Glasgow City Marketing Bureau (GCMB) has launched a new twist on satellite symposia with its Coffee Shop Conferences. The aim of the initiative is to enable organisers to reach out to the general public in an informal and relaxed environment.
Medical and scientific associations are looking for ways to engage with the general public to create a significant and lasting impact on people’s everyday life, according to GCMB. In response to this demand, Coffee Shop Conferences aims to provide creative solutions for public health engagement and knowledge exchange, by leveraging existing relationships with city partners, researchers, academics and leading medical experts at the forefront of healthcare in the UK and internationally, over a cappuccino.
The launch of Coffee Shop Conferences took place at Offshore coffee shop in Glasgow’s West End on 6 June, in partnership with the 6th Europaediatric conference, 5-8 June at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre. At the conference, parents were able to discuss child health issues and gain advice from a leading expert in the field of child health.
“It was brilliant and I say that because I give many talks to parents and the usual approach is to bring the audience to the speaker,” says Dimitri Christakis, MD, MPH, Director at the Centre for Child Health, Behaviour and Development at Seattle Children’s Hospital.
“What I enjoyed about the whole approach is bringing the Professor to the audience, so instead of them coming to a place that was inconvenient or in some ways unnatural, I saw them in a place where they were comfortable and happy to be, so it was fun.”
GCMB says the success of the launch at Offshore has generated demand across the city to host a Coffee Shop Conference, including Starbucks, Byres Road; Cup, Renfield Street and the Willow Tearooms, Buchanan Street.
“In Glasgow we’re helping to develop conversations, the bedrock of conferences,” says Head of Conventions at GCMB, Aileen Crawford.
“Coffee Shop Conferences offers our conference organisers something special; the ability to take current research from the conference room to the public in a relaxed, familiar and welcoming environment. Coffee Shop Conferences gives the city’s scientific and medical meetings an opportunity to connect with the public, on their terms, and make a real difference to the lives of people who live in the city.”
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