If I’d taken the time to understand the format of this two-day conference in advance, I’d have run a mile, but someone whose judgement I value said he’d been last year and thought it was good and I signed up because a) it was free and b) I thought it would be helpful as part of my preparation to start my new job.
It was only when I got there that I realised that you are locked into a country house hotel to spend time with a load of sales people. You’re given a very regimented schedule that runs from 08:30 to 22:30 on day 1, with almost zero free time in that period, which includes ‘speed dating’ and individual supplier conversations. Day 2 is about the same, but the sentence finishes after a late lunch. At times it felt like the set of a murder mystery, where all the delegates are going to get knocked off one by one.
That’s the bad side (plus I’ve got to admit to some poetic licence in that description).
The good side was that there were loads of people from other health organisations who were sharing their learning, which I found incredibly interesting and hopefully applicable. And I also learnt a lot from quite a few of the supplier presentations and conversation (but not the speed dating!).
So, as the chair of the event said at the end, running a conference, free for delegates like that requires a trade-off. The suppliers pay for the event (and uninterrupted access to some captive customers) in order to fund the excellent array of speakers. Fair enough.
I took quite a few sketchnotes during the sessions, which follow below, with varying degrees of photo quality.
The patient story from Debbie was really powerful and she had everyone hanging on her every word. Unfortunately there was no time to show the demo of RiTTa and I didn’t see it in any of the session afterwards too, but sounded like it had some interesting potential to help patients.