When the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) convened the International Liver Congress in London last June, its main goal — like just about every conference — was to connect attendees and share knowledge. But EASL also had a broader mission for the annual congress, which attracted more than 7,000 delegates from 114 countries — to do something that Maraika Geisterfer-Black, EASL’s advocacy, policy and public health intern, thinks will be “almost a requirement for associations” going forward.
That’s to expand its reach beyond those delegates and beyond “simply the event that [EASL is] hosting or the economic impacts that we’re bringing to host destinations and show our host cities that we are bringing social impacts to them as well,” Geisterfer-Black said in a recent case study in The Iceberg Legacies of Business Events video series, presented by the Joint Meetings Industry Council. “As a medical association, we want to create value for our delegates, of course, but we also want to improve … the public health … [in] the cities that we’re working in. We want to disseminate that knowledge beyond the event space.”
So EASL built an impact project for the congress in London based on a joint venture between the association and The Lancet that highlighted the burden of liver disease in Europe, which claims 300,000 lives each year. With the goal of educating both physicians “and the public about the value of preventative screening,” Geisterfer-Black said, as well as raising awareness about the importance of diet and exercise in maintaining liver health, the congress’ impact campaign had three legs:
Love Your Liver — EASL partnered with the British Liver Trust to operate a mobile screening unit on site at the event, offering congress delegates and staff the opportunity to have their liver screened and have consultations based off of those screenings.
Be Nice to Your Liver — EASL created a program for students at a local primary school on the function of the liver, how to keep it healthy, and why it’s so important to their health.
Hepatology Is Hot — A day-long program of curated education presenting opportunities and advantages of a career in hepatology to medical students.
Take a look at how this campaign was carried out and the lives it improved in The Iceberg videos below.