KSS AHSN Expo and Awards

Designing an engagement solution that contributed to creating a sustainable healthcare innovation network across Kent Surrey and Sussex, delivering consistently high quality care within a vibrant local economy.

As a newly-established Academic Health Science Network (AHSN), Kent Surrey Sussex AHSN (KSS AHSN) needed an engagement solution that would contribute to creating a sustainable healthcare innovation network across in their area, delivering consistently high quality care within a vibrant local economy. 

This included raising the profile of joined-up working between KSS AHSN and key partners including Strategic Clinical Networks (SCNs), the Clinical Research Network Kent Surrey Sussex (CRN KSS) and Kent Surrey Sussex Leadership Collaborative (KSS LC) as well as connecting NHS leaders with high profile industry representatives to help foster trade and nurture relationships.

As leading experts in creative engagement solutions and implementing change management, Cynergy were asked to manage the design, planning and delivery of an innovative new ‘Expo and Awards’ event that would launch KSS to the forefront of AHSN innovation. The event was to have main stage presentations in tandem with a large expo, CEO Leadership Forum, Collaborative Seminar Sessions and an Awards Ceremony, so essentially five projects in one. The solution was designed as part of a wider strategy to engage stakeholders in KSS AHSN’s offer, spread and embed the message and create impact back within the system.

With over 14 years’ experience of working in the public sector, Cynergy fully embraced the challenges facing the AHSN to be budget conscious, whilst still delivering an impactful and meaningful solution.

Cynergy took a seat on the Steering Group made up of representatives from NHS, academia and industry, and played a key role in the planning and development of the project.

 In particular, our expertise was sought in shaping the programme to ensure that there were various opportunities to network and make connections for both the delegates and the AHSN, creating maximum ROI. As well as creating attractive sponsorship packages, informing the recruitment of delegates and designing an interactive, innovative marketplace, Cynergy’s role was key in ensuring that the event remained part of a bigger solution, creating opportunities for longevity and progression beyond the event itself.

Can I just say what a pleasure it was to work with you and your team, especially yesterday when nothing seemed too much trouble - what a luxury and meant we were able to concentrate on the introductions, networking and good old fashioned PR etc. which really brings the value out of the day

Client Feedback

On the day, delegates arrived to experience a busy, bustling Expo with exhibitors from industry, NHS organisations and academia split between distinctively designed zones; the ‘Innovation Hub’, designed to stimulate collaboration between NHS and the private sector, attracted industry names such as Astra Zeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim and Teva who shared the latest innovations in healthcare; ‘Quality Street’, aimed at promoting quality NHS projects, consisted of a gallery display of posters showcasing best practice in the region together with exhibitors such as KSSLC, NHS IQ and SEHTA. These zones were designed to encourage technology adoption and help provide the NHS with new and innovative digital solutions that could be taken back to Trusts and implemented within the workplace.

We intertwined creative elements including ‘Patient Safety Trees’ which displayed information on the Patient Safety Award Nominees, and a Collaboration Coffee Counter for delegates to continue conversations, with the aim of providing the best possible platform for those conversations to continue beyond the event.

The focus of the Main Stage presentations was collaboration to deliver greater patient safety, improving uptake of innovation and ensuring increased quality of care. The speakers had to be carefully briefed and stage-managed with a Q&A at the end of each session. The morning culminated in an address from Professor Sir Bruce Keogh supporting the important role of the AHSNs. His speech can be viewed here. The afternoon included the AHSNs’ annual Service Improvement and Innovation awards as well as the annual SEHTA awards.

As a result of the success of the Expo, the KSS AHSN network was strengthened, barriers were reduced and a platform was created for a wider communication and engagement strategy to unfold. As a direct result of the Innovation Hub, several industry solutions were implemented back within the NHS, creating impact and ROI. 

Having delivered the inaugural Expo, Cynergy were again asked to work with KSS AHSN and provided an expanded version of the event the following year, taking learning from the first year’s experience and shaping a solution that included more industry exhibitors, more delegates and new innovative zones allowing delegates to showcase their work and share the learning.

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