Updated: 03/10/17 : 06:32:55Printable Version
More than 200 international delegates arrived in to Sligo on Friday last to attend the Firefly Summit, a gathering of world-leading podiatrists from across Ireland, UK and Europe.
Inspired by the Surf Summit event which took place in 2015, the conference took place at The Model arts centre and brought together local food, adventure and creative providers to deliver a conference with a difference.
Using The Model as a hub for the weekend, delegates were treated to an innovative programme of rapid fire presentations and un-conference sessions.
Leading podiatrists from across the UK and Ireland shared their 'clinical gold' with a delegates that ranged from undergraduate students to senior NHS and HSE practitioners.
Local caterers Kate's Kitchen, Shells Café, Sweet Beat Cafe, Fabios Ice Cream and Driftwood Coffee Cart provided a sensational real taste of Sligo with attendees commenting it was the best conference food they ever had.
Mary Harty, Sligo Chamber, Eva Dearie, Failte Ireland, Odilaun Hunt, Sligo BID, Gill and
Martin McGeough, Firefly, Aidan Doyle, President, Sligo Chamber and Brid Torrades, Sligo BID.
Firefly Orthoses is a Sligo-based company, which manufacture and distributes custom made foot orthoses to the podiatry profession across the UK, Ireland and further afield. The company had previously held conferences in London but decided to move it to Sligo this year as a direct result of Brexit.
“When sterling started devaluating on the back of the Brexit announcement, our margins were way down. We have managed to survive – but only just about. We had to decide how we were going to respond to it,” Martin McGeough, Firefly’s founder and medical director.
“Most companies look at how to increase prices or reduce costs, but we decided to focus on how to build relationships with our customers who are podiatrists, mainly based in the UK, and show them the type of business we are. So, rather than cut costs and not run the conference at all, we decided to bring our customers here to Sligo to show them where we are from and to cement those relationships and, hopefully, build more.”
Firefly also turned the concept of a medical conference on its head by taking speakers and delegates out of the lecture halls and into nature – together. Surfing, hiking, standup paddleboarding (SUP), golf and other activities were built into the programme of the Firefly Summit. This allowed attendees to connect with the UK and Ireland’s most renowned podiatric consultants and practitioners in a relaxed setting by removing the barriers of traditional conferences.
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