On 20 April this year, RISA held its inaugural conference for 220 healthcare professionals (HCPs). It was an outstanding success. Despite some of our volunteers pouring their heart and souls into it, they were struck down with illness so we had a smaller number of volunteers on the day than we’d planned, but it went really smoothly with lovely feedback about the organisation of the day.

The RISA conference team!

The RISA conference team! From L to R – Chrissy, Glenda, Naomi, Marina, Jo, Bec (with bump) and Bianca.

Interestingly, because most of RISA’s administration and organisation is done online – via email, skype or carrier pigeon – many of us met for the first time on the day. We had to hold ourselves back from proper introductions and catch ups until we’d managed to register 220 guests, sort out the needs of the venue, AV issues and the needs of 15 stall holders. Due to the blessedly fastidious nature of a few of us, we were still a well-oiled machine!

The overwhelming number of delegates and sponsors gave exceptionally positive feedback on the conference content itself. Here’s the summary:

  • 98% of delegates found the conference relevant to their work
  • Though quite a few were already well informed about infant reflux, 80% still felt the event would alter their practice.
  • 90% felt more confident to identify children who might be suffering infant GORD.
  • 83% felt more confident to identify children who might be suffering cows milk protein intolerance or allergy.
  • 80% of GPs felt more confident to initiate PPI therapy where necessary and the circumstances under which they would refer to a specialist.
  • 84% were more aware of the role of allied health professionals in helping these children (eg dieticians, speech therapists and occupational therapists).
  • 96% thought it was good value for money!!

Exhibition area in full swing

We were lucky enough to also have the Australian Breastfeeding Association and Bottle Babies attend on their own stalls and all the corporate stall holders also said they had a great day and got good access and feedback from the delegates.

An extraordinary amount of work went into the day (as these photos can attest – we spared you the pics of us at our computers in pyjamas at all hours!) and in the end RISA has made a very, very small profit from the event (we cut it fine but we scraped through! ;-)). It meant we budgeted well.

We weren’t intending to make money from the event. It was a day genuinely intended to increase the knowledge of medical professionals in Australia and we very much look forward to doing another in the near future. Decisions need to be made about whether to hold it in Brisbane again or another capital city and also if we should hold a parents conference on infant reflux.

Would you be interested in coming along to a parent focussed conference on infant reflux? What would you hope might be covered on the day? Let us know at info@reflux.org.au

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