Martin Blecker: "At 8,000 delegates, EUHA congress the world's largest convention of its kind"

EUHA 2018

The 63rd EUHA congress will start this Wednesday, October 17, in Hanover. We spoke to Martin Blecker, EUHA president, about the 2018 edition.

Martin Blecker: “At 8,000 delegates, EUHA congress the world’s largest convention of its kind”

What is the main task of the the EuropeanUnion of Hearing Aid Acousticians (EUHA)?Who are its members? How is it financed?

We see ourselves as the link between science, manufacturers,hearing aid acousticians and the persons that are engagedin the qualified provision of hearing systems to the hearingimpaired. We network hearing aid acousticians, scientists andlaymen. And we organize advanced vocational training andfurther qualification on all levels to provide the best possibleprovision to the benefit of the persons affected.

Our members primarily come from medium-sized acousticenterprises which are often run by owners, with many ofthem looking back to a long family tradition. Some of thesecompany members are representing the third generationalready. Our financial resources are membership subscriptionsand admission fees for the exhibition and various seminarsand workshops.

The German Congress of Hearing Aid Acousticians hasalways considered itself international. How do you justifythis ambitious claim?

The skills and know-how for providing hearing systems topeople with impaired hearing can no longer be limited to anational level. Our predecessors understood that many yearsago, and therefore created a platform that is a combinationof advanced vocational training and industrial exhibition,the EUHA Congress. The number of visitors speaks for itself,not least in terms of all the different countries they comefrom. Last year, we welcomed exhibitors and other guestsfrom more than 90 countries, with some 30 to 40 percent ofparticipants coming from non-German-speaking countries.At our Congress, speakers present their studies and findings that are important onnational as well asinternational levels.Most of all, this Congresstakes up issueswhich allow audiologists and acousticians to look beyond thehorizons of routine and think outside the box.

What is the benefit for Congress visitors from abroad?

Due to the exchange of ideas and know-how their work willreceive new inspiration, in general as well as in detail. Withvocational, industrial and political discussions and seventutorials and one Roundtable-Talk we can also learn from eachother. I prefer sharing knowledge in lectures and workshops,combined with a personal exchange, no matter if this happensat the conference or the exhibition.

Are you satisfied with attendance numbers, from yourcountry and from abroad?

As soon as you are satisfied you stop evolving. At the EUHA,we prefer to continue to develop, to evolve. We are pleasedto hear that more than a third of all visitors are foreigners.Demand is high and we always endeavour to adjust our offerto it. For example, with five different workshops we adaptparticipants’ requests for more practical issues. And, of course,we are pleased to report on rising numbers of attendees. With its 8,000 delegates, the EUHA Congress has turned into the world’s largest convention of its kind.

There is a tendency towards cost-cutting on theconvention of the American Academy of Audiology. Areyou anticipating a similar development for the EUHACongress?

It is very clear that we have to take a critical look at the costs.On the other hand, our efforts are aimed at presenting aCongress programme on the best possible level, includingtopical advanced vocational training, modern exhibition space,and many opportunities for meetings and personal discussions.Last but not least, there should be room for entertainment,too. After all, the participants are humans and as such we canreach them not only by the senses but also by emotions.

As every year, the EUHA has organised a nice supportingprogramme. Despite the German language, are foreignerswelcome?

We all like to get together and relax after work. The evening forFGH (German association devoted to hearing health awareness)partners and the Congress Get-together are ideal opportunitiesto meet and make acquaintance with other professionals. Thisyear’s Congress Get-together, themed “Go on board – backinto the 90’ies” will be held at the Funpark on the exhibitiongrounds in Hanover on Thursday night. It’s a great opportunityfor everyone to meet, have a chat, dance, and party in a casualatmosphere. Everything will be ready for an evening packedwith action, good music, and culinary treats. It’s all about90’ies this year. The night promises a live-band with more than5.000 songs ready to play. The guests can choose what theywant to hear and shape the evening, also as far as costumesare concerned. Guests at the Congress Get-Together areinvited to dress up maritime or in the rim style of the 90’ies.

What are the main Congress issues this year?

Nothing less than the future of hearing aid acoustics!“Digitization” is the focus of the 2018 EUHA Congress!Congress attendees may look forward to a program featuringmore than twenty lectures, seven tutorials, and a roundtable talk focusing on “The digital revolution: Opportunitiesand risks”. Subjects from the fields of audiology, science,industry, and hearing aid acoustics, will be presented,with internationally and nationally renowned speakersinforming on current studies and future developments.After the grand opening ceremony, big issues such as listeningeffort, cognition and hearing, as well as the Freiburgmonosyllabic speech test, will be the topics on Wednesday.Thursday will be dedicated to digitization. Teleaudiology,machine learning, and Otoscan as well as connectivity and dataprocessing will play a major role. Tinnitus research, evaluationof hearing systems, bone conduction systems, impressiontechniques and much more will be on the agenda on Friday.Not only innovative technologies will be focused on but alsohow hearing aid acousticians can manage technology forthe benefit of their customers.

Will there be anything special this year?

Of course, there will. This year, delegates will be able touse our online ticket shop. Tickets can be bought from home,reducing queuing times at the ticket counters, and givingdelegates more time to spend at the conference and tradeexhibition. EUHA-members can use the EUHA Lounge to chatand network in a quiet atmosphere. On Thursday, October 18, aroundtable will take place at 2:00 p.m. The topic will be ”Digitalrevolution, chances and risks“, Representatives from hearingaid acoustics, hearing aid industry, health insurances and otherfields will discuss their views on digitization and telecare.

For all smartphone users: the Congress app,is ready todownload! After the Congress, videos will be available inoriginal-language versions; they can be watched on theEUHA website.

Photos: © EUHA Rechtnitz

Rainer Hüls, Audio Infos Germany

In the same section
EUHA,hearing health start-ups,Hearing industry
  • Events
  • Events
  • Market
  • Market
  • Profession
  • Profession
  • Training and Education
  • UK NEWS
  • WORLD NEWS
EUHA,free promotion audiology,hearing health start-ups,EUHA 2024 Congress
  • Events
  • Events
  • Market
  • Market
  • Profession
  • Profession
  • Research
  • Research
  • Training and Education
  • UK NEWS
  • WORLD NEWS
EUHA,Audiology conferences
  • Events
  • Events
  • Market
  • Market
  • Profession
  • Profession
  • Training and Education
  • UK NEWS
  • WORLD NEWS