When #MatExp Went to NHS Expo

The #MatExp team congregated in Manchester this week – for the very first time! – to lead a workshop at NHS Expo.

What an amazing day it was! The event underlined for me just how privileged I am to be involved in #MatExp, and the impact we are having.

Who would have imagined a group of women, from all walks of life, from all over the country could arrange a workshop at a major national conference without all having met before the day of the event? Our workshop was crowdsourced by teleconferences, email, and social media.

That’s the power of #MatExp!


The team had spent the prior couple of weeksΒ generating excitement with teaser tweetsΒ about our workshop…

Then finally the day arrived, and I travelled by train up to Manchester. I’d never been to the city before, and had a good tour of the city centre while looking for my hotel (ie I got lost!).

Our workshop had a 10am start, so it was a bright and earlymeet up on the Wednesday to prepare our workshop. We really wanted a ‘bazaar’ theme to represent how energetic, diverse, and rather chaotic #MatExp is, but in the end we had to do our best with a traditional ‘theatre style’ layout.

And do our best we did, with bunting, fruit, and passionate women dressed in #MatExp tshirts.

Preparation involved a few serious faces making sure the technology was going to be our friend…

We were delighted to have a full house, with others standing outside wanting to get in (the meanie organisers wouldn’t let them in….we at #MatExp eschew boring old rules!)

Kath made the introductions, and then Emma, Jenny, Helen, Liz and myself each stood for our ‘Spartacus’ moments – explaining who we are, and why we are involved in #MatExp.

Just how *do* you create a change platform by accident? These images help explain…






Audience participation was a big part of our bazaar. The image below is a big part of our philosophy…


So, we asked people what they would put in Room 101

As the tweet says, I’ll post the responses on the #MatExp website soon.

There was so much of a buzz around the workshop, and with so many positive responses – it was definitely worth spending a last-minute Sunday afternoon creating the visual part of the presentation!

After the workshop we made sure Expo knew who #MatExp is, by spreading our posters and stickers pretty much everywhere!

Not having the funds for a proper exhibition stand, we JFDI and set up our own stand around a coffee table as a base where people could come and chat to us about #MatExp.

We were fortunate to have a chat with Helen Bevan…and heard some VERY exciting news…

….and #MatExp is mentioned as an exemplar change platform in this blog!

One of the best things about the day was catching up with wonderful #MatExp people, and meeting others for the first time too. We all spend so much time chatting to each other virtually, it feels like we’ve known each other forever.

After a lovely dinner and catch-up with my wonderful friend Kylie, it was time to make the long journey home.

And to further emphasiseΒ the impact of #MatExp, five of the 15 top influencers of NHS Expo are #MatExp -ers!

Want to adopt #MatExp? Our change platform is about maternity, but the principles of co-creation and no hierarchy just people can be applied to any specialty.


Here’s where you can find out more…


borderHave you signed up for the Headspace Perspective


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comment *

CommentLuv badge