Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this blog are entirely our own and not necessarily those of our employer or any other occupational therapist.

Friday, 21 June 2013

COT Annual Conference ---- and Occubuzz

Today sees me trying to return to "normality" following 3 days in Glasgow for the COT annual conference. Sarah and I were in attendance having had a number of abstracts accepted for poster facilitations, a seminar and an innovative technology stand. At the time of submitting abstracts (usually September time) it feels such a long way away to the following June - however it crept up on us and with the usual last minute flurry of activity ensuring posters were designed and printed, presentations were ready and we had material to make our stand "stand out".

Highlights of the 3 days:

a) Meeting so many people in "real world" that we had met and connected with through our social media networking - in particular a number of our Post graduate students on our online MSc programme that we have never actually "met" before. Watching people move and hearing them speak is a fascination that never wanes - so now, when we return to virtual space we can have a more rounded picture of our connections. So if you came and found us to say hello - thanks - we loved meeting you.

b) Of course catching up with everyone was great.

c) Introducing Michael Iwama to Occubuzz and almost having a preview of his dance moves perfected for the evening's gala - Michael -we may not have been there to see them - but we now have eye witness accounts and photos - so we know it happened - and good reports have been filed :-)

d) Coming away with potential collaborations to explore further including being approached both by a publishing company to consider writing a book and a USA recruitment agency interested in our online training capacity and capability.

OCCUBUZZ - the interest generated out-performed our expectations. We were swamped everytime we were on the stand by people wanting to talk about the app and it's potential. Our "sticky bee" stickers became cult with people coming to ask for one - however they had to listen to our spiel before we would give one out.
You can find out more about this on the Occubuzz tab at the top of the page. Please download the app and play with it - it is a prototype and there are some gremlins but your feedback is vital to our development of version 3 which we are then hoping to use in some research with practitioners and the general public. We hope to have a blog and a facebook page just for Occubuzz coming very soon......

f) Attending the Student presentations where 2 of our students were presenting their experiences of a volunteer project using occupation as the focus for a Carer Support group we have worked on with a local Trust. Sam Tozer and Louise Hesketh - you were great, professional, clear and extremely interesting in your reflections and what you shared -great experience for the CV. (Of course not forgetting Helen Hampson and Maria Lynch who were part of the project too). More information about this project can be found on our poster (Evaluating an Occupation Focused Group for carers of people with mental health conditions). Click here

g) Dare I mention the free food and drink copiously provided on the first evening back at the hotel by the recruitment agency that over-predicted numbers of delegates. Our gain I believe :-).

h) Making some headway in the development of social media guidelines for health and social care professionals. Our seminar on Professionalism in the Digital Age was well attended (even at 9am!) and we received some useful comments on the risks and challenges ahead that need to be addressed. Watch this space as we work with our national and international colleagues on this project.

At the moment this is about all I can remember. I return to be swamped in emails, admissions queries, marking and other bits that don't seem to care that I have been away - I will attempt to follow up with more info very soon - and yet again I make a resolution to be a better blogger.
Any hints and tips on how to be a more regular blogger would be well received. Thanks for your continued support.

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