Historically, the Health + Care show has been the largest event in the social care calendar, attracting over 9,000 delegates across both health and social care falling under a variety of subsectors which have been evolving over the last couple of years.
As a result of this evolution, CloserStill, the organisers of the Health + Care show, made the decision to define four main categories across the sector and therefore structured the show a little differently this year.
The Health + Care show was divided into four subsectors, each with a different focus and all in one large space:
- The Healthcare show;
- Residential and Home Care show;
- IPC and Patient Safety;
- Digital Healthcare show.
Delegates no longer had to take 50,000 steps in search of specific supplier types and were far more likely to find what was relevant to them.
Delegates were still able to visit all the shows using their registration pass, though given that their interests were often within one subsector, some chose to only visit one. If you did only visit one, you may have felt as though the show was smaller than previous years, but in reality, you only saw a quarter of the show.
The entire Health + Care exhibition occupied over three times the floor space as it did last year. You can dip in and out of any number of the sectors. It was a self-designed show experience for the visitor… Genius!
As an exhibitor this year, I felt the new structure allowed brand positioning to be far more effective, attracting more relevant visitors to both our stand and our panel discussions. So, was it good for you? I’ve heard mixed reviews as to whether the show delivered what was expected or not. Having had time to take a step back and reflect on the experience, I am convinced that the key to success is all in the preparation.
It’s the age-old cliché, the more you put in, the more you get out. The show provides an excellent platform for lead generation, brand awareness and building relationships with people in the sector, but how you make use of that platform determines how successful the show was for you.
In my opinion, it’s due to the whats, the hows, the whos and the whys. What do you bring to the sector? How are you going to showcase or demonstrate that? Who will represent the company or organisation? And, perhaps most importantly, why do you do what you do?
The ‘why’, for me, at every social care event is to collaborate with like-minded sector leaders and to experience more innovation, discover more improvements to the quality of care provision and increase political engagement with the sector to drive change.
CloserStill attracts leading speakers and influencers year on year, and this year was no different. Caroline Dinenage, Minister of State at the Department of Health and Social Care, opened the show with the keynote address. Kate Terroni, CQC Chief Inspector for Adult Social Care, and all the leaders of the national organisations were also there under one roof. You really were in the presence of leadership, guidance, aspiration and success and it truly felt that way.
everyLIFE exhibited at the Residential and Home Care Show sector of the Health + Care show and one of the key highlights this year was the launch of the CARE badge, the unifying symbol of pride in care. We couldn’t have picked a better place to launch this initiative. The level of engagement and overwhelming positivity from other exhibitors and delegates brought the message of raising the profile of social care to life. everyLIFE, along with co-founders, Care England, the CloserStill team and key partners, National Care Forum and Apetito, were on hand to share this message and make sure it reflected throughout the two days.
The response was astounding both at the show and following the show with a surge in the number of badges being ordered. The level of passion and enthusiasm for a badge that celebrates the social care sector was largely supported by the sense of community that the Health + Care show creates every year. This year in particular, that sense of community was stronger than ever and a privilege to be part of.
If you’re thinking that these events are only worth attending every five years ‘just to see what’s new’, I’d say that you’re missing out. The level of commitment to improving social care is picking up such great traction and you need to be present to experience it.
Be proud to work in care, whether you actively provide care, own a care business or work for a supplier to the sector. These shows are where your efforts are appreciated, understood and supported. As long as you plan ahead!
By Anoushka Farouk, Director of Market Engagement