IVF babble chats exclusively to the organiser of the Berlin Fertility Show, David McAllister, on what visitors can expect from the first time event being held on the weekend of February 18 and 19
Why have you decided to organise the Berlin fertility show?
We have been running consumer health events in Berlin for a number of years. When we initially researched the fertility show concept, Germany was highlighted as one of the top destinations for such a show, based on the complicated legal system making it difficult for those seeking treatment to gain access to information.
What inspired the idea?
F2F Events specialises in consumer health shows, about ten years ago when we were running a show called The Back Pain Show, a high ranking medical director in the UK’s largest privately owned hospital group suggested the idea to us. Both I and my MD decided the concept was complicated and challenging so we declined to further research the idea. When the London fertility show popped up a number of years later and proved to be a success we kicked ourselves many times and vowed to launch it somewhere else in the world in the future and now the time is right.
What is unique about the event?
Germany makes this show very complicated and very unique compared to any other style of fertility show held elsewhere. The show is built around education and information provision, the participants are there to educate and must be sensitive to the German legal system and culture. We have also worked hard to attract all walks of visitors who desire to become parents.
Why is it important to host shows such as this?
For me personally there is no better way to engage than face-to-face. The technological age has made access to information so readily available which is great; however to cut through the good, bad and indifferent is a major challenge in modern life. A live place to gain insight into a specific health topic to help people make informed choices is a must for patients and service providers.
What would you like to achieve from the show?
For us it’s just about making the show happen, any launch event is difficult on any subject. This particular subject, in this particular country is more challenging than any other previous show launch we have done. We have covered the topics of back pain, disability, allergies, health foods, sports injury but this has been by far the most challenging and hopefully will be the most rewarding.
How many people are you expecting?
Our aim is to achieve between 2,000 to 3,000 visitors
Any lectures or talks that people should look out for?
For me the key is to offer a wide variety of subjects, topics and interests, I cannot gauge what individual visitors are looking for or need, so hopefully covering a breadth of topics and interests we can provide most visitors with a session or two that really provides them with the information or contacts they need.
Has anything similar been held in Germany before?
It is difficult to find any information on previous efforts, but I am aware of two events that were held for patients as information days. One was an individual clinic and one was a drug company. I am told one was successful but cost a lot of money and the other one was not so successful and also cost a lot of money.
What can visitors expect from the event?
Education, inspiration, networking and the opportunity to discover something new, meet new people and find the help they need, which includes realising they are not alone in their journey.
IVF babble are media partners to the event, something we are proud to be a part of.
Having spent the last 12 years running consumer health events, we can only become successful by surrounding ourselves and working with people who are also passionate about the subject, engaging with the same audiences and also want the show to be successful. I am an event organiser, not a fertility expert, In order to create an event the industry wants I need to work with the industry leaders.
What would you say to people who are thinking about coming along, but haven’t quite made up their mind?
What do you have to lose? I can’t think of a better way of someone to spend their time if they want to know more about a subject. I am yet to visit a show, or go to a meeting where I have not taken something away from it. If we are not careful we will create a society that just wants to sit behind a screen in order to obtain information, when the absolute best way is to meet, talk, discover. This is undoubtedly one of the most important decisions someone can make in their lives and why would you want to rely on the ‘google lottery’ to help make that choice.
Is the event going to be held annually from now on?
We plan to not only make this an annual event in Berlin, but if all goes well, we plan to add some other locations in Germany and take the concept to some other countries in the future.
The show takes place at the MOA Berlin and to register for free tickets visit http://www.kinderwunsch-tage.de/free-tickets/ivfbabble