Whew! I just got back from PPS13 last night, and it may take me a month to recover. What a whirlwind! I’m sure that every attendee has a different perspective on the conference, and I can only share my own experience, but I think I can sum it up in one word: connecting.

While there were some fantastic talks at PPS13, the highlight for me was seeing friends and finally meeting new people face-to-face. What an overwhelming experience to meet and talk with hundreds of other private practice owners, who have the same joys and struggles that I have on a daily basis.

I was continually amazed by the knowledge being shared not only in the talks, but also in the exhibit hall, hallways, restaurants, and bars. (You don’t normally get to talk #bizPT at 2 AM in a jazz bar.) The dedication and passion of everyone I met makes me very excited about the future of our profession. Mike Eisenhart (@mikeeisenhart) wrote a great post about an amazing dinner party put together by Jason Richardson (@TNBackPain) where I spent the whole night wondering how I was asked to join the big kids’ table.

WebPT had a strong presence in the exhibit hall and all around the venue. I was able to meet Heidi for the first time and talk with some of the other WebPT employees. Attendees were able to really take a look at the services WebPT offers and have team members answer their questions.

I was able to sit down and talk to some of the leaders of our profession about topics ranging from cash-based physical therapy to Medicare Opt-Out status. Everyone I met was approachable and helpful. I credit connections made through Twitter and other social media with the ability to begin a conversation like old friends even though we were meeting for the first time.

The organizers of PPS13 did a great job planning talks on relevant, important topics and organizing a truly amazing social experience. Our final evening ended with a parade through the streets of New Orleans from the hotel to the Superdome, led by a marching band. Being part of that night is something I will never forget. It was an experience of a lifetime to be part of a private party on the field in the Superdome, complete with food, drinks, music, and a field goal contest.

If you are a private practice owner who has been on the fence about attending PPS, I strongly encourage you to consider it for next year. The true value is in spending time with old and new friends who are as passionate about business as you are.