On Saturday I attended the first ever Diabetes Expo for people with diabetes by Diabetes Victoria. 1400 people turned up for the day, which ran similar to how a typical day at a scientific conference would. The only difference is that presenters were speaking to people living with the condition rather than just other researchers or academics. It was a fantastic day, albeit very busy and seemed very well received by attendees.
Presenters at the event ranged from researchers to healthcare professionals to Diabetes Victoria staff. Of course, this gave way to a huge variety of topics throughout the day such as advocacy, nutrition and the latest research gossip. From all the presentations I attended, the information was simple to understand and most importantly, practical.
Admittedly, I didn’t make it to all the sessions as I wanted to check out the display booths at the event. And once I started doing that, I got slightly carried away chatting to old friends, making new friends and learning about what’s happening within the industry. Amazingly, I walked away without a new meter, which would have just ended up collecting dust at home anyway. I did bring home a new cuddle buddy by the name of Splash the Penguin though.
The Diabetes Expo event brings a lot of hope and excitement for me. It represents the beginning of bridging that gap between researchers, healthcare professionals and people with diabetes. Each of these groups see each other on a different level. In reality, the three groups should be collaborating to bring the best out of each other. Events like these are a fantastic opportunity for people to connect outside of research labs or clinics. So while the inaugural event was attended by 1400 people, I hope that next year’s event (if there is one) will be attended by many more!
To catch up on some of the action from the day, check out #diabetesvicexpo on Twitter.