You read that correctly. After 25 years putting on “The Best Seminar Ever”, Drs. Dave and Rich Madow have decided this year’s 25 Anniversary TBSE will be the last.
If you’re not familiar with TBSE, it is part dental meeting, part party, part entertainment, part networking, part reunion, part celebration, and part dental education. But, however you look at it, TBSE has been an indelible part of dentistry’s past, and an evolving part of dentistry’s future.
Anybody who’s been a dentist during the past 30 years knows of Dr. Rich and Dr. Dave Madow. The Madow Brothers quietly practiced dentistry in the suburbs of Baltimore, Maryland for many years, and although their practices were 20 miles apart, they lived only two houses apart, and would meet after work for what Rich called, “our 2-person mastermind group.”
They would discuss how to deal with difficult cases, problem patients, staff issues, associate headaches, basically everything a typical practice owner struggles with every day. Then one night, they were talking about how to deal with patients who weren’t paying their bills, and magic happened. They designed what Dave calls, “a little collection form,” that was firm (the patients weren’t paying, after all), printed on 2-part carbonless paper, and it worked like crazy.
According to Rich, “After we mailed the form, patients would call the office, mail checks, stop in to pay their bills; it was amazing!”
They used the form in their own practices, and even shared it with a few colleagues who had the same success, and began wondering, “would anybody pay us for this?” So, while sitting at a bar in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware on family vacation, they formed the idea for a company to sell their little form.
When they got back home, they started what Dave calls, “a true kitchen table business.” They rented a P.O. box, bought a direct mail list, and filled orders out of Rich’s office. Pretty soon, they had 30,000 customers buying that little form, and were asked to put on courses and speak at conventions.
Their side business was growing so much, they made it official and gave it a name; Creative Management Resources, Inc. They began getting requests to write articles for big industry magazines, and after doing a few, they decided they had enough practice experience and ideas, they could do their own newsletter, and The Richards Report was born. It quickly attracted thousands of subscribers who were drawn to Dave and Rich’s unique perspective on the relevant topics of the day, delivered in way only The Madow Brothers can do it.
In the mid-1990s, based on those successes, both Dave and Rich decided to trade in their very successful dental practices to focus on growing their booming dental business. With the success of The Richards Report, they got more and more invitations to speak at events, which made them wonder, “Why are dental seminars so boring?” So, in true Madow fashion, they decided to do something about it, and started their own seminar, called the Super Fall Seminar.
They booked a large room in their hometown of Baltimore, invited some great speakers, created some off-the-wall dental entertainment, added in some concert lighting and great music, and announced it in their newsletter. To their surprise, it sold out in three days.
It was so successful, they decided to do it again the following year at the Flamingo in Las Vegas. After hearing so many comments from attendees that first year who said, “This is the best seminar ever!,” they decided that was a better name, so it stuck.
After the first couple of years, Dave and Rich found a formula that still works today. They believe, “The practice that learns together grows together, so they insist that all attendees be in one room the whole time, with no breakout sessions to separate team members. Instead of a full or half-day padded with filler, each speaker presents just one hour of their “greatest hits.”
They have become famous for the quality of music, videos, and comedy, combining education with entertainment to make learning fun. They still insist on a fast pace with non-stop learning, and that every speaker present information that helps grow the practice, increase the dentist’s income, and help the practice owner enjoy dentistry more.
I was fortunate enough to attend the 2018 TBSE event, and was overwhelmed by the atmosphere of fun, the team involvement, and the quality of speaker sessions. In the past couple of years, Dave and Rich have invited practice owners to share lunch at what they call a MasterClass. It’s basically their way of getting more personal time with practice owners to hear what struggles they might be having, and offer advice from their decades of experience. I was really struck by how much “meat” was covered in an hour, and how generous Dave and Rich were with their time and advice. From what I saw, every dentist who attended walked away with some real nuggets they could take back to their practices.
And while this may be the last year practice owners can see Dave and Rich in person or participate in the free Masterclass at TBSE, the Madow Brothers are not leaving dentistry. They realize dentistry and practice ownership have changed dramatically since they created that first little form, or started TBSE, so they’ve decided the best way to continue sharing their decades of experience working with, advising, and coaching dentists is better accomplished by growing their latest adventure, The Madow Center for Dental Practice Success. And, if the past is any indicator of the future, Dave and Rich are destined to make yet another indelible impact on the dental industry and their colleagues.
As in the past, TBSE will be held at the Tropicana Resort Hotel right on the Strip in Las Vegas on November 15th and 16th, 2019. If you’re looking for a way to invest in the growth of your practice and the productiveness and positive attitude of your team, and do it all in one weekend, I highly recommend you go to TBSE, especially this very special, and final, 25th year. And if you want some free advice from a couple of real legends in dentistry, make sure to sign up for the MasterClass, it’s well worth the time, and you get lunch!.
I’ve been to a lot of events, and seen a lot of speakers, but there’s nobody like the Madow Brothers, and nothing like TBSE. I can’t even imagine what’s in store for this year!