Conference & Meetings World Issue 118 - Page 30

WONCA 2022

Golden ticket event for family doctors

CMW INTERNATIONAL REPORTER , OLIVER THOMAS , HAS SAT DOWN WITH PROFESSOR SHLOMO VINKER , EUROPEAN PRESIDENT OF WONCA , TO DISCUSS THE 27TH WONCA EUROPEAN CONFERENCE

T he World Organisation of Family Doctors ( WONCA ) is set for its 27th edition of the European Conference , taking place at the ExCeL London , 28 June-1 July 2022 .

WONCA ’ s first in-person conference since the start of the pandemic aims to bring together family doctors and healthcare professionals from across Europe to meet , discuss and implement positive change .
CMW sat down with Professor Shlomo Vinker , European president of WONCA , to discuss the upcoming event and the contemporary issues with organising international conferences .
London calling This year ’ s WONCA European Conference is taking place in London , UK . A decision that was made by WONCA ’ s European Council , a body of representatives from all its 42 member countries , who decide upon a destination and venue through a bidding process three years in advance of the event .
Professor Vinker highlights how the strong home support for the conference was a crucial factor in London ’ s successful bid , as local financial assistance is key to the event ’ s economic sustainability
“ We ’ ve tried to recruit local sponsorship , which was quite successful in the UK ,” comments Vinker . “ It ’ s not usual in other countries , as normally a local industry doesn ’ t like to support international conferences . You need to build connections and infrastructure over a sustained period , which is very difficult .”
For instance , Vinker states that in the last WONCA European Conference in 2019 , the host destination , Bratislava , only saw 100 local doctors from Slovakia attend . However , it is expected that 800-1,000 participants from the UK are going to
“ This is the difference that makes the conference economically sustainable .”
attend , signifying the large home support for the conference .
Vinker comments : “ This is the difference that makes the conference economically sustainable .”
Additionally , the WONCA European president highlighted the importance of a strong local member organisation , such as the Royal College of General Practitioners . Having a strong local member organisation acts as a pull factor for sponsorship and large local attendance .
“ The Royal College is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year ,” states Vinker . “ So , they have a very big motivation to successfully host this meeting .”
London ’ s global connections and geographic accessibility were highlighted as another key factor for its successful bid . Around 60 % of the
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