Sunshine Coast sees ‘healthy’ growth in medical-related conferences

The 2023 ESSA Innovation and Practice Forum is being supported by the Sunshine Coast Business Events Assistance Program facilitated by Visit Sunshine Coast in partnership with Sunshine Coast Council

After the pandemic crippled most health-related conferencing, the Sunshine Coast is witnessing a rapid recovery of the sector with the Exercise & Sports Science Australia (ESSA) Innovation and Practice Forum announced for 2023.

ESSA’S premier event for the year will be held at the Novotel Sunshine Coast Resort from 6-7 May 2023.

ESSA is nationally recognised as the peak advisory body for tertiary trained exercise and sports science practitioners and members include Exercise Physiologists, Exercise Scientists, Sports Scientists and High-Performance Managers.

CEO Anita Hobson-Powell said the 2023 ESSA Innovation & Practice Forum was specifically designed for professionals managing practices or for those who want to take the next steps.

“We know that many of our more than 8000 members want practical advice to assist in running their businesses, so the forum will offer hands-on demonstration sessions, applied learning for the day-to-day life of the ESSA professional, and cover topics ranging from business and guidelines to real-world implications and services,” she said.

“Forum attendees are exercise and sport focused professionals who work around the country in a variety of different environments, running small to medium sized practices, and have a real desire to help people live their best lives by being healthier and more active.”

The 2023 ESSA Innovation and Practice Forum is being supported by the Sunshine Coast Business Events Assistance Program facilitated by Visit Sunshine Coast in partnership with Sunshine Coast Council.

Visit Sunshine Coast’s CEO, Matt Stoeckel said the region was attracting strong interest from medical and health related sectors.

“The Sunshine Coast has outstanding medical, wellness and educational institutions, with a renowned research and development sector, so conferences aimed at enhancing health outcomes are a ‘natural’ for us,” said Mr Stoeckel.

“Following the pandemic, there is increasing demand for destinations that provide a healthy landscape, with an emphasis on a more open, less crowded environment, complemented by ease of access and high-quality facilities.

“By mid-2023, Sunshine Coast Airport will be linked directly to many of Australia’s major centres, as well as key regional hubs via the new Bonza airlines network, which will connect with 13 of Australia’s largest regional cities.”

The successful tendering for the 2023 ESSA Innovation & Practice Forum follows the Sunshine Coast’s hosting of the HIV&AIDS Conference and Sexual Health Conferences earlier this year, which attracted close to 700 delegates, with speakers from across Australia, Asia/Pacific and North America.

In addition, the 2022 United in Compassion Medicinal Cannabis Symposium was staged on the Coast and attended by medical professionals from around Australia. The in-person event saw delegate numbers increase by 25% from the initial expectation with close to 600 delegates attending.