This year has been an influential one for medical associations meeting in Glasgow. As a way to integrate the themes of each conference into the fabric of the city, Glasgow Convention Bureau launched the People Make Glasgow Healthier campaign, taking the messages from a few key medical congresses out of the convention centre and bringing them into the community.
“People Make Glasgow Healthier is a platform for medical associations to really engage with the people of Glasgow through a varied range of activities,” explains Aileen Crawford, head of conventions at Glasgow Convention Bureau.“It’s about bringing positive and informed health messages to our citizens and encouraging real-world interactions that extend beyond conference seminars to deliver a genuine and lasting legacy from hosting these meetings.”
As part of the campaign, the Glasgow Convention Bureau partnered with five conferences— the International Forum on Quality and Safety in Healthcare, the European Congress on Obesity, the 8th Congress of European Microbiologists, the International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and the British Association for the Study of the Liver—and hosted seven public engagement events, reaching a total audience of 1,500 citizens.
“The medical conferences we worked with extended their reach to deliver important public health messages into the community,” says Crawford. “Glasgow Convention Bureau are delighted to support the conference legacy movement, by delivering tangible and measurable results from the People Make Glasgow Healthier campaign.”
Through these events, the conferences were able to create a deeper legacy in the city, as well as a connection with the public. For example, 180 people received lifesaving CPR training, 50 people registered to become an organ donor, and 160 people took a liver screener test—17 percent of which were recommended to visit their doctor after the exam. “We were really grateful to Glasgow Convention Bureau for giving us the opportunity to extend the reach of the European Congress on Obesity to the general public,” says Gillian Bell, engagement and communications officer for Public Health Sciences at University of Glasgow.
At the Childhood Obesity & Physical Activity Event, held at Glasgow Science Centre, 60 children and adults took part in a pedometer step challenge. “With such a major conference happening in the city, we were keen to engage a non-academic audience with the University of Glasgow’s research around obesity, physical activity and population health,” says Bell. Glasgow Science Centre was the ideal venue to get children, parents and tourists visiting our stands and taking part in our activities to help build a healthier city.”
Glasgow is showing that with this type of cost-efficient campaign (the entire cost was only £420), organizers can easily and affordably extend their conference’s legacy in the host community—and they’re even giving them the tools to do it. The bureau created a how-to conference legacy toolkit, offering advice on how to replicate the same type of events by using local PR and digital channels to broadcast an association’s message, as well as partnering with the local CVB to create local connections that tie back to the community.
This article was written by Boardroom editor Lane Nieset. The right to use, in parts or in full, has to be granted by the Publisher.