New ‘Healthcare Travelers Take Omaha’ Conference Set For Early April
Travel healthcare professionals have said pursuing a travel career can be a lonely experience. Travelers are spread all across the country, which can make it difficult to connect with their colleagues outside of social media.
So when the idea for a new travel healthcare conference came about during TravCon 2018, it wasn’t out of a desire to create a competing conference, but instead to provide another event where travelers can network and connect, travel nurse Thomas Piper said.
“We wanted to provide people another option to supplement TravCon,” Piper said. “Not everyone can make it to Vegas every year in September, so this conference is another place where travelers can connect.”
Piper is helping organize the new conference Healthcare Travelers Take Omaha, which is set to take place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on April 5-6 at the Holiday Inn Omaha Downtown-Airport in Omaha, Nebraska.
Tickets cost $50, which covers the cost of food provided during the conference, Piper said.
Only 150 tickets will be sold and the number of travel company exhibitors for the event is capped at 30, Piper said. So far, around 20 percent of the tickets have been sold, but Piper said he expects that number to increase as travelers settle into their first contracts of the year and plan time off.
As of Wednesday, 21 of the 30 exhibitor slots have been filled, according to the conference website.
Piper’s traveler Facebook group Scrub Squad 1978 along with Gypsy Soul Travel Nurses and Adventures In RV Travel Nursing are the official hosts for the event, according to their website.
Along with a keynote speaker, recruiter panel and CEO panel discussion, the conference plans to offer several learning sessions with industry professionals and special group events, including a charity golf tournament benefiting autism research, a 5K fun run/walk and a meet-and-greet mixer.
The learning sessions will cover topics like traveler taxes, fitness on the road, breaking a contract, RV travel and housing, according to their website.
Small setting, good conversation
Part of the reason why Healthcare Travelers Take Omaha is only accepting a small number of travelers and exhibitors is out of necessity, Piper said. Planning for the conference began in April, so with only six months to pull the event together, venue options were fairly limited.
Organizers also wanted to keep the cost of entry as low as possible for both attendees and exhibitors, which is why Omaha was selected for the first year of the conference, Piper said.
“Omaha is a central hub for travel nursing companies,” Piper said. “It’s also centrally located, so it’s very inexpensive for travelers to access who may be on the edges of the country.”
More than a dozen travel healthcare staffing companies call Omaha home, including Aureus Medical Group, Atlas Medstaff and Fusion Medical Staffing, all of which are exhibitors for the event.
The conference won’t be held in Omaha every year, however. Another reason why organizers wanted a different conference was a chance to meet up with travelers in new places, Piper said. Organizers are already looking ahead to next year’s conference in Orlando where they plan to offer more tickets for travelers and space for exhibitors.
“We’re travelers—we like to travel the country and don’t want to go to the same city every year,” Piper said. “TravCon is great and a lot of fun. I plan on going to it every year. But it can be expensive to visit Vegas every year if you’re working on the East Coast or want to bring your family along.”
Another reason why organizers wanted a smaller setting was to offer more time for travelers and companies to network with each other, Piper said.
“We’ve set a lot of time aside for people to have actual conversations with agencies and recruiters,” Piper said. “It’s definitely going to be a more intimate setting for networking and forming relationships.”
Piper was encouraged by how quickly Healthcare Travelers Take Omaha has come together and hopes this conference will provide another great option for travelers to connect with each other, he said.
“Talking after TravCon last year, we weren’t sure we would be able to throw it all together within six months, but it’s coming along nicely,” Piper said.
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