‘Annual conference’ – that has a nice ring to it. Each year you meet up with colleagues, learn new things, experience new places, and then return to work recharged and ready to tackle the year ahead. But… does that get repetitive year after year?
In the background of every conference, the Local Organising Committee, supported by Sea to Sky, is brainstorming ways to ensure that ‘annual’ is anything but boring!
The Local Organising Committee (the host) has the advantage of knowing what locals like to do to have fun (social events), to meet and discuss issues (networking events), to visit the local sights (pre and post tours) and to ensure local customs are woven into the program (program design).
A great example of incorporating customs into the program was at the recent WCPT 2017 Congress in Cape Town, South Africa. A quick glance at the Congress’s photo gallery shows people drumming, dancing, getting their face painted, watching stilt walkers and sharing traditional African meals.
Photograph/s courtesy of the World Confederation for Physical Therapy (WCPT)
One notable element was the ‘Indaba Sessions,’ a relaxed and more informal space inspired by the African tradition of meeting and gathering. Participants were encouraged to wander in and out of the Indaba space at any time, or gather on the perimeter, to listen to what was happening. This networking space aimed to break down language barriers and the distinction between ‘speaker’ and ‘participant’.
Another was the types of activities offered in the Exercise & Wellbeing Area. During the break and lunch times, WCPT kept it light and fun by not only incorporating typical physical activities such as balance and grip tests, but they also included the South African “Potato Run”!
A more formal part of the program, the Clinical Visits, invited participants to visit local institutions where they observed local physical therapists in action, learned about the local healthcare system and discussed the approach to patient management with local physical therapists.
It is a special moment when hosts get to share the local customs that they are proud of with guests from out of town. Sea to Sky is lucky to be a part of that, and we bring so much about our province of British Columbia, our country of Canada and the world through collaborative work with each Local Organising Committee.
Give me a call to chat in true Indaba style about how Sea to Sky can help your Local Organising Committee infuse all things local into your annual conference!