UK-wide Q Community event 2019

Q is a long-term initiative led by The Health Foundation, which aims to connect and support people across the UK who have improvement expertise. Since 2016, the Q Community events have took place each year to provide opportunities for members to share their ideas, enhance skills and collaborate to make health and care better in the organisations and populations they serve.

The project

In the initial planning meeting, the leading purpose of the UK-wide Q Community Event 2019 was to galvanise continuous and sustainable improvement in health and care, by connecting the Q community of people with improvement expertise.

The event was set to welcome up to 400 delegates and was open to all Q members across the UK from different areas of expertise and levels of learning. The main objectives of the day included:

  • Building and strengthening connections across the Q community.
  • Developing skills through expert-led discussions and workshops.
  • Enabling the sharing of ideas and experiences through networking.
  • Providing collaboration opportunities for Q member attendees to make health and care better.

The Health Foundation also wanted to enhance their commitment to being sustainable, responsible and ethical, and so decisions and actions throughout the project needed to fulfil these aspirations.  

The approach

The role of Cynergy as part of this project was to provide our expertise in programme development, creative engagement solutions, and event management so that the Health Foundation had the support and knowledge needed to run an impactful and inspiring event for the Q Community.

With a large project at hand, it was important that both the Health Foundation and the Cynergy project teams both understood the aims, objectives and expectations of the event from the get-go. To begin, a kick-off meeting was set up to discuss first steps and learnings from previous Q Community events.

From this, a project plan with timeline was created to strategically plot the project lifecycle from start to finish. Deadlines and time frames were set for activities including venue securement, the provision of AV specifications to the supplier, programme design and development, and material design and printing. This document provided an overview of all scheduled activity throughout the process to keep the project on track and ensure everyone involved understood the vision for success.

In terms of sustainability, it was decided that the event would be ‘paper-light’, work with responsible suppliers and use a venue that pays their staff the real living wage.

The action

With specific requirements set, Cynergy started an initial venue source and pulled together multiple proposals from venues across the client’s preferred locations: London and Wales. Cynergy sourced DDR rates, room specifications, minimum numbers and from that were able to determine which venues were viable options for the Q Community event. Cynergy were responsible for scheduling site visits with the preferred options and liaising between the venue contact and the client, if any additional information was required. Site visits were also attended by Cynergy to consider the options from a logistical standpoint and to help the client envision how each space could be effectively utilised. As a result, the Kings Place in London was confirmed and Cynergy were their main point of contact throughout the entire process to ensure the Health Foundation team could focus on their own workloads and any issues could be resolved without concerning the client.

Following the venue confirmation, Cynergy worked with the Health Foundation to shape their content into a full day programme which would meet their objectives and leave delegates feeling inspired with new insight and better connections. Alongside insightful and collaborative workshops, we also understood that the event needed to encourage delegates to connect and have discussions on the topics they felt were important. Different networking activities were therefore created and developed as part of the agenda, with Cynergy working to ensure these were managed logistically and logically so that delegates got the most out of these activities. Networking activities throughout the day included:

  • Expanding Networks: Structured networking activity to help expand networks and support member interaction.
  • Collaboration corner: A space for delegates to submit an issue or question that they wish to discuss with other delegates who can in turn offer their own suggestions, knowledge and/or solutions.
  • Connect by colour: Coloured uplighters were spread out across the venue to create conversation areas and different topics were assigned to a colour and presented on screens.
  • Lunchtime meet-ups: Informal networking sessions during lunch which covered different SIG topics.

As well as connecting delegates, these activities were designed to enable thought-provoking, progressive and stimulating conversations between delegates and give them the power to discuss topics and issues they care about.

Our event platform was utilised to achieve a ‘paper-light’ event and to create an online and interactive space for delegates to book their place, view the agenda and ‘Star’ sessions they were interested in, find venue information, see who else was attending and connect with them, and to learn more about the sessions and speakers via both the event microsite and through the app on their phone on the day. This significantly reduced the amount of paper required for the event in terms of printing agendas, programmes, floorplans and delegate lists.

On the day, Cynergy were responsible for delegate management and registration, venue logistics and liaison (including AV and catering), managing external suppliers (e.g. additional furniture hire and equipment) and ensuring the day flowed seamlessly and to schedule.

 

Reflection

The UK-wide Q Community Event 2019 successfully brought together the community of Q members, creating connections and sharing experiences from their own improvement work. Delegates left feeling energised, inspired and stimulated by the content of the sessions and the day achieved a great mix of interactivity, conversation and networking.

In terms of the partnership between Cynergy and the Health Foundation project team, a strong, collaborative and open working relationship was further developed from previous Q years and this allowed us to build and create ‘the best yet’ Q Community event.

 

Testimonials

“Great sessions with much some inspiring/energising/ stimulating content. Great mix of interactivity and conversation. Terrific to have much more about the importance of communities and an improvement capability which includes non-professionals.”

“I’ve been attending QEvents since the start and this one has been the best QEvent yet”

“Q events could be called 'total experience' days! Q is a complete package! … From listening to inspiring speakers, from talking to Q members who have submitted project proposals, from being involved in the workshops and sharing ideas and listening to theirs with such wealth of experience in QI, to chatting to people standing or sitting next to me and listening to their work generally day to day.”