Networking opportunities at SAAHIP, Dis-chem and PSSA conferences
It is not often that pharmacists have a chance to personally meet and engage with Council staff members. Council recently hosted exhibtions at three grand conferences, which offered wonderful networking opportunities. The team in charge were kept extremely busy interacting with the delegates, many of them members of the pharmacy profession, and handled numerous queries with friendly aplomb – they were a living embodiment of their motto, a team makes the dream work!!
Council hosted no less than three exhibition stands at three different conferences in the space of three months. The first stand was at the 31st Annual SAAHIP (South African Association of Hospital and Institutional Pharmacies) Conference at Champagne Sport Resort, Drakensberg during March, the second was at the 7th Annual Dis-chem Conference at Emperors Palace, Kempton Park in June, and the third was at the PSSA (Pharmaceutical Society of South Africa) Conference at the Indaba Hotel, Fourways in July.
The conferences attracted hundreds of delegates and the organisers need a hearty congratulation for their superb efforts in promoting the pharmacy profession.
Senior Council staff members who attended were Registrar Amos Masango, Chief Operating Officer Vincent Tlala, and Senior Manager: Education Hlone Masiza. The team manning the exhibition stands included Michelle de Beer, Monkatso Malatsi, Neo Ramokoka, Felicia Ngoveni, Tebogo Madigoe and Sarah Nyama.
Meeting the profession
The exhibitions provided an ideal platform for pharmacists and delegates to enquire about their registrations, take part in a survey to rate the overall service delivery of Council, communicate with Council staff members, get freebies and participate in competitions. The competition questions were structured to assess how well pharmacy members know the Council and if they are aware of Council events.
In networking it is often said that it is not what you know, it’s who you know. But, for the team at the stands, networking was more than that – it was getting to know the who by knowing what to say and how to answer queries.
Council’s daily marketing regime is a rather remote affair, with e-mail and tele-communications forming the bulk of its communication efforts. The team’s face-to-face contact with business owners and members of the profession offered a refreshing change and a chance to enhance client liaison skills. Going out to meet the members helps to improve relationships and deepens Council’s understanding of the profession’s expectations.
After each exhibition
To ensure that Council fully benefited from the exhibition, the team recorded the number of people who participated in the competitions and filled in the service delivery survey. They used a log book to make a note of queries that could not be resolved on site or that required a follow up.
Being part of Council
The team members said it had been an honour and privilege for them to represent the South African Pharmacy Council. They were confident they had lived up to their motto “a team makes the dream work!!”
Thank you, team, for injecting a sense of fun into the task of delivering the services that Council and the profession expected of you.