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After the pandemic crippled most health-related conferencing, the Sunshine Coast is witnessing a rapid recovery of the sector with the Exercise & Sports Science Australia (ESSA) Innovation and Practice Forum announced for 2023.

ESSA’S premier event for the year will be held at the Novotel Sunshine Coast Resort from 6-7 May 2023.

ESSA is nationally recognised as the peak advisory body for tertiary trained exercise and sports science practitioners and members include Exercise Physiologists, Exercise Scientists, Sports Scientists and High-Performance Managers.

CEO Anita Hobson-Powell said the 2023 ESSA Innovation & Practice Forum was specifically designed for professionals managing practices or for those who want to take the next steps.

“We know that many of our more than 8000 members want practical advice to assist in running their businesses, so the forum will offer hands-on demonstration sessions, applied learning for the day-to-day life of the ESSA professional, and cover topics ranging from business and guidelines to real-world implications and services,” she said.

“Forum attendees are exercise and sport focused professionals who work around the country in a variety of different environments, running small to medium sized practices, and have a real desire to help people live their best lives by being healthier and more active.”


ESSA Conference and Forum

Keynote speakers at the forum include Dr Jemma King, a behaviour expert focused on the areas of stress, sleep and emotional intelligence, and Matthew Tice, a strategic leader adept at helping organisations successfully navigate through disruptive change.

Other forum sessions of interest cover topics like diversity and inclusion, burnout and creating boundaries, financial entry and exit strategies, sports data governance, data privacy and protection, measuring outcomes, marketing, team culture, the client experience and person-centred care, among others.

For exhibitors, the 2023 ESSA Innovation & Practice Forum offers the chance to connect with current and future customers in a relaxed coastal destination.

“This is a unique opportunity for industry partners to engage one-on-one with practice managers and other decision makers, as well as ESSA accredited professionals looking for cutting edge products to support their valuable work in the community,” Hobson-Powell added.


ESSA Diabetes Expo

The 2023 ESSA Innovation and Practice Forum is being supported by the Sunshine Coast Business Events Assistance Program facilitated by Visit Sunshine Coast in partnership with Sunshine Coast Council.

Visit Sunshine Coast’s CEO, Matt Stoeckel said the region was attracting strong interest from medical and health related sectors.

“The Sunshine Coast has outstanding medical, wellness and educational institutions, with a renowned research and development sector, so conferences aimed at enhancing health outcomes are a ‘natural’ for us,” said Mr Stoeckel.

“Following the pandemic, there is increasing demand for destinations that provide a healthy landscape, with an emphasis on a more open, less crowded environment, complemented by ease of access and high-quality facilities.

“By mid-2023, Sunshine Coast Airport will be linked directly to many of Australia’s major centres, as well as key regional hubs via the new Bonza airlines network, which will connect with 13 of Australia’s largest regional cities.”

For more information about ESSA and to register visit:

The successful tendering for the 2023 ESSA Innovation & Practice Forum follows the Sunshine Coast’s hosting of the HIV&AIDS Conference and Sexual Health Conferences earlier this year, which attracted close to 700 delegates, with speakers from across Australia, Asia/Pacific and North America.

In addition, the 2022 United in Compassion Medicinal Cannabis Symposium was staged on the Coast and attended by medical professionals from around Australia. The in-person event saw delegate numbers increase by 25% from the initial expectation with close to 600 delegates attending.

About Business Events Assistance Program

The Business Events Assistance Program is facilitated by Visit Sunshine Coast in partnership with the Sunshine Coast Council. The program offers funding support to attract conferences, meetings and exhibitions which raise the profile of the region as a destination for business events. Preference will be given for business events that target or are aligned with the Regional Economic Development Strategy and associated seven high value industries (Aviation and Aerospace, Clean Technologies, Health and Wellbeing, Education and Research, Tourism, Sport and Leisure, Food and Agribusiness, Knowledge Industries and Professional Services).

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