The review of the 13th National Rural Health Conference from the post conference questionnaire is in. It provides helpful feedback and insights to inform planning for the 14th National Rural Health Conference to be held in 2017.
Almost half of the 1,189 delegates completed the questionnaire, and three-quarters said they felt ‘substantially re-energised’ to return to their work and improve rural health. Fewer than 23 per cent said they felt a ‘bit more energised’. As always, there was a broad mix of professional roles among delegates with the majority being health professionals (44%), followed by academics (18%), health service executives (16%), students (9%), and public servants (8%).
Eighty per cent of delegates thought the Conference program was highly informative and relevant, but only 25 per cent were equally positive about the poster presentations, and only 38 per cent thought the same of the colloquium sessions. Nearly all delegates gained a greater awareness of rural health issues and organisations, took the opportunity to network, and improved their understanding of contemporary rural and remote workforce issues. There was overall strong satisfaction with conference organisation, but some people raised concerns about there being insufficient time to ask questions during sessions.
Some delegates, particularly those who funded themselves, expressed concern about the high cost of the Conference. However, 75 per cent of responders strongly felt that the Conference was value for money.
The conference website was used by more than 90 per cent of responders, the Sharing Shed less so (75%), and roughly half and a third of responders used Twitter and Facebook, respectively, to post comments and keep up-to-date with what was happening. There was also universal disappointment that the wave pool next to the Convention Centre was out of order!