starts the minute one ends—if not before. And now, Hepp is also playing an important role in the rollout of the new Global Aesthetics Conference slated to take place in Miami’s South Beach this Fall.
“Delphine has been involved in the Vegas Cosmetic Surgery Symposium from its very early days. She is really ‘my right hand’ with the organization of this event, and her familiarity with many of our faculty members is so very important to the overall success of VCS,” Waldman says.
It’s a big job, but it’s one that she makes look easy.
Belle of the Ball
“It’s a year-round job to stay in communication with every member of the faculty and planning committee so that everyone has what they need,” she says. “We start off in July by reaching out to faculty to see who is available, and then we begin the process of planning out the program, which takes a few months.”
Her Rolodex is robust after 11 years, so a lot of times, she just has to reach out to thought leaders and industry with a friendly email to assure participation. “There is no set template for industry sponsors,” she says. “We don’t say, ‘You have to sponsor this or that’; it’s more of an à la carte system.”
She is no “bridezilla” on game day, but she admits hosting VCS is similar to hosting multiple weddings on the same weekend—especially now that the conference has taken up all of the meeting space at Las Vegas’ posh Bellagio hotel. “Every night there are a couple of events going on, including receptions, cocktail seminars, and other meet-and-greets.”
Despite the frenetic pace, she does enjoy the 5-day meeting. “I like seeing it unfold and catching up with our faculty who come back year after year,” she says. “You would think after so many years I’d be used to it, but seeing the Bellagio rooms all set up is still exciting.”
Plus, it’s never totally the same meeting as it was the year before, as Waldman and Hepp like to keep things fresh and dynamic. By far, the most exciting add for 2015 is the International Breast & Body Contouring Symposium, which kicks the meeting up a notch or two. The new tract features such sessions as “Body Contouring Technologies: How They Fit Into the Practice in 2015,” “Buttocks Lifting, the Brazilian Point of View,” and “Incorporating Stem Cell Treatments into Your Body Contour Surgery.”
Most practice managers won’t be tasked with putting on an event like VCS very often, but Hepp does have some sage counsel for those planning smaller-scale in-office seminars or media briefings. “Confirm, reconfirm, and confirm again,” she says of booking guests and speakers. “Put it in writing, and also reach out by phone to let participants know you are accessible and available to discuss any issues that should arise along the way.”
And as anyone who has ever participated in VCS can attest, this is exactly how Hepp does it.
Denise Mann is the editor of Plastic Surgery Practice. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.