The Value of Networking With Dental Industry Vendors at The AADOM Conference

Real World Insights from AADOM Authors - Lan Alexander

Networking with dental industry vendors is a valuable resource to dental managers because it exposes us to cutting-edge technology, products, and services to help our practices run smoothly and grow. It also aids us with establishing important business relationships and staying on top of relevant trends. Luckily, AADOM makes it easy for dental managers to be introduced to a wide variety of vendors and products at the annual conference. The halls are lined with tables of exhibitors, vendors, and sponsors, each ready to tell you about their product or service. AADOM also provides an opportunity to be entered into the raffle at the end of the conference (with some SPECTACULAR prizes) by obtaining the signatures of vendors in an “exhibitor adventure.” Additionally, there are usually conference specials offered.

Plan ahead

Before heading to the conference, do some research on what business solutions might benefit your practice. Is there anything for which you’re already in the market? If so, exploring these companies at the conference will serve you well. You can speak with the leading experts of that product or service and compare them all in one convenient location. I would also recommend checking with the dentist or owner of your practice to see if there is anything they are interested in learning more about. You can gather the information for them and come back with bullet points to help them make a decision. This may also help show them why sending you to the conference is a great investment!


Having an open mind to explore products and services with which you are unfamiliar can help expand your knowledge. You might discover something that helps make daily operations easier. By hearing out the vendors, you’ll definitely learn something new and can at least have the company on your radar in case you ever need to utilize them. There have been several times when professional colleagues look for recommendations, and you can steer them in the right direction. It can be quite fun to learn new things and appreciate how far the industry has come, even if you aren’t purchasing a new product or service.


When you speak to a vendor, take the time to get to know them and vice versa. This will help personalize the experience and can help foster a genuine relationship over time. Obviously, the vendor will be doing their job of selling to you (because that’s how they make their income), but it’s important to remember they’re real people too!

Many vendors have a passion and interest in their company’s mission and truly want to help make your job easier. They are passionate, knowledgeable, and energetic! By interacting with them, especially if you have a question about the use of a product or service, they can assist you or provide you with the necessary resources. Usually, they send the same team members year after year, so it is always nice to check in with familiar faces. And if you maintain a great relationship, they might be a resource for other useful things—like community service opportunities, deals, freebies, and sponsorship opportunities, and may even know people looking for a new dental home!


Networking with dental industry vendors is a great way to advance your practice by being equipped with the latest and greatest (or tried and true) services, products, and software in the growing and changing world of dentistry. You will expand your professional network and surround yourself with talented, knowledgeable, and super cool people! AADOM has made it incredibly easy to meet and learn from these individuals, having them all in one location at the yearly conference. So put yourself out there (even if you are shy, like me) and have some fun networking and meeting some great people, all while learning about the best tools in the industry to better serve your patients.

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About the Author

Headshot of Lan Alexander

Lan Alexander grew up in Cambridge, MA, and graduated from college with a bachelor of science in Behavioral Neuroscience. Lan’s dental career passions include creating a positive, fulfilling work culture and providing exemplary service to patients.

She has been a National AADOM Member since 2017, also serving as the Vice President for the Boston Chapter. Lan received her AADOM Fellowship (FAADOM) designation in 2019 and her AADOM Mastership (MAADOM) designation in 2022. She is on track to complete the AADOM Diplomate designation program and receive her DAADOM at the AADOM conference in September.

Outside of work, Lan loves spending time with her husband, Ron. She loves movies, exploring new restaurants, playing board games, and going on walks.

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