Medical meetings leave legacy to ‘Make Glasgow Healthier’

Glasgow is using major medical meetings held in the city as a platform for championing and improving public health, delivering legacy benefits to local residents.

Glasgow Convention Bureau is leading the People Make Glasgow Healthier campaign, with support from the Scottish Government, the Scottish Event Campus (SEC), local industry and the city’s academic community.

The campaign reflects the city’s award-winning People Make Glasgow brand and nods to Glasgow’s influence in the medical meetings sector. The initiative is geared at taking key themes and messages – from obesity and organ donation to smoking cessation and cancer research – beyond the walls of convention venues and into communities; informing and empowering citizens.

2019 is a milestone year for Scotland’s largest city, with 13 medical association conferences taking place through to November, set to attract more than 20,000 UK and international delegates.

Aileen Crawford, Head of Conventions at Glasgow Convention Bureau, says: Glasgow has a proud history of medical innovation that continues to this day, through world-leading research from our universities. Together with our city and national partners, Glasgow Convention Bureau is leading the way in which conferences can realise tangible benefits for their host destination which go beyond the bottom line for our tourism economy.”

The People Make Glasgow Healthier campaign started in March this year, when a record number of delegates attended the International Forum on Quality and Safety in Healthcare at the SEC. The organisers, together with city partners and the Scottish Government, ran a Health Week at venues across the city.

Local health groups and volunteers were engaged to provide advice and information, including a ‘Quit Your Way’ smoking cessation event and organ donation registration teams. The activities reached more than 1,000 members of the public and resulted in 50 new registered organ donors.

Scottish Public Health Minister, Joe FitzPatrick says: “As one of the world’s foremost healthcare conferences, we felt it was really important that the presence of the International Forum on Quality and Safety in Healthcare in Glasgow had a positive impact on the people of the city. That is why we were very keen to have some of our cutting-edge public health campaigns on show while the forum was underway. Our CPR Ready, organ donation and smoking cessation campaigns were showcased in various locations and generated positive interest from local citizens.”

The initiative continued at The European Congress on Obesity, held at the SEC in April, through a public event at the Glasgow Science Centre.

Managed by the University of Glasgow, in collaboration with Glasgow Convention Bureau, the event presented research on population health, childhood obesity and physical activity. Attractions for the public included a pedometer step challenge, with 260 children and adults taking part.

Gillian Bell Engagement and Communications Officer, Public Health Sciences, University of Glasgow, says: “With such a major conference happening in the city, we were keen to engage a non-academic audience with the University of Glasgow’s research around obesity, physical activity and population health. Glasgow Science Centre was the ideal venue to get children, parents and tourists visiting our stands and taking part in our activities to help build a healthier city.”

Euan Woodward, Executive Director, European Association for the Study of Obesity (EASO), adds:A key mission for EASO is to advocate obesity as an urgent and relevant health priority to policymakers, research funders, health professionals, the media and the public.

“We were delighted when Glasgow Convention Bureau approached us with the idea of activating our public health message to the people of Glasgow, while the congress was taking place. The resulting family activity day, delivered by the University of Glasgow at the Glasgow Science Centre was an excellent example of the positive health impact a conference can bring to a destination.”


(via Glasgow Convention Bureau)