As we come out of the biggest health crisis in living memory, health and wellness become ubiquitous topics of discussion.
The failure of even the richest countries in the world to build healthcare systems that can cope with a pandemic has made many individuals think more about their health and the best ways to preserve it. Whether focusing on diet, exercise, or trying to lead less stressful lives, in the past year, people all over the world became more concerned with their physical and mental health, and took steps towards more healthy lifestyles.
As we overcome the traumatic experience of lockdown and isolation, not being able to see family and friends, we try to understand how we can prevent the next health crisis, or at least how best to prepare for it.
For speakers in the wellness and health sector, this is a time to make their voices heard, because there will be a lot of people listening and a lot of questions to be answered. To make life easier for those seeking speaking opportunities, I have summarized the biggest conferences and events on health and wellness coming up this year.
The impressive number of health and wellness conferences and expos has made this a challenge. But here are the ones that made it to the list, together with a note to speakers that should help you navigate this maze of virtual, in-real-life, and hybrid events.
Integrative Health Symposium is held in New York this September (18-20), and promises to be an event worth checking out. Gathering practitioners from both traditional and non-traditional medicine, the symposium plans to deliver a learning and networking program that addresses the modern patient’s full range of healthcare options. Bringing together more than 40 industry leaders to share their expertise, this event addresses topics ranging from COVID-19, breast cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease to emotional trauma and holistic healing. There is no doubt that this schedule will have something for everyone.
The call for speakers for the next edition of the Integrative Health Symposium can be found here.
BOLD The Mindbody Conference is coming to San Diego, CA from August 31st to September 2nd. After a year in which we’ve all had to grin and bear it, it’s time to look at the results and understand what has helped us come out on the other side. BOLD promises three days of insightful breakout sessions, inspiring keynote speakers, and incredible peer connections. Amongst the speakers you might recognize comedian Amy Poehler, actress Jameela Jamil and many industry leaders. Their line-up seems to be packed for this year’s edition, but this is definitely an event to keep an eye on for future speaking opportunities.
The First Responder Mental Health and Wellness is probably one of the most relevant events for our times. Held in Denver, Colorado in October (7-8), this is a two-day seminar and networking event aiming to improve the mental health and wellness of first responders. As one of the most affected groups during the pandemic, first responders become the focus of presentations, workshops, and keynotes by renowned speakers in the wellness and health industries. While the topic of the conference is very niche, there’s a good chance in the current context that a lot of wellness and healthcare public speakers have become more interested in the topic. If you’re one of them, check out the details here.
Things kick-off in Europe at the end of September (28-29) with the Digital Healthcare Worldwide Congress. In a two-day online event, the congress addresses digital health, the digitalization of healthcare systems around the world, innovation and drug discovery, mental health, and many more highly relevant topics. Check out the entire agenda of the event, and keep an eye out for speaking opportunities for this and next year.
Paris is the host of the International Conference on Mental Wellness and Positive Mental Health from 19-20 July. The conference is organized by the World Academy of Science, Engineering, and Technology and brings together leading academic scientists, researchers, and research scholars that focus on positive mental health to share the latest findings of their research projects. The event strives to create an interdisciplinary platform for researchers, practitioners, and educators to discuss the most recent innovations, trends, and concerns. With a strong focus on academic research, the conference encourages prospective authors to submit abstracts of their papers to be considered for the conference. You can access the call for submissions here.
The same organization will also bring the International Conference on Physical Fitness and Wellness to London in November (18-19).
Building hospitals that are better prepared for a health crisis is a top priority of any government at a time like this. The International Conference on Sustainable Health Systems and Technologies, June (28-29) in London explored the technologies that can be used to make health systems more agile and better prepared to cope with crises in the future. As with all events powered by the World Academy of Science, Engineering, and Technology, there is an open call for research papers to be found here. It’s too late for this year, but this is certainly one to keep an eye on for next year.
The World Academy of Science, Engineering, and Technology is not only creating dialog spaces for scientists and practitioners in Europe but also moving onto the Asian continent this fall to host the Women's Mental health and Wellness Conference in Baku, Azerbaijan from 4-5 October.
The Global Wellness Summit has been around since 2000 and has become the foremost gathering of international leaders in the industry. Held in Tel Aviv in November (15-18), this year’s summit is a celebration of the accomplishments made by the wellness industry in 2020. The summit focuses on new trends, and seeks to define the possibilities that the future holds for the industry. It’s an invitation-only event and you have to go through an application process to become a delegate. The rigorous selection system ensures that all sectors of the wellness industry are represented, which makes for a diverse and dynamic event. If you want to become a delegate and share your expertise with a group of like-minded individuals in the industry, you can apply here.
The Innovation and Health Summit organized in Johannesburg, South Africa in September (2-4) will focus on topics like COVID19 situational analysis for specific non-communicable diseases (obesity, diabetes, cardiology), innovative therapies for non-communicable diseases, strategic planning regarding the treatment of non-communicable diseases within the national health system, as well as discuss ethical and practical approaches to telemedicine. This conference addresses some of the burning health issues of the region and it’s a great opportunity for researchers and experts with a focus on non-communicable diseases.
Later edit: The 2021 edition has been postponed. The next Innovation and Health Summit will take place 18 – 20 August 2022.
Note to speakers: How to approach these events and get on the stage.
Start by getting to know the organization behind the conference and how they operate. It might be a university or other public organization, or it might be the work of a few industry leaders coming together to serve the communities they are part of. Knowing this will inform how you approach the event organizers.
If the organizers are a public institution, they are likely to have an online submission form for articles, presentations, or other research work. Events focused on healthcare, drug discovery, or other health-related topics will most likely be looking for speakers who are researchers, academics, or practitioners. If that’s you, the best advice is to let the results and findings of your work speak for you. The selection process will likely be different from that of a wellness conference, and the charisma of the speaker is second only to their expertise. To get a speaking opportunity, you follow a pretty standard process of submitting an article or a piece of research, and then wait to see if the organizer feels that you fit in with the rest of the lineup.
If you’re a wellness expert, you might need to do a bit of networking and brand identity for yourself before you approach the people organizing the conferences you want to speak at. Start by looking into who the organizers are and try to find them on social media. I recommend LinkedIn, but Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter are also good options. Get in touch with them and send your portfolio together with a presentation example and a link to one of your previous talks. Don’t forget to make a case for why you want to speak at their event in particular. I’ve written about this in a previous article on “How to get event organizers’ attention online”.
Health and wellness are hot topics right now, and if you’re in this industry there will be plenty of speaking opportunities to pick and choose from. Make the most of this time when the industry is needed, and focus on how you can contribute to its development. Even if you’ve missed some deadlines, there are still great benefits to attending a conference as a participant. You can take the pulse of the community, learn where your peers stand, and understand how you can position yourself to grab those speaker slots next year.