Harness the Energy of a Good Coffee Break at your Next Conference

Harness the Energy of a Good Coffee Break at your Next Conference

We collate a number of event survey reports. You may be surprised at how many traditional conferences the coffee break is voted the best part!

On the odd occasion the coffee is just that good! More likely though, it’s that the delegates have the freedom to chat and converse about what interests them that they enjoy the coffee breaks that much more.

Achieve better engagement by moving past standard presentations and rethinking content delivery.

Harness the value of unexpected coffee conversations and invite your delegates to create a participant driven agenda. This can be done for with the full meeting or just a section of the program depending on the objectives of your meeting.

The concept of ‘un-conference’ has been around for some time. In short this methodology allows participants to decide discussion topics, the highlighted speakers and the sessions offered.

Want to give it a try? Here are 6 quick tips:

1 Pre-plan: 

Send out polls and surveys allowing participant to vote on topics, speakers and sessions. Based on the results then form the agenda.

2 Focus on facilitation: 

Appoint strong facilitators to assist in fleshing out questions, comments and conversations.

3 Reward contribution: 

Offering incentives for contribution will increase the number of participants who contribute.

4 Embrace debate and accept disagreement: 

Unless you do this, you will limit delegates willingness to contribute.

5 Provide group note taking: 

Make use of the right technology to record the activities, presentations and actionables. Consider online wikis or shareable digital documents such as Google Docs.

6 Allow space for the unknown: 

create space for flexibility and the unexpected, sometimes this is where the greatest ideas come from.

Why do this?

  • You will tap into the power of your people! Some of the best ideas never make it to the surface because we are not given an opportunity to share them.
  • Allowing your audience to participate in the creation of the agenda will increase learning, engagement and ownership. Delegates who participate more actively in the creation process will have higher levels of retention and contributing to the process create will a natural sense of ownership.

Other great ideas:

  • Use a fun game to break the ice: Start by giving participants an opportunity to let loose and get their minds to wander. Try a “snowball fight”. Provide paper and pens and ask the participants to reflect on a topic or idea, write it down, and then add their name to it. Once they are done, everyone can ball up their piece of paper and start a snowball fight! Spit the room into two halves, have one side throw first, get them to pair up with whoever picked up their snowball, and allow some discussion of the topic or idea. Afterwards, repeat the process with the second group.
  • Consider a ‘facilitator on the floor’ idea. During workshop-style sessions, appoint a strong facilitator to walk the floor with a microphone and continually engage with participants. This works best when participants are seated at tables. It  will improve interaction and engagement.
  • End your program with a time for reflection. Give time for the audience to determine the most resonating points of the day, and then let them submit their own responses and collectively vote for and prioritise them. This is a great way to have your audience actively participate in summarising the day’s activities. An Event App or wireless keypad will do this well.

Here are some helpful posts about un-conferencing you may enjoy reading:

How to run a great unconference session.

How to Run an Un-Conference.

At Participate we offer several technologies that will support various aspects of ‘un-conferencing’, if you are interested contact us and we’d be happy to share our experience and expertise with you.

Harness the Energy of a Good Coffee Break at your Next Conference2018-11-08T08:25:48+02:00

Calculating Event Return on Investment

Calculating Event Return on Investment

Creating great events begins with clear event objectives.

The challenge – how do we measure this?

As an event planner, understanding the strategic value of an event and how to measure its return on investment (ROI), will set you apart and position you as more than just an event planner.

If your event is set up exclusively for sales, it may be as simple as income less expenditure. But there is so much more to ROI than just profit. Measuring profit alone may overemphasise the value of money and overlook many of the actual factors that made it successful.

True success in events is measured by its ability to generate more value for the organisation than what was spent on it.

There are many more metrics to consider if you want an event that will grow year by year. In today’s digital age analytics are no longer a nice to have but expected. Guess work can be eliminated when using the right technology. For example,  event apps offer a number of detailed analytics which can be used for reporting.  You can measure progress in real-time.

Start by considering each stage of the event:

“True success in events is measured by its ability to generate more value for the organisation than what was spent on it.”

– David Wilson

1 Pre-Event

Here you need to create demand and effectively promote your event. Using the right technology normally a combination of registration software, email CRM and your website you will generate the data you need to measure your effectiveness.

2 At the Event

After profit, engagement is the next most important metric. The experience you create for your delegates is what they are left with and what they will speak about long after your event is over, great engagement makes great events. Ask your clients what is important to them, make sure you have mechanisms in place at the event that capture the data you need.

3 Post-Event

This is where you will consolidate the data from the various tools you have used and create a clear picture of all your efforts with an event report for your client and hopefully meaningful data you can reference in planning your next event.

Calculating your success you need the right metric and the right technology.

It requires some planning and the discipline to do it.

Here is a list of common event objects that you are welcome to refer to when planning your next event:

  • Achieve a profit
  • Close sales
  • Build awareness
  • Gather leads
  • Market research
  • Influence brand perception
  • Launch a product
  • Recruit new partners, distributors or employees
  • Build and retain customer relationships

Then to assist further here are some metrics you can consider using to measure your efforts:

Primary Objective Associated Metric for Measurement Tool or Mechanism
Achieve a profit
  • Calculate Return on Investment ratio,
  • Expense vs Sales ratio
Accounting Software, Ticket Sales Software
  • Number of sales closed,
  • Number of purchase orders signed,
  • Number of new customers signed
Order Book, CRM Software, Event App
  • Number of Invitation emails opened,
  • Number of delegates attended,
  • Pre-post survey questions that measure awareness levels before and after,
  • Number of mentions in the press
CRM Software, Event App, Audience Response Technology, Social Media Monitoring, Printed Media
Gather leads
  • Number of qualified leads,
  • Or the cost per qualified lead
Event App, Audience Response, Registration Software, QR Codes
Market research
  • The number of surveys completed
Event App, Audience Response
Influence brand perception
  • Pre-post survey questions,
  • Number of customer appointments scheduled,
  • Increased revenue from existing customers
Experiential Marketing, Event App, Audio Visual effects, Social Media Monitoring
Product Launch
  • Number of products ordered,
  • Number of press mentions,
  • Number of qualified leads,
  • Number of meeting requests
CRM Software, Event App, Self-reporting from Sales Reps
Recruit new partners, distributors or employees
  • Number of recruits, Cost per recruit
CRM Software, Self-reporting
Build and retain customer relationships
  • Number of customer appointments scheduled,
  • Sales from existing customers
CRM Software, Self-reporting

If you need help measuring your event ROI or want to learn more about how to do so and what technology to do it with, reach out to us.

We’ll be happy to help with a complimentary in-person consultation.

Calculating Event Return on Investment2018-10-08T12:38:38+02:00

Clickers or mobile? Or should you use both?

Clickers or Mobile? Should we use both? 

Statistic show for 2017, the number of smartphone users in South Africa is estimated to reach 18.48 million and is expected to reach over 25 million by 2022. According to the Pew Research Center, 94% of adults in the United States ages 18 to 29 own a smartphone.

It is not surprising, then, that the debate over allowing students to use phones and other types of electronic devices in the classroom is as passionate as ever.

Interestingly though just last year, a New York Times op-ed encouraging instructors to completely ban laptops and other electronic devices during lessons provoked numerous spirited responses ranging from enthusiastic agreement to vehement opposition. A study recently published in Educational Psychology asserting that in-class cell phone use results in lower test scores has prompted similar reactions.

Over the years Turning Technologies has partnered with instructors whose opinions on this topic span the entire spectrum. Those experiences taught us an important lesson: A response solution that offers both clickers and mobile responding options serves the needs of everyone in ways that mobile-only systems cannot.

Lesson 1 Learnt – Build a System to Accommodate Both

Turning Technologies has considered what they’ve learnt partnering with instructors whose opinions support both arguments when creating the new TurningPoint 8. The requirement was a response solution that offers both clickers and mobile options while serving the needs of everyone in ways that mobile-only systems cannot.

Lesson 2: Suprise, the Demand for Clickers Remains!

So far in 2017, Turning Technologies analysis of its TurningPoint 8 users show some interesting results.

  • 74% of TurningPoint sessions used only clickers
  • 15% used only mobile
  • 11% were hybrid (both mobile and clickers).

This means that instructors used clickers in 85% of their sessions.

Despite the continuing growth in mobile usage, the data shows that most instructors are still more comfortable with clickers or prefer to offer students the option of using clickers.  Accordingly, usage of response technology will be higher at institutions that support both clicker and mobile environments.

ResponseCard RF LCD Keypad

An Advocate for Clickers 

Meshagae Hunte-Brown, a teaching professor at Drexel University, uses TurningPoint to facilitate not only engagement, but also frequent testing in her large biology classes. This allows her to test students every week, rather than only a few times every semester.

Hunte-Brown does not let students respond with web-enabled devices, and instead requires them to purchase one of our full-featured clickers.

“There are mobile options, which I no longer use because I can’t have a student on a cell phone during a test,” she said. “Now I have the security of this device that allows for automated grading, but also really cuts down on opportunities to cheat.”


An Advocate for Mobile

On the other end of the spectrum, Jim Mitroka, an associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences at Palm Beach Atlantic University, elected to use a fully mobile solution in his classes. This choice was primarily a matter of convenience, since students at the university’s Gregory School of Pharmacy already have tablets available to them.

Mitroka was less concerned with high-stakes testing, and more focused on engaging students in his classes with active learning approaches like the flipped classroom model.

As he puts it, “Getting students engaged is the problem that is solved by using TurningPoint student polling.”

An Advocate for Both

Finally, some instructors choose to empower the students themselves to decide which response option is best for them. Senior Lecturer in Music and Director of Learning and Teaching in the School of Arts at the University of Surrey Christopher Wiley, for example, always offers students the choice of using either the TurningPoint app or a clicker simply because “with the higher student fees, students cannot always be expected to own a smartphone.”

How do I choose?

You should consider a number of factors when deciding whether to use mobile devices, clickers or both.

  • IT infrastructure: First, consider the IT infrastructure where you will be running your polling sessions. Can the Wi-Fi network reliably handle simultaneous responses from hundreds of students? If not, clickers may be the way to go.
  • Affordability: Cost is another significant factor to consider. As an initial step, standardizing on one response system acceptable to all instructors is the best way to save students money so students do not have to purchase multiple subscriptions or clickers.
  • Access to web-enabled devices: Beyond that, do all of your students have smartphones or laptops? If not and you are interested in a mobile-only solution, do you have a plan to supply web-enabled devices to those students?
  • Faculty opinions: Finally, faculty opinions should be weighed carefully. If everyone agrees on using mobile devices or clickers, the choice is easy. If there are opposing views, then a hybrid option is an effective way to decrease conflict and increase usage, whether for simple engagement or high-stakes testing.

At the end of the day, every organization’s situation is unique, and its administrators and faculty members have to decide which response option is best for them. Clients are not shy about telling us what they want, and we have heard you loud and clear: A response system should not limit your choices, but instead provide the flexibility to support you and your organization’s needs, both today and into the future

Chat to us today we are already working with 14 universities in South Africa, we want to see you succeed.

The original article was published by Turning Technologies and is available to read here.

Clickers or mobile? Or should you use both?2018-09-13T15:52:04+02:00

The Secret Weapons of an Event Organiser

Do you have the Event Organiser Secret Weapon?

Whether you are an experienced event organiser or just starting out as an event professional I don’t need to tell you how many moving parts there are when it comes to successfully orchestrating large-scale conference or events.

Simply put the best events I have been involved with share the following core ingredients:

  • An dynamic and passionate team of orgainsers
  • Knowledgeable and experienced service providers
  • A fantastic venue
  • An investment in the right technologies

Most event organisers have all been there, doing everything on your own, juggling too many balls, eventually dropping one or all of them resulting in failure, unhappy customers and disappointed audiences.

Is technology enabling or disabling you? Could it become your secret weapon?

Just over a decade ago I identified that we could help. We could provide technology that could become the event organisers side-kick, their secret weapon. Our company uses technology to relieve some of the greatest challenges events face and allow organisers to focus on what matters most, creating those amazing events.

Having serviced thousands of events across 12 countries with hundreds of customers and walking alongside many event professionals we have learnt a lot about what works and what doesn’t at events.

Some food for thought around typical challenges faced by every event organiser.

Delight your Audience with Real Engagement

So, the event starts, uh oh, your speaker is dull, now what? Your audience begins fidgeting and looking at their phones, they are bored, can you do something? In the words of Obama, Yes you can! Avoid this situation by using the right technology.
Make dull speakers seem brighter and great speakers rock stars using technology. Connect them with their audience using audience response technology or an event app. Change the one directional monologue into an engaging multi-directional conversation, it’ll make a HUGE difference, I promise!

Most people fear public speaking, roving mics are only really used by the small minority who are comfortable to do so. Consequently, you lose many potentially valuable insights and conversations. There are better other ways to create engagement.

Live Polls to the Rescue

The standard modus operandi in a presentation is for a speaker to ask questions and then three or four roving mics dart around. What if you could level the playing field and make participation fun?

How about inviting everyone anonymously to participate and answer questions where their responses are instantly displayed? Using an event app or wireless handheld devices your whole audience can respond in real-time, compare their answers, reflect on the experience and perhaps even start debates.

Real-time Comments and Questions for the Win

What about those who don’t have the confidence to ask the speaker questions directly? Using the ‘ask a question’ function in an event app can help. Using it the whole audience can pose questions and comments anonymously. The really cool feature of this is the option to ‘up vote’ your favourite comment or questions. This creates a really dynamic experience for everyone! By voting the audience organically prioritises what they feel is most important and the speaker can then address the actual most burning issues rather than assuming what’s important or unknown to them.

The Million Dollar Questions

How was your response rate to the last event survey you created? You’re lucky if you got 30% of the audience to actually complete are return the survey forms. Beyond that, someone still has to collect them all and begin the time consuming and costly exercise of data capturing, collating and building a report. Some don’t even bother as the required effort outweighs the value. With an event app, you can have active surveys running all the time, you’ll find some participants will complete them whilst exploring the event app on their own. You can also use automated direct notifications or emails with direct links to the surveys, this will increase your completion rate because it’s effortless and easy to do. Even better you can incentivise the completion of the feedback with surprise giveaways or run a competition for those who complete the surveys.

Give the Event Life before its Begins and long after it Ends

Have you ever calculated the cost of your event per hour? It’s a sure way to raise your blood pressure and anxiety! When you use an event app you automatically extend the longevity of your event. Firstly, you begin communicating way before it starts. Develop your pre-event strategy, communicate and publish what’s most important and be sure to track open rated and page views. Once you send out the first communication everyone installs your event app, effectively placing your brand on every participants personal device. How’s that for exposure!

Post event the event app remains on everyone’s device as a point of reference and a great resource. It becomes a digital directory of all who attended, photos of newly made acquaintances and business prospects. It contains the presentation content, records of conversations, photos and shared memories of the experience.

Your Event Ninja, One Stop Solution and Secret Weapon!

The Event App isn’t purely to engage with an audience and collate data, it’s far more useful for you as an event organizer. Think of it as your program on steroids with a truly interactive functionality, a mobile information kiosk customised for each person that fits in their pocket that makes everything easier, it is your ninja sidekick, your secret weapon!

Let’s look at some key benefits:

1. Event Registration and RSVPs are all efficiently managed digitally with integration into the event app, from the moment you first connect with your audience you can already start measuring their interaction with your meeting and driving behaviours.

2. Digital Agenda, Speaker Bios, Maps and all pertinent Event Information is conveniently accessible on everyone’s personal device. No more delegates desperately looking for the event organiser to ask them questions, they just consult the info kiosk in their pocket!

3. It’s good for the environment. No need for those expensive printed programs! For just about the same print budget you can have an Event App! The horror of a last-minute changes are eliminated, no more printing inserts, just update the Event App and send out a notification!

4. Gamification. Use a strategy that taps into some of the core drivers of our human behaviour that revolve around status, achievement, and rewards. Create games that help you achieve event objectives. Use the event app to draw attention to certain sets of information or content. Create games and competitions based on the need of the particular client such as scavenger hunts, quizzes and networking activities which promote communication amongst delegates. Download our Ultimate Guide to Gamification here to learn more.

5. Communication. Delegates can use the app to connect with other delegates, join chat rooms to discuss topical issues and participate in live polls, ask speakers questions, answer surveys and read material ahead of time at their leisure. Event alerts notify guests of any important information when they need to know it.

6. Your Digital Business Card. It becomes a digital business card for them and everybody else who’s there, just like a phone book but now with photos! After the event, you can continue conversations, with the ability to direct message participants and speakers.


If you are in the business of planning events, there is no better assistant than a reliable piece of technology to keep track of all these moving parts. It becomes your one-stop-list where every single piece of the puzzle is collated and allows you to put together the memorable and flawless events your clients crave!

Chat to us today to be your technology partner to great events.

This article was first posted here and titled ‘ The Secret Weapons of an Event Organiser’

The Secret Weapons of an Event Organiser2018-09-11T17:42:26+02:00


If you are not directly automatically, please click here to navigate to the Comic Con Africa Event App.


Student wish list 2018

Student wish list 2018

As we start wrapping up a long year, papers are set and students are writing exams it is the best time to focus on the year ahead and the Impact you can make on your students of 2018.

Students of today thrive on engagement 

Students are online most of the time and the best way to learn is to get involved alongside them. Even the shyest of students, want some level of participation. We offer a technology that will facilitate this process in your classroom.

Teaching by reading from a text book or writing some words on a board are methods from before the industrial revolution and your class will soon deflect their attention to their mobile screens for more inspiration.

Get instant feedback on the material being shared, get students to engage with each other and the lecturer, using the latest in Student Response Technology (commonly referred to as clickers).

Students want a voice in the class, 80% of what we retain in our minds is what we’ve experienced in class.

Using clickers you’re able to immerse your students and create a collaborative learning environment, one that students are craving. They can be used for individual work or in group activities.

Teaching with clickers, Lecturers are more agile in their teaching methods, as they’re able to accurately and immediately gauge student understanding of the topics being discussed whilst tracking individual performance and keeping the whole class engaged.

Make 2018, the year your students get their wish.
Involve them don’t just teach them.

Chat to us today and we can assist you in delivering truly engaging lessons in your classroom.

Student wish list 20182017-11-21T17:38:18+02:00

7 Tips To Make Sure Your Event Doesn’t Suck

7 Tips to Make Sure your Event Doesn’t Suck

No event organiser wants the only memory of their event to be the food, unless it’s a food event that is. What we all want is a memorable event that delegates continue to talk about long after its finished and if the event is repeated that they all come back for more.

Based on our experience in supplying over 1,000 events with our services, we’ve summarised seven key tips on creating memorable and valuable events that will keep your delegates coming back:

1. Answer the 4 ‘W’s – Why, What, Who, Where and When?

Many events fail because they are created based on a ‘wonderful idea’ without much thought as to a purpose. Without a clearly defined purpose, objective or a clear business reason you will be doomed for failure.

Consider the type of event that will best achieve your objective and engage with your audience.

Who is your audience and what will appeal most to them? Where do they live and how will they access your event?

Where and when?
Location, location, location! Research shows most declined RSVPs are due to an inconvenient date, time and location. Be sure to select a location that is easy to access and will meet the physical and technological requirements for your event, have a ‘plan B’ in the event of any unforeseen circumstances.

2. Planning – say what?

Pay sufficient attention to planning! Plan ahead and create a timeline from start to finish. Your plan should include budgets, logistics, content and promotion. Identify and manage your risks and where possible account for any unexpected situations that may arise in your budget.

Use the cloud! There are numerous online collaboration tools, many free, where you can create and share all the resources linked to your event. This way you can collaborate with your team, delegate tasks effectively and ensure everyone is always up to date.

3. Metrics, Metrics, Metrics, did I say Metrics?

The devil is in the details! If you want to evaluate, you must first measure. The fundamental metrics that should be tracked are: budget, performance, return on investment, and client satisfaction. Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback.

4. Engagement, no seriously they need it!

‘Tell me and I forget.  Teach me and I remember.  Involve me and I learn.’

– Benjamin Franklin

If your event has no plan for engagement don’t bother having it. Engagement is no longer a nice to have but rather an imperative and your delegates will expect it. Allow time for meaningful networking. Participate Technologies are experts in audience engagement, Contact us today to explore the best ways for you to engage with your audience.

5. Content is not king. QUALITY CONTENT is!

In a shallow world of distraction and vast amounts of data, your key differentiator should be the value you offer. Be sure to research your content well, find the best professionals to share their knowledge and secure them well in advance.

6. Calm Down! Chill out…

It may sound silly, but it is essential. Try to be one step ahead; something will not go according to plan and you need to be ready for that. A fit of panic or rage is not going to help the situation and only add more stress. If you are able to stay calm you can respond and think clearly, rather than react irrationally. You thereby minimise the impact of the crisis and your delegates and stakeholders will be none the wiser to the mishap.

7. COMMUNICATE! Yep it’s that simple.

Make sure delegates can get the information they need – when they need it. If potential delegates have a question, you want to make it easy for them to get the answers they need quickly or even immediately, before they forget their question or move onto the next one.

An Event App is a fantastic way to ensure everyone has the information they require, which will make the event organisers life a lot easier! The Participate Event App can guide delegates to the venue, provide any necessary details, as well as host the agenda and information about speakers. They can manage their catering preferences, earmark speakers and use the app to facilitate great networking opportunities with other delegates.

In Summary

Ensuring that your delegates keep talking about your event brings the audience and speaker closer together and guarantees a better experience for all concerned.  Keeping delegates in touch with the content on the day and engaging with them in real time is truly beneficial to your business and to them personally.

Participate Technologies has found a way accomplish this, using innovative technology.

Post event, all material used or presented can be digitally delivered to delegates, creating an opportunity for delegates to engage with each other and speakers to encourage cooperation and develop new business opportunities.

Chat to us today to be your technology partner to great events.

7 Tips To Make Sure Your Event Doesn’t Suck2018-09-11T13:21:20+02:00

Novartis Innovations in Heart Failure – Program

16h30 – 17h00: Arrival at the SA Heart Congress 2017 with Heart Failure Patient Experience
17h15 – 19h00: Opening and Welcome
David Jankelow (SA Heart 2017 Congress Chair) / Liesl Zühlke (President SA Heart)
50th Anniversary of the First Heart transplant
• A global perspective of the race to the first heart transplant - Donald McRae (UK)
• My story, my mountain, my transplant - Kelly Perkins (USA )
Honorary Awards
Introduction of Heart transplant patients - Dr. Graham Cassel
19h00 – 22h00: Welcome Cocktail and “Meet the Expert, Q & A Session”
(Novartis Exhibition Stand /Exhibition Hall) Prof. John McMurray and Dr. Eric Klug.
Novartis Innovations in Heart Failure – Program2017-10-26T16:41:29+02:00

Novartis Heart Failure in Focus – Program (CT)

18h30 – 19h00: Arrival and Registration
19h00 – 19h15:
Welcome and Starters
Prof P Commerford (Chairperson)
19h15 – 20h15:
Prof J McMurray
20h15 – 20h30: Main course to be served
20h30 – 21h00: “HEART FAILURE IN FOCUS” PANEL DISCUSSION (With Main Course)
Prof J McMurray / Dr. J Trokis / Dr. R Theron / Dr. J Hitzeroth
21h00 – 21h30: Dessert and General Discussion
22h00: Depart
Novartis Heart Failure in Focus – Program (CT)2017-10-26T16:41:15+02:00

Novartis Innovations in Heart Failure – Speakers (JHB)

Professor John McMurray 
Professor of Cardiology (Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences) and Associate (School of Medicine, Dentistry and Nursing)

John McMurray trained in Medicine and Cardiology in Manchester, Edinburgh, Dundee and Glasgow and was appointed as Consultant Cardiologist in Edinburgh in 1993 before moving to Glasgow in 1995. He is now Professor of Medical Cardiology and Deputy Director of the Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences at the University of Glasgow, UK and honorary Consultant Cardiologist at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Glasgow. He is a Fellow of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC), American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association as well as the medical Royal Colleges in Edinburgh and Glasgow and the Royal Society of Edinburgh and UK Academy of Medical Sciences. He has lectured widely and won several awards, including the Stokes Medal of the Irish Cardiac Society. In June 2015, Professor John McMurray and Professor Salim Yusuf (McMaster University, Hamilton Ontario, Canada) were jointly awarded the 8th Arrigo Recordati International Prize for Scientific Research (for outstanding contributions in secondary prevention and risk reduction strategies in patients with cardiovascular diseases).

Professor McMurray served as the inaugural Eugene Braunwald Scholar in Cardiovascular Disease at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, and visiting Professor of Medicine, Harvard University, Boston, Massachusetts USA 2010/2011. He is immediate Past-President of the Heart Failure Association of the ESC.

Prof McMurray was the lead investigator of the PARADIGM-HF study, and is recognized as a top authority and international expert in the field of cardiology and heart failure.

Donald McRae 

Donald McRae is an award-winning author of ten non-fiction books which have featured pioneering heart surgeons, sporting icons and legendary trial lawyers. He has twice won the William Hill Sports Book of the Year.  He is a three-time Interviewer of the Year winner and Feature Writer of the Year for his work in The Guardian.

Having been born and raised in South Africa, McRae’s writing career began when, aged 21, he started a music magazine while working as a white teacher in the black township of Soweto. This led to him being offered work in London – and over the last twenty-five years his writing has been as versatile as it has been commended.

His books have been consistently praised for their intimacy of tone and breadth of research as he draws the reader deep inside the heads of his extraordinary subjects. Whether writing a memoir of life under apartheid, a sporting biography or riveting drama set in the courtroom or surgical theatre, the humanity of his characters is always evident.


Every Second Counts: The Race to Transplant the first Human Heart

“In this thrilling history of heart transplantation, Donald McRae shows how exciting medical history can be…a gripping book.” (Sunday Telegraph, London)

“McRae, with his trademark thoroughness and sensitivity, has spent some five years researching and writing this spellbinding and accurate account.   Not only is McRae’s narrative of this intense race compelling, but his approach gives us a unique insight into this important event in medical history.” (Dr Bruce Reitz, Cardiac Surgeon, The Lancet)

Kelly Perkins

“I climb some of the most recognized peaks in the world. And when I do, I bring along climbing gear, warm clothes, food supplies, plenty of enthusiasm, and the heart of a woman I’ve never met beating inside my chest…Kelly Perkins”

Kelly was diagnosed with a serious form of heart disease at the age of 30. In 1995, after a three-year struggle with cardiomyopathy, she was given a second chance when she received a life-saving heart transplant.  She has taken this experience in her stride and has continued to maintain a healthy, active and hopeful view on living each day to the fullest.  In 2001, Kelly became the first ever heart transplant recipient to reach the top one of the world’s seven summits, Mount. Kilimanjaro.  She has gone on to make many other incredible ascents, including the Matterhorn in Switzerland, El Capitan in Yosemite, and Mount. Fuji in Japan. Each mountain has been carefully selected, all with a unique symbolic approach that has helped promote the importance of participation and awareness for organ, tissue and blood donation.

Kelly currently lives with her husband Craig in Southern California where she works as a coastal real estate agent. She penned a Memoire, The Climb of My Life, Scaling Mountains with a Borrowed Heart, which was published in 2007 by Rowman & Littlefield. Together they founded MovingHearts.org, a charitable organization designed to seed a cultural shift in participation in organ, tissue and blood donation.

Novartis Innovations in Heart Failure – Speakers (JHB)2017-10-26T16:41:09+02:00