The story of the Fringe started in December 2013. With another year of health and social care conferences stretching before us, we decided it was time to try something different. We wanted to offer delegates a chance to share ideas and network in informal settings outside the conference centre environment. We also wanted to inject some fun into the experience.
And so we had no idea how it would turn out or what the events would look like, but last week the Fringe surpassed all our expectations. Over three days, we hosted a series of seven events in venues across Manchester, including the coolest bars, the Manchester Science Park and Great John Street Library, to the streets of Manchester for the #exporun.
Here are some of our highlights. A big thanks to everyone who supported us and made it such a great success.
NHS Choices data visualisation challenge
The data challenge threw down the gauntlet to coders, designers and data specialists to redesign one of the NHS Choices data hubs. Six teams pitched their ideas to the judges in a Dragon’s Den format to judges including John Coulthard, Director of Customer Relations at NHS England. The quality of the presentations and concepts was so high that the judges decided on a three-way joint win. Congratulations to all those who pitched.
NHS Change Day drinks
The mission behind NHS Change Day on March 3 was to inspire and mobilise people everywhere – including staff, patients and the public – to do something better together to improve care for people. This year, NHS Change Day inspired 300,000 pledges, and two hundred people turned up at the celebratory drinks party. #nhschangeday
ZPB Drinks Party
Expo delegates from across the sector joined us for drinks at the fabulous Artisan Bar. Thanks to everyone who attended. It was great to meet you all.
SoftServe Future of Health and Technology Dinner
Hosted by Eugene Borukhovich, VP of SoftServe and with a speech by Paul Wicks, from PatientsLikeMe and twenty select guests. Manchester’s immaculate Lowry Hotel provided the perfect setting for an evening of informal networking and conversations surrounding innovation and emerging tech trends in healthcare.
The Mede/Groove Jazz Party, hosted by MedeAnalytics
What a night! Guests danced until 2am to a superb live jazz performance from the Betting on Trains jazz band, featuring NHS England’s Tim Kelsey and MedeAnalytics’ very own Wayne Parslow. The big band, a live magician and a stellar crowd proved for an electric atmosphere, bringing day one of the Fringe to an exciting close.
Bracing the wet weather and formidable start time of 7.30am, Expo runners congregated at the Central Convention Complex and competed in the Expo Run, taking place over a one mile street course in the heart of Manchester. All twenty plus who braved the weather were winners here (shout out to Mede for the extra t-shirt layer!), but the top prize went to Tobit Emmens from Devon Partnership NHS Trust.
Health 2.0 investment clinic breakfast
The 2014 Expo Fringe was brought to a fitting close with the Health 2.0 Investment Clinic Breakfast at Manchester Science Park, which provided an opportunity for start-ups and entrepreneurs to find out more about investment opportunities and the realities of starting out in the health tech arena. Thanks again to the insightful and wise panellists – Ben Heubl, Vishal Gulati, Lorna Green, Julian Viggars, Kath MacKay, Denis O’Donnell and Andrew North.
Read a summary of the twitter chat surrounding the fringe.