After a difficult 2020, the future is looking brighter – and the summer of 2021 will put the momentum back into aesthetic medicine when the three leading multidisciplinary aesthetic conferences go live. A summer of learning will begin with Vegas Cosmetic Surgery and Aesthetic Dermatology (VCS), June 9 to 12 at the Bellagio in Las Vegas; followed by The Aesthetic Show (TAS), July 8 to 11 at the Wynn in Las Vegas; and Miami Cosmetic Surgery and Aesthetic Dermatology (MCS), August 26 to 28 at the Miami Beach Convention Center. Each with a unique personality and program highlights, you have the option of attending one, two or all three of them – either in person or online.
Renato Saltz, MD Plastic Surgeon
Steven Dayan, MD Facial Plastic Surgeon Chicago, IL
Guy Massry, MD Oculoplastic Surgeon Beverly Hills, CA
Joe Niamtu, III, DMD
Lori Robertson, MSN, FNP-C Clinical Director
Edward M. Zimmerman, MD Medical Director
John P. Fezza, MD Oculofacial Plastic and Cosmetic Surgeon Sarasota, FL
Sabrina G. Fabi, MD Dermatologist
Mark Tager, MD CEO
The format of each of these events has been re-imagined and re-designed for the new world order, including extensive measures to ensure the health and safety of all participants while still providing premium education and safe networking opportunities. Conference programs have been developed to not just pick up where the market left off pre-pandemic, but to move medical aesthetics forward with the expansion of topics, live demonstrations, training and more. To accommodate those who crave going back to in-person meetings, as well as those who prefer virtual learning, each of these meetings features a hybrid format offering the best of both worlds.
Renato Saltz, MD, renowned plastic surgeon from Salt Lake City, Utah, and co- chair of VCS confirmed that the industry is eager to get back to face to face meetings, citing Zoom fatigue.
Dr. Saltz is no stranger to overseeing and participating in professional meetings. As past-president of the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS) and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), he has spent a good part of his career traveling to and from meetings. And like many of his colleagues, he became a Zoom expert in 2020.
In February 2021 Dr. Saltz held his annual American-Brazilian Aesthetic Meeting (ABAM) in Utah. “It was a big awakening for me, for my colleagues, for education and for the aesthetic industry. It showed us the many reasons why we need to have meetings in person. We miss seeing each other; we need to interact.”
Vegas Cosmetic Surgery: A Meeting of the Minds (and Specialties)
As the first conference to unite aesthetic medicine’s core specialties of plastic surgery, facial plastic surgery, oculoplastic surgery and dermatology 17 years ago, VCS has long been among the most powerful meetings in aesthetic medicine.
VCS focuses on the science behind the latest surgical and nonsurgical aesthetic techniques, but the meeting is also known for its annual high-quality Practice Management track. Directed by Ed Williams, MD, a facial plastic surgeon in New York, N.Y., this track is designed to provide the tools and insights for practice staff to elevate business to the next level.
Steven Dayan, MD, a facial plastic surgeon in Chicago, Ill., who co-chairs VCS with Dr. Saltz, has been attending this meeting since it started 17 years ago. “Today, VCS has become what most consider the best annual multispecialty cosmetic meeting in the U.S.,” he stated.
To stay on top, Drs. Dayan and Saltz have focused on creativity and innovation to ensure the evolution and relevance of the meeting. This year, it includes adding more interactivity and live training to the conference.
“The traditional sessions with the surgeon on the podium showing his technique and cases doesn’t cut it anymore for the younger generation, who are used to a more digital, diverse and dynamic education style. To bring them to VCS, we must innovate, be creative, think outside the box and still educate in all aspects of aesthetic surgery and cosmetic medicine,” Dr. Saltz stated.
Among this year’s highlights is a pre-show education day on Wednesday, June 9, featuring injectables cadaver training, surgical cadaver training and new to VCS – the Certified Aesthetic Consultant program.
Expert faculty will lead the new hands-on Surgical Cadaver Course, comprised of two independent half-day modules – the Face, Neck and Brow, and Rhinoplasty. For surgeons of all levels, there will be procedure and technique demonstrations on cadavers by faculty and a hands-on experience on fresh cadavers. The goal is to hone attendees’ facial and/or rhinal anatomy knowledge and experience, while teaching them to safely perform today’s most popular surgical procedures.
“For the surgeons attending, there is nothing better than hands-on cadaver dissection by some of the top facial plastic surgeons in the country,” Dr. Saltz added.
VCS will also offer top-notch facial injectables training. The Facial Injectables LIVE! with Cadaver Lab course debuts in 2021, featuring not only actual live cadaver anatomy curriculum, but also live instructional training. This new course will offer an in-depth understanding of the facial anatomy and facial planes that injectors target during treatments, and includes treatment of live patients in an intimate, up-close learning environment. Participants will leave with new diagnostic skills, an eye for what makes a face more attractive, and practical tips and pearls that translate to immediate improvements in nonsurgical outcomes.
VCS 2021 will also introduce the Certified Aesthetic Consultant (CAC) Program. Research shows that increased staff training is a continual, critical challenge. The purpose of the CAC program is for the standardization, delivery and certification of competence for a category of provider called a Certified Aesthetic Consultant. An individual who has mastered the art, science and business of medical aesthetic practice management is in high demand.
The CAC program has trained thousands of students over the past ten years in the areas of practice marketing, business metrics and financials, sales training and consult conversion, as well as executive office management. In this year’s updated program, participants will take part in interactive training activities, including sales and objection handling role-playing. The program ends with an exam to earn the industry-recognized professional certification.
The main VCS conference program runs from June 10th-12th. Highlights include education tracks on injectables; devices, cosmeceuticals and specialty segments; surgery; practice management; injectable and surgical masterclasses; specialty courses including Regenerative Aesthetics, Hair Restoration, Genital Health & Aesthetics and Integrative Aesthetics; as well as cursory cadaver dissection and live treatment demonstrations in the facial injectables track.
Adding spice this year, a new Controversies session will encourage thought-provoking debates and discussions about some of the industry’s most galvanizing topics.
Dr. Saltz indicated that VCS participants will notice a strong lineup of surgical presentations in the main program, given by renowned experts from around the world presenting on how they do body contouring in South America or rhinoplasty in Turkey, as examples.
“I am so excited about this year’s VCS meeting,” said Guy Massry, MD, an oculoplastic surgeon in Beverly Hills, Calif., who is director of the Oculoplastic section at VCS. “When a group of leading experts from varied fields unite for the common goal of education it stimulates progress and advancement in an unprecedented way. This always leads to taking home small pearls, which invariably improve procedure efficacy and patient care. This is what makes me so proud to be a part of this amazing experience.”
The Aesthetic Show: Where Science Meets Beauty
Now in its 16th year, TAS is the most important and influential event addressing all specialties in the practice of medical aesthetics. TAS is renowned for its creative learning experiences by offering unparalleled interactive and immersive educational programming that encourages participation, insights, techniques and viewpoints from the full spectrum of medical specialties practicing aesthetics.
“One of strong suits of this meeting is the diversity of attendees that mirror what happens in the real world. Practitioners from virtually every specialty and their staff make the teaching and learning base well rounded to provide truly balanced perspectives of the aesthetic world,” said TAS Scientific Committee member Joe Niamtu, III, DMD, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon with a practice devoted to cosmetic surgery in Midlothian, Va.
This year TAS will feature more interactive and experiential learning than ever, including an in-depth sales training course with hands-on exercises; media training with mock interview role-play; and supplemental training courses such as Facial Injectables LIVE! with Cadaver Lab, Thread Lift Training Masterclass and Facial Injectables Training Masterclass, according to Dr. Niamtu.
For the first time ever, the TAS 2021 pre-show education day will feature an Injectables Cadaver Lab with observational learning. Dr. Niamtu says it will start with an in-depth anatomy review with cadaver dissection and simultaneous injectable treatment demonstrations, followed by live, up-close and personal injection training demonstrations by top injectors in the field.
Other highlights include a Threads Masterclass that will feature treatments on the face and body via lectures and live training demonstrations.
The CAC Program for practice managers and staff, will introduce Call My Practice Live!, where a practice will be mystery shopped live; an objection handling and consult conversion workshop; and leadership seminar.
Yet another new learning experience will be Foundations of Injectables, which will include hands-on training on mannequin heads, according to Dr. Niamtu.
In addition, supplementary Injectables Training Masterclasses will be offered on Saturday, July 10, “to allow for smaller class sizes and a more intimate learning experience,” Dr. Niamtu stated. Renowned injectors will take a deep dive into the latest in neurotoxin and dermal filler products, lecturing about trending injection techniques and providing observational training to enhance attendees’ practical skills for wrinkle reduction, facial shaping, volumization and rejuvenation to immediately improve their injection skill level and injectable practice success.
Highlights of TAS’s main program (July 9-11) include the Microneedling session which will feature live treatment demonstrations; panel discussions; a new track fully dedicated to Practice Management education (included in main program registration with no additional fee to attend); as well as a Controversies Forum that will discuss and debate hot topics.
Lori Robertson, MSN, FNP-C, a TAS Scientific Committee member and clinical director of Skin Perfect in Brea, Calif., says there are no excuses not to learn in 2021.
“Having the choice of both livestream and in-person access to the meeting will fulfill everyone’s needs. For those who have dearly missed networking with their colleagues over this past year, we will be there in person. For those who cannot make it to Vegas, they can watch it online. This is more than perfect!” Ms. Robertson exclaimed.
According to Edward M. Zimmerman, MD, medical director at Aesthetic Revolution Las Vegas, Nev. and a TAS Scientific Committee member, perhaps a silver lining from the pandemic is that presentations have reached a new level of significance, value and polish.
“Presenters have become much better (even competitive) at producing our PowerPoint presentations on Zoom and similar vehicles, so that each minute is really packed with information, small details and personal insights. Then we dissect the presentations during the live Q&A sessions,” he expressed.
“Attendees can also expect specialty courses for Regenerative Aesthetics, Integrative Aesthetics, and Genital Health and Aesthetics, with 20+ CME credits available,” Dr.
Niamtu added. “And, there will also be an on-demand option after the event to catch what you missed or to earn even more CME credits.”
When asked about on-demand access, Dr. Zimmerman reiterated, “attendees really benefit from being able to replay the recordings to reinforce the topics they need most.”
MCS: Where Science, Aesthetics and Creativity Converge
Finally, much like the backdrop of Miami Beach, MCS is a meeting that wows attendees not just through progressive content, but with a creative flare unsurpassed by any other event. It features worldwide experts showcasing the latest trends in aesthetic medicine, while offering first looks at promising pipeline therapies and procedures.
MCS stands out for the value it offers attendees, according to oculofacial plastic and cometic surgeon John P. Fezza, MD (Sarasota, Fla.), who is directing MCS’s Oculoplastic Surgery section.
“Beginning with the inaugural event in 2020, the presentations and faculty at MCS are selected for their originality. They are not repetitive talks, and they are really cutting edge, looking at new and novel ways to perform both surgical and nonsurgical advancements,” Dr. Fezza stated. “This meeting has a lot of positives. One is the format. The abstracts that are accepted are those that are really ground- breaking, thought-provoking and have not been heard before. And, there are other things to like; the location is a nice draw. I think Miami Beach is amazing.
“MCS offers something for everybody,” Dr. Fezza continued. “While the Oculoplastics section is going to be directed at new and novel techniques, attendees will have the ability to interact with the multidisciplinary faculty in dermatology, facial plastics and plastics, to exchange ideas. I think that is the strength of this meeting. That alone is going to allow the attendee to really explore new avenues and to see what is cutting edge.”
As the MCS chairperson, Dr. Dayan says that attendees of the 2021 event can expect the unexpected. In addition to lots of new elements, MCS will bring back the innovative and creative programs that launched and were crowd-pleasers last year.
“Events like the ‘Passion Project,’ where physicians present and showcase their passions outside of medicine. ‘The Maverick Award,’ where the audience is able to vote on the most innovative presentation at the end of each session...it certainly motivates speakers to bring their A game,” Dr. Dayan expressed. “There was [and will be] ‘Bagels and Brainstorming,’ a special session where industry and doctors participate in rotating roundtables to discuss the most pressing issues facing medical aesthetics, as well as a rip-roaring gala event with proceeds going to charity.”
This year features a most impressive lineup of experts, as well as an innovative program called the Rising Star, that identifies up-and-coming physicians showing exceptional acumen in medical aesthetics.
“Of course, I can’t give away all the surprises just yet,” Dr. Dayan teased.
According to San Diego-based dermatologist Sabrina G. Fabi, MD, Director of the Dermatology section at MCS, attendees will have the opportunity to attend an injectables symposium with hands-on training demonstrations pre-show.
The pre-show curriculum will also include a surgical cadaver training program with a morning module focused on the face and neck, and an afternoon module focused on rhinoplasty. It also features the Certified Aesthetic Consultant program, for practice staff to gain skills and information that will grow their business, Dr. Fabi pointed out.
MCS’s main program will delve into the latest in nonsurgical and surgical techniques, with two full tracks dedicated to minimally invasive treatments, a surgical track and practice management track. New this year is a full day dedicated to Facial Injectable Masterclasses, and Surgical Masterclasses. Aesthetic providers will benefit from live facial injectable treatment demonstrations and simultaneous cadaver anatomy dissections related to the mid- and lower-third of the face.
“Masterclasses give the audience the opportunity to really learn from an experienced physician,” Dr. Dayan conveyed. “Sometimes it takes more than 12 to 15 minutes of podium time to develop an idea or explain a technique; however, our Masterclasses allow up to 30 minutes. We believe our attendees deserve the best and the Masters have a responsibility to be good educators. There will be new twist with the Masterclasses this year, but stay tuned for that!”
Dr. Fabi added that the Masterclasses will offer a Meet the Masters segment and audience Q&A.
MCS scratches more than the surface of what is happening in aesthetic medicine. For example, Dr. Fezza, who will present on blepharoplasty and his unique approaches to periorbital rejuvenation, will offer a logical and algorithmic approach for deciding which procedure best fits which patient.
“I’m also going to talk about some nonsurgical approaches. Having myself been involved in many of the FDA trials for things like fillers and neuromodulators around the eyes, I will discuss what I like and some of the pitfalls we might have,” Dr. Fezza noted. “Fillers, particularly, are not FDA approved around the periorbita yet. But by the time the meeting happens, I anticipate some companies releasing new data. I have a lot of the inside track because I’ve done studies for many of these companies.”
Panel discussions will also focus on complications, an important area of interest for attendees. “This will be a frank dialogue of what works, what doesn’t work and, if we get into a bad situation, how to treat complications,” Dr. Fezza shared.
Providing a glimpse at the practice management sessions at MCS 2021, “We’ll bring back the popular panel on ‘How to Handle the Unhappy Client.’ And, of course, we’ll have the leading social media clinicians share their tips for building and monetizing a loyal following,” said Mark Tager, MD, Director of the Practice Management section. “One of the new, notable sessions will divide the audience into small groups and dyads to improve on-camera messaging. The drivers of video – social media, telehealth, patient education, virtual education platforms – are continually challenging practitioners to improve and master their on-screen appearances.”
MCS practice management sessions will also educate attendees about incorporating specialty-specific components to their practice, such as regenerative treatments, hair restoration and integrative type therapies, Dr. Tager added.
There is much more on tap for MCS. “We are committed to developing high-quality education in a very creative, engaging and enjoyable environment,” Dr. Dayan said. “We realize that we have a responsibility to make it worth our colleagues’ time to leave their practices and homes to come to a meeting, and we don’t take that lightly.”
All three summer meetings offer on-demand access to program content after the events, which includes a one-year subscription to the Aesthetic Multispecialty Society (AMS), the industry’s only truly multispecialty community, created to provide high-quality continuing education and allow our global community to gather for knowledge sharing and networking on a virtual platform.