By Joyce DiMascio
Given the national and global focus on health matters, it seems only fitting that the first major show at the International Convention Centre (ICC) Sydney in 2021 will be Australian Healthcare Week, which the International Quality and Productivity Center (IQPC) will run between March 17 and 18, 2021.
Or at least that’s the plan. The global organiser is hoping to be able to get its community together for the important B2B event for the healthcare sector.
Traditionally, the business events year opens in February with Reed Gift Fairs Sydney, but this year, the big retail sector business event has been pushed back to mid-April due to the Covid clusters over Christmas.
Noel McDermott, regional managing director for IQPC said it was a critical time to be bringing together the healthcare community and he expects the event will be well supported. At present there are more than 250 exhibitors and three major conferences planned.
Attendees and exhibitors are eligible to apply for funding support through the $50 million business events recovery package of the Australian Government as the event is on Austrade’s Schedule of Approved Events which was announced in January.
ICC Sydney is highly credentialed in operating under Covid-Safe protocols and McDermott is confident the event can be delivered successfully in a community that is well versed in Covid safety.
The event, which has attracted around 7,000 participants, combines conferences and expos and this year will expand to include more virtual and hybrid elements.
“Covid-19 has disrupted every aspect of our lives so it’s a really important time for Australia’s healthcare sector to come together to collaborate and share ideas about how to prepare our hospitals, services and workforce for unforeseen challenges, like the current pandemic,” he said.
The IQPC business has swung into delivering virtual and hybrid events and Australian Healthcare Week will also adapt its delivery model to include a digital tier. In addition to the in-person programs, IQPC will also make the content available online.
Noel McDermott says it’s a bumper program for the on-floor events and online content.
The six free to attend on-floor programs cover the diverse interests in Australian healthcare including nursing and midwifery, healthcare workforce, patient experience, GPs and primary healthcare, women in leadership and startups.
The attendees at these events are likely to have access to the Covid vaccine and they have a unique understanding of health protocols, Mr McDermott said.
Like all event organising companies, IQPC has been through some harrowing times since the industry was shut down last March.
But IQPC quickly switched to a digital model in 2020 delivering a range of digital event formats.
“We went through some awful times last year and got onto “right-sizing” the business early – we then pivoted quickly to digital events and that has helped us to keep operating.”
The company delivers around 100 events a year in Australia – mostly in New South Wales (NSW), Victoria (Vic) and Queensland (Qld).
For more details about the program for Australian Healthcare Week visit: https://www.iqpc.com/events-austhealthweek/downloads/australian-healthcare-week-expo-view-2020-program