It should be noted that the host denizens – the Glaswegians – could not have been more welcoming and helpful. The Glaswegian accent is legendarily difficult for non-Scots to understand. Many a laugh was shared amongst the attendees from all countries regarding their varying degrees of success (or failure, as was more often wont to be) in communicating with the natives. The Glaswegians were delighted to share the details of their lingo and unique pronunciation with us, even when pestered repeatedly!
This generous and welcoming Glaswegian spirit set the tone for all attendees to give of themselves during the conference in ways one doesn’t always have the good fortune to experience at these events. For example, as language service providers, we seem to reside on the periphery of the HEOR community in that they require our services to advance their research in multinational, multilingual studies; however, we are not members, strictly speaking, of the HEOR community. This “fringe dwelling” can lead to confusion and communication challenges when we endeavor to learn about the current obstacles faced in assessing data using statistical analyses, for example, which is the bread and butter of many HEOR professionals. In Glasgow, people took time to explain the intricacies of their work to us in laymen’s terms, with endless patience and goodwill. This helped us learn much more about ways in which we can assist them in meeting their goals than would have otherwise been possible.
AMPLEXOR Life Sciences also had the opportunity to give back. ISPOR publishes an English language journal called Value in Health, which contains original research articles in the areas of pharmacoeconomics (health economics), outcomes research (clinical, economic, and patient-reported outcomes research) and conceptual and health policy articles. A Romanian clinician who visited our booth had submitted a manuscript to the journal, which had been rejected due to several grammatical errors. He inquired about our rates to edit his manuscript so that his important research could be published. Perhaps the Glaswegian spirit of hospitality and generosity was contagious? We decided to edit his manuscript on the spot pro bono because it seemed like the right thing to do. The clinician thanked us profusely, but we were left feeling grateful to have been able to be of service.
Conferences like this can only bode well for all involved.