As I sit and write this on a cold and windy Welsh morning after the sorrows of both a welsh, Scottish and Irish loss at the rugby world cup you might ask yourself how did a ESP from Merthyr Tydfil end up being on the IFOMPT 2016 committee and what does she exactly do.
Firstly an introduction, I currently work as clinical lead ESP for Cwm Taf University Health Board in Wales and have been lucky enough to be involved with the MACP since gaining membership all those years ago.
Prior to my role on this committee I have been involved on the MACP executive committee as both Communications officer and joint chair of the PDC. So when the call out from Chris Mercer to volunteer for IFOMPT 2016 I jumped at the chance. My long suffering husband once asked “If Chris Mercer asked you to put your hand in the fire would you do it?” and to be honest if he gave me a good enough (evidence informed) reason I probably would.
I joke that one day at a MACP or IFOMPT 2016 meetings when I’m sat next to people I admire in the world of MSK physiotherapy that I’m going to be found out. A hand will be placed on my thigh with a knowing look and without words that will be the signal that it’s time for me to pack my stuff up and leave without making a fuss.
So what in Chris Mercer’s wisdom was the job he was going to give me. Surely with my international research profile it would be scientific chair or with my expert knowledge of up and coming speakers worldwide, it would be looking after the programme. Luckily for IFOMPT 2016 these jobs were given to people with more expertise and experience. Looking at the programme you can see the work that has gone into the programme structure to know we are putting on a high quality world class MSK conference and it is something all MACP members can be proud to be associated with.
Anyway back to me. It was decided by the committee that I should be in charge of sponsorship and exhibition as well as general marketing, twittering and blogging about the conference.
So here I am with the conference happening in July and an exhibition hall to organise and income to generate. A large task, yes. One that could cause sleepless nights, yes. Once that we won’t achieve, NO.
Behind the scenes of the conference we have been working to build up interest with potential sponsors and exhibitors. We now have a comprehensive database of potential exhibitors with all the companies approached impressed by our professional attitude and what we can offer to promote their brand. We have looked to attract exhibitors that compliment the theme of the programme with “Expanding Horizons” and the extended practice roles physiotherapist now have in diagnostics, exercise prescription, research and prescribing.
I am lucky to have a great team working alongside me. Olli Brook from MCI is now part of the MACP family and mine and Chris’s biggest regret is after July we will not have our weekly (sometimes daily) updates from Olli.
My sponsorship partner in crime is of course Chris Mercer and we are often found together at conferences luring you in with Whiskey, Loch Ness monsters, pens and promotional items then talking enthusiastically about how this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to go to an IFOMPT conference in the UK (The UK hosted the last conference 40 years ago). Behind the smiles and warm welcome at the stand, is the long drives and early starts to these conferences. With both Chris and myself having young families, and full time jobs, any time away from home is precious so we are often up at 6am arranging meetings to maximise our conference input.
So this is a small request both to MACP and IFOMPT members and people coming to IFOMPT 2016 . If you are passing us at a stand, come and say hello. We love to talk to people about the conference and would love to share our journey to July 2016. So #followustoglascow.