Amazing Client Outcomes

International Society of Advance Care Planning and End of Life Care

Background

In 2009, arinex were appointed to manage the Inaugural International Advance Care Planning 2010 after a successful bidding process. Brainchild of Associate Professor Bill Silvester, Director of the Respecting Patient Choices program at the Austin Hospital in Melbourne, the conference aimed  to generate discussion and provide experience sharing opportunities for health and social care professionals, and policy makers in advance care planning and end of life care.

Challenge: An inaugural Conference – no brand, no history and no guidelines

An inaugural conference provides an opportunity to make history and to set the precedent early on, establishing best practice and objectives for a strong conference legacy. The major challenge for the Organising Committee (OC) and arinex was that with no conference brand, history, preceding guidelines or marketing templates, everything needed to be established from scratch.

How could arinex, alongside the OC, best develop a strong marketing strategy for the Inaugural International Advance Care Planning Conference, attract the right audience, develop a real budget, and ensure a long-lasting model that would see future conferences grow and succeed?

Solution: Combine knowledge of the OC with the expertise of arinex

Rather than just focus on running the conference successfully from an operational perspective, arinexneeded to take it a step further and create a strong program and marketing strategy with formal guidelines documented for future use.

A quality program

It was pertinent that the conference feature a fantastic program that met the needs of the delegates, as well as the objectives set by the OC. To gather the support of renowned international speakers, arinexencouraged the OC to maximise their professional networks to ensure that the ‘best’ in the international industry would attend and speak.

Through the abstract submission review process (which was conducted by the client, Dr Silvester and supported by arinex), the program was broken down to a combination of plenaries, break-out sessions and workshops to allow for delegate interaction and participation. The workshops were particularly successful, allowing delegates to network and share experiences to document ideas for the future.  In addition, the high profile international speakers provided a global perspective on the industry and how their successes could be implemented here in Australia. 

 

Strong marketing

As part of the marketing strategy, arinex and the OC heavily researched institutes practicing advance care planning and related programs, targeting them through electronic marketing, OC contact referrals and direct calling.  Through this, strategic alliances were made with five industry-related sources and over 14 international and national conferences.

The conference marketing material was seen by an estimated 7,000 potential delegates nationally and internationally, creating an established mailing list of over 4,856 recipients from a combination of five databases.

18 ambassadors from different geographic regions were appointed. They were a mixture of speakers and personal contacts of the OC. arinex managed the Ambassador Program by supplying them with marketing collateral and updates so that they could become advocates for the conference. In addition, to increase the marketing database, the ambassadors provided contact details of people they’d met, who had expressed an interest in attending the conference. The result of the international Ambassador Program was that 14% of delegates were from overseas, a fantastic result for an inaugural Australian-created conference.

Create guidelines and best practice for the future

To gather comparative data and documentation for future ACP conferences, arinex ensured that a delegate survey was conducted. This survey was developed to include comment on program, posters, possible future conference locations, and opportunity to provide feedback. This was reviewed and analysed and a best practice set of guidelines were developed for future conferences.  

 Result

The Inaugural International Advance Care Planning Conference was a resounding success, with almost all of the OC’s objectives achieved and exceeded, including a 50% increase in expected delegate attendance.

The most unexpected outcome was that the success of the conference led to the creation of theInternational Society of Advance Care Planning and End of Life Care. The formation of the society was a suggestion that arinex had brought to Associate Professor Bill Silvester, after receiving overwhelmingly positive feedback from the delegates onsite at the conference.

The society will lead discussions and provide a positive platform for practitioners worldwide to discuss, debate and share experiences on advance care planning in end of life care. The society will also host future annual conferences, with the venues confirmed to be in the UK, America, and back in Australia.

arinex has been appointed core PCO to manage the society and the next five annual conferences, which includes London 2011, North America 2012, and Melbourne again in 2013 and 2016.

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