The Washington State Dental Association (WSDA) is the voice of dentistry in Washington. With over 4,500 member dentists, WSDA is dedicated to empowering members to advocate for and provide the highest quality of oral health care.   Every year, WSDA hosts an annual conference, the Pacific Northwest Dental Conference (PNDC), to provide in-person continuing education classes to meet state requirements and foster community in the dental profession. SHW was hired to provide full conference management services for their annual in-person event.


The COVID-19 pandemic came down quickly in the midst of planning the in-person event.  WSDA had to downsize full-time staff and looked to SHW as an outsource partner to help strategize event delivery and design in a COVID prevalent world.  SHW partnered with WSDA in producing a series of virtual continuing education events, followed by an in-person conference in November 2021 at the Washington State Convention Center.  Our initial work included recording and producing a series of virtual dental trainings which qualified for continued education credit through 2020.  The SHW and WSDA teams strategized early in 2021 to build a thorough plan for a safe return to an IRL event.  SHW handled all the renegotiations of hotel contracts and the convention center from 2020 to 2021 minimizing risk and expense to the association.

SHW designed a survey to measure association members’ mindset and preferences for the in-person conference. The input was used to thoughtfully design COVID protocols and a conference agenda that would attract the previous levels of participation. SHW managed registration, housing, speaker management, VIP’s, sponsor solicitation and fulfillment, the exhibit hall, the convention center, onsite production, food and beverage, event application and much more.


In November 2021, PNDC was attended by over 4,100 dental professionals and dental industry vendors in Seattle, WA.  The post event survey confirmed attendees’ shared sentiment “highly impactful meeting and engaging sessions”. Our client received accolades that 2021 was the best ever PNDC conference.

Hiring SHW as our event management partner was the best decision we made in 2020. Their collaborative and strategic approach combined with multi-faceted team member expertise helped us improve all workstreams for the conference. Truly a pleasure to work with the entire SHW team.

Kainoa TrotterAssistant Executive Director, Washington State Dental Association