Quality Scotland's Conference Week Review

With a number of new conferences popping up every year it can be difficult to decide which ones to dedicate your time to. Whether you should attend one you regularly go to that sees good numbers or take a chance on a wildcard – with time in people’s diaries becoming more constrained in the run up to the holidays it’s important to make sure attending a conference will be worthwhile. 

Here are some reviews of the conferences Quality Scotland attended and what they brought to the table. 

SMAS ConferenceSMAS Future Manufacturing Conference

24th October - RBS Conference Centre, Edinburgh

Speakers: RBS (the main sponsor of the conference), Siemens, Scottish Enterprise, Optos, and the High Speed Sustainable Manufacturing Institute

The SMAS 2017 conference was all about Future Manufacturing and was attended by more than 250 people, with many organisations showcasing their products and services. A recurring point of discussion was the decreasing affordability gap for SMEs around the introduction of high tech automation solutions, due to the advent of open source and cloud-based solutions. These help manufacturing processes even in small organisations to become more efficient, cheaper and less error-prone.

We had many interesting discussions with both organisations who are familiar with the EFQM Excellence Model and those who know nothing about it, and we found that the level of interest in learning how to capably self-assess as a means of increasing organisational excellence seems to be on the rise. 

Our thanks to Scottish Enterprise, SMAS and RBS for hosting such an interesting event.

TSI Network Annual Conference 

24-26th October - Westerwood, Cumbernauld

Speakers: Glasgow Centre for Population Health, Carnegie UK Trust, Scottish Human Rights Commission, The Democratic Society, Scottish Community Alliance, and University of Glasgow  

VAS Conference Banner

The focus of this year’s VAS conference was Leading Empowerment Locally, with a human rights approach to tackling poverty and inequality reflected in the updates from keynote speakers. In addition, there was a focus on the role of Third Sector Interfaces (TSIs) enabling and supporting the empowerment of people and communities. Third Sector Interfaces provide support, learning and development opportunities for people and organisations through their programmes of work.

A highlight of this conference was the opportunity to speak to people from many of the TSIs. It was great to hear from those who had completed their Committed to Excellence projects and about the benefits for everyone involved. It was also evident throughout the conference that there is a need for support and guidance at the strategic level across the TSI network and many opportunities were highlighted for increased collaboration with network-wide partners. An overall highlight of the conference was confirmation that the EFQM Excellence Model is increasingly relevant as a management framework to support organisations. 

EVH Annual Conference and Exhibition

27-29th October - Fairmont, St Andrews

Speakers: Tree of Knowledge, Glasgow Simon Community, Scottish Prison Service, Brodies LLP, and Rowan Consultancy

EVH Mission Possible

The EVH annual conference this year had the theme “Mission Possible”; focussing on community involvement, people getting together to make a difference and to make sure that, as individuals and providers, they retain the vision and the commitment to provide the stability and security that a supportive community offers.

Held at the beautiful Fairmont Hotel, St Andrews, the conference was a well-attended event with a variety of organisations exhibiting alongside QS in the main exhibition area. Workshops covered a range of topics including employment law, developing people’s leadership skills, resolving conflict, and how to introduce flexible working into an organisation. 

Delegates at this conference had the opportunity to enter into a free prize draw to win a half day facilitated session. The winner will be announced within the next few days so, if you entered your business card, keep an eye on your emails! 

Congratulations to EVH for hosting a great conference.

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