Audiology Conference benefits from city's legacy campaign

British Academy of Audiology’s Glasgow meeting is latest to benefit from city’s legacy campaign.

The latest case study as part of Glasgow’s ‘Tomorrow’s Bureau, Today’ campaign – looking at conference legacy measurement and how best to report the key impacts of conferences taking place in Glasgow – focuses on the city’s hosting of the 13th annual British Academy of Audiology (BAA) Conference.

The largest gathering of professionals in hearing and balance in the UK took place in at the SEC Glasgow in November last year.

Traditionally, Glasgow would report that the meeting attracted over 700 visiting delegates; injecting approximately £1 million into the local economy.

However, delving deeper, Glasgow’s conference team is undertaking activity which also assesses the additional, or legacy, benefits achieved through hosting conferences and in turn this helps the team support association meetings looking to leave a lasting impact.

The research has included interviewing conference clients and academic partners, analysing quantitative and qualitative data, conducting evaluation research, producing case studies and liaising with industry to understand more about the true value of meetings, beyond the economic.

In December 2016, Glasgow City Marketing Bureau’s (GCMB) efforts were commended by the Association of British Professional Conference Organisers (ABPCO), with the campaign collecting the much coveted Chairmen’s Award at ABPCO’s annual Excellence Awards – where the judges cited it as an ‘outstanding example of best practice and an inspiration to audiences across the association conference sector’.

The Conventions team worked with BAA to create a highly visible public engagement event in the city centre. The event was held the day before the two-day conference to promote hearing healthcare and to make people more aware of the availability of local audiology services.

A team from BAA, alongside audiology students from Queen Margaret’s University, operated a mobile drop-in centre, which was located in the heart of the city’s shopping district.

Free hearing screenings proved popular with around 60 people tested throughout the day. In addition, staff had quality time to talk to many more people about noise protection, tinnitus, hearing aid maintenance and general hearing issues, as well as how to access support locally for such issues.

Sue Falkingham, Vice President of BAA, said: “We were really pleased with the level of interest that our drop-in centre drew throughout the day, with some 60 people receiving a free hearing screening during what proved to be a very busy and worthwhile afternoon.

“We dealt with varying enquiries, from people taking their first steps towards addressing hearing issues to others seeking advice for specific ongoing problems.

“Engaging the public and really spreading the message of hearing healthcare and service provision was a great idea from the Glasgow team. It helped to raise awareness of our conference and the work that we do as audiologists, and it was the perfect opportunity for our students to put their academic knowledge and training into practice.

“The feedback we received from the public was hugely encouraging and it’s something that we will certainly be looking to replicate in the future.”

Aileen Crawford, Head of Conventions at GCMB, said: “Glasgow was delighted to be the first UK city to work with the BAA to deliver a public engagement event alongside their conference.

“Creating and measuring the impact and added value benefits from meetings is hugely important to associations and Glasgow is at the forefront of supporting clients to take their conference beyond the walls of the convention centre and into the community.

“We’re pleased that it proved to be a success and that the BAA is keen to continue this model at their future meetings.”

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