Can you tell us more about the recent British Orthodontics Society Conference?
It’s an annual conference which we hold in a different city each year. This year there were three main themes running through the conference. The first was to report on the latest research in orthodontics, the second was to provide information about improving clinical care and the third was to provide a political update on factors that affect the provision of orthodontics in the NHS. The conference provides a great platform to bring professionals together to discuss all of these topics and how they will potentially impact our profession.
One key area for us this year was to look closely at how we can provide treatment more efficiently for our patients. Orthodontic treatment typically takes 18-24 months, so we were looking at how we can do things quicker and more efficiently for our patients.
What made the EICC stand out as the place to hold your conference?
We regard the EICC as a five-star venue and everything reflects that standard. We also really like the flexibility of the venue. On the Saturday we had five different programmes where the audiences ranged from 1,000 in the main theatre to 30 in a smaller group. Because of the flexibility of the EICC it meant it could accommodate lots of different aspects of the event all happening at the same time. For a society like ourselves, we really need that sort of flexibility.
Why did you choose Edinburgh as the host city?
We always choose somewhere that will attract delegates and not just because of the conference. Edinburgh is a great city with so much to offer, so it’s never a hard sell when it comes to telling our delegates the conference will be here.
It sounds like the social programme was a lot of fun. Could you tell us more about it?
A key part of the conference is encouraging delegates to meet up with their peers and share ideas beyond the lecture theatres. To help facilitate this we ran two evening events: a gala night at the National Museum of Scotland and a more formal, black-tie event at the Sheraton Grand Hotel. Both nights were successful in bringing our delegates closer together and encouraging them to share ideas.
What was the highlight of the conference?
We introduced something called Interactive Friday. We had a dedicated conference app created for delegates to download on to their phones or tables, which was essential for one of the lectures on Friday. It completely changed the dynamic of delivery. Rather than one person taking to the stage and questions following at the end as would traditionally be the case, delegates could put questions to the speaker using their devices. It created much greater discussion as it removed the element of fear that some people have of standing up and asking a question in front of the whole floor.
Did any issues arise that the EICC was able to resolve?
During Interactive Friday, we had around 800 delegates all trying to use their devices at the same time. Naturally this could cause some difficulties but the EICC was great. Their team was able to boost the wi-fi signal so that it was strong enough to allow this special interactive session to take place.
Would you recommend the EICC?
Most definitely. The facilities are five-star, the staff are professional, with a real “can-do” attitude – nothing is too much trouble for them. And the venue just feels right, it’s a great place to be!