Talking Oncology Professional Care with Lucy Clarke and Liam Richardson
Launching a new event is always a daunting task, but how do you decide which event is worth the effort and how do you know where to start? With plenty of competition, other events, and resources available for HCPs, what does it take to make a new face-to-face event stand out from the rest and create real interest? We spoke to Lucy Clarke, Sales Manager, and Liam Richardson, Head of Content, to find out more about what goes into it.
Why is Oncology Professional Care launching as a face-to-face event?
The reason we’re launching the event is that we’re very aware that over the last two years it’s been very hard for professionals within oncology to access quality learning. On top of that their time has been really stretched because of the pandemic. Also there are concerns from experts that people aren’t getting the treatment, and aren’t identifying and presenting early enough and that there will be repercussions further down the line in terms of the treatment that is required. So it’s really essential that oncologists as a whole, and all the various multi-disciplinary bodies, are aligned and working closely because there is going to be a lot of work to come. On top of that, there is the very clear NHS Long Term Plan for cancer and that has been derailed slightly by the pandemic, so the focus must be getting that back on track. I think we’re providing the right forum to allow those discussions to take place.
Why do you think attending will be useful and valuable for attendees?
Oncology Professional Care is a free event for the NHS and crucially it is CPD accredited. We are more than aware there are a lot of events that people can attend, there are a lot of online activities, however we think we are providing a very valuable piece of information, because we are working with the right people from a number of associations and professional bodies. We are ensuring the content is right, the quality of speakers is right, and we’re making sure it’s multi-disciplinary so it’s bringing in the right audience and the right people to be able to network and to learn from each other. I think this is a unique event and something that nobody else really is doing, and this should become a valuable and important mark in the calendar every year.
The cancer services backlog is also something to consider: never before has it been more important to gain new knowledge to learn about new issues and how to deal with the backlog. The time is absolutely right to provide education for the healthcare professionals who have to deal with the backlog.
Why do you think exhibiting at Oncology Professional Care will be useful and valuable for exhibitors and sponsors?
As we all know, the last two years have been particularly tough for all involved, for both NHS and private hospitals providing treatments. And also for industry suppliers, they’ve had two years of not being able to get face-to-face with their current clients, or make appointments to see new clients. Oncology Professional Care will provide them with excellent opportunity to get out there again, speak face-to-face, to showcase their products and services to their current clients, who they may not have been able to see in a while and also potential new ones.
How do you build the educational programme and decide what goes into it?
First things first: we don’t profess to be experts and we’re certainly not clinicians by background. However, the benefit to that is that we are an independent body, we’re not political, we’re not trying to fulfil the needs of an organisation or organisations’ strategy. We look at things very objectively. The key to putting together the educational programme is talking to people who have attended our events in the past, talking to people we want to be attending the event, and learning from them what they think is valuable and what they’d like to see in the programme. Crucially, we’re working with an advisory board, a really respected group of people, that is across the professions. We’re working with pharmacists, nurses, consultants, oncologists, the full breadth of the sector, including Allied Health Professionals as well. We’re also, on top of that, making sure that all the content we’re looking at is right, is appropriate for the programme by looking at all that research. We’re also working with the right organisations; we’re closely allied with the NHS England and NHS Improvement, with Macmillan and Cancer Research UK and a number of other organisations, including groups like BOPA and UKONS, and understanding what their priorities are. That means we’re able to synthesise all the information and make a compelling programme from understanding what’s happening across oncology as a whole sector.
How is the community supporting the event?
Who are you partnering with and why?
We’re trying to make sure we’re reaching out to all parts of the profession, from professional bodies, charities, government organisations to NHS Trusts – trying to look at the full spectrum of the people we can involve in this and talk to so it’s a fully rounded event from an educational standpoint, but equally from an attendee’s standpoint.