Parkinson’s Ready: How Barcelona Braced for Impact

This case study reveals the impacts upon researchers, neurologists, patients, carers, and victims of Parkinson’s disease at the World Parkinson’s Coalition (WPC) Congress held last year in Barcelona.

It is also a product of the serendipity of two wholly unconnected business events because the opportunity to capture the intended impacts of the WPC’s Parkinson’s Ready Programme – including preparing a city for the arrival of a forthcoming World Parkinson’s Coalition Congress – happened purely by chance when The Iceberg met with Anna Bueno, the Association Meetings Manager for Barcelona Convention Bureau at the GDS-Forum held in Valencia in October, and consequently WPC’s executive director, Elizabeth (Eli) Pollard the BestCities Global Forum held in Melbourne in January.

Isn’t that an example of the unintended outcomes of business events!

The original World Parkinson’s Coalition Congress of 2006 has transformed from a purely scientific meeting for the research and clinical communities battling this frightful disease, to a fully immersive and inclusive event with the true experts – the patients – now at the epicentre of the delegate, speaker, and content curation of the event. But even before the event comes to town, the WPC enacts its Parkinson’s Ready Program to ensure that the 2,000 patients attending the event enjoy the benefit of fully trained stakeholders across the city, ready to welcome and to care for them.

If DEI needed a champion, it just found one!

In the ensuing video, Eli and Anna combine to tell their moving story…

The Parkinson’s Ready Program is now extending to cities which are not even preparing for the congress

Joining Anna in Valencia for the GDS-Forum was Geneviève Leclerc, the Business Event Industry’s High Priestess of Impact and architect of #MEET4IMPACT’s measurement tool, the BE Impactful Framework. Leclerc joins the conversation, confirming that initiatives such as the Parkinson’s Ready Program should be measured and then turned into stories. Her organisation is currently in measurement mode and their report will follow after the longitudinal study is data-collected. However, the BestCities Global Alliance have already published their own case study of the event and appropriate it is too, that it is the Alliance that has done so because the WPC 2016 event was an inaugural winner of the ICCA Incredible Impact Awards, developed in partnership with the BestCities Global Alliance (BCGA) in 2017. Last month, the BCGA revealed the first of 13 case studies and below you can find a video introduction to the alliance`s second Case Study featuring WPC. You will also find the alliance`s detailed report via the link at the bottom of the page. Bravo BestCities!

The BestCities Global Alliance has been at the forefront of the legacy movement, developing tools to assist associations to create positive impact

So, chalk this up to aligning stars, and pay greater homage to the enlightened vision of Pollard and the team at the World Parkinson’s Coalition who may have broken the mould of scientific meetings, placing the patients front and centre and ensuring that wherever they go in the future, the chances of a Parkinson’s Ready City being cognisant of their needs will be there to greet them.

And you can also view The Iceberg’s first report featuring WPC in 2018 which reflected on the event held in Glasgow in 2010. Featuring the Secretary and Board Member of WPC, Pat Davies, herself a sufferer of Parkinson’s. Joining Pat are The Iceberg ambassadors; Aileen Crawford, Head of Tourism & Conventions at Glasgow Convention Bureau, and then Director of Association Engagement at BestCities Global Alliance, Jane Cunningham, now the Director of European Engagement at Destinations International.

Further reading:

From BestCities: A BestCities Global Alliance Case Study: World Parkinson Coalition
From #MEET4IMPACT: Social Impact Report: Parkinson’s Ready Program 2023

From Boardroom: Barcelona: Unveiling the Impact of the Parkinson’s Ready Program

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