Trend of rising conference attendances continues as Oxford bags a bigger AIHHP audience

AIHHP’s 2023 Hearing Expo took place on the 24 - 25 November at the Oxford Belfry Hotel in Thame, Oxfordshire, welcoming AIHHP members from across the country to enjoy two days of learning and networking and celebrating the best in the industry with the 16th Golden Lobe Awards. The attendance was up to 114, compared to 96 in 2022.

Published on 21 January 2024

Trend of rising conference attendances continues as Oxford bags a bigger AIHHP audience

Hearing Aid Industry – Exhibition


The opening day of the 2023 Hearing Expo of the Association of Independent Hearing Healthcare Professionals saw 23 organisations from the world of audiology, including hearing device manufacturers, charities and professional groups, welcome AIHHP members to their stands to network, showcase their latest technology, and discuss the issues facing the industry.

Exhibitors included Hearing Dogs for Deaf People and the event’s Gold sponsors; Phonak, Widex and Starkey.

The popular part of the hearing expo created an opportunity for conversation and networking and saw many of the UK’s top independent hearing aid audiologists speak with multiple manufacturers.

The Expo kicked off with the executive and full members meeting where attendees were updated with news and developments within AIHHP.

Editor’s note: check out this Interview with AIHHP Vice Chair Oliver Wright on Understanding the Modern Audiology Landscape here.


Main Stage Speakers


Following the welcome address from AIHHP Chair, Paul Scigala, best-selling author and behaviour insight advisor Jez Rose took to the stage and gave an entertaining and thought-provoking keynote speech focusing on how asking the right questions about yourself and your organisation can lead to positive change.

©AIHHP      Paul Scigala, AIHHP Chair

Sarah Riches from The Audiology Academy, then took to the stage to talk about the importance of training Hearing Care Assistants with the HCA course.

Talking through the areas covered, learning environment, teaching methods and learning outcomes, Sarah focused on the benefits of investing in HCA training, including taking pressure off audiologists and adding value to the client experience.

Front of house staff were also encouraged to attend a workshop hosted by Chris Cartwright and Julia Rogers from The Audiology Academy, which helped to give an insight into dealing with patients living with dementia, and present practical solutions to common behaviours associated with the condition.

© Dan Matthams Photography      Any pent-up agression over wax removal issues could be dealt with summarily thanks to this wax-whacking creation in the hands of Chris Cartwright, Director of Audiology at The Audiology Academy.

Andrew Coulter from Gold sponsor Phonak presented on Hearing and Cognition: What do we know and what can we integrate into our practice, and was followed by a talk from Saima Rajasingham of Anglia Ruskin University. Saima’s presentation looked at a collaboration between Widex and Anglia Ruskin University that developed and piloted data driven solutions to improve service provision and efficiency and gave ideas about short term, medium term and long-term solutions.

The day finished with a fireside chat between AIHHP Council member Helen Holywell and Samantha Baines, an author, actress, broadcaster, comedian and deaf activist.

Samantha told her story of hearing loss at 29 and shared her experiences with attendees to help audiologists better understand the impact of a hearing loss diagnosis with patients. She also talked about the importance of empathy while speaking to patients.

The Saturday schedule saw the day kick off with AIHHP’s answer to ‘Question Time’, where hearing aid manufacturers’ senior executives from GN Hearing, Starkey, Oticon/Bernafon, Widex/Signia/Rexton and Phonak/Unitron took questions on the latest product developments within the industry.

This was followed by a talk from Julie Dennis that addressed menopause in the workplace.

The event was wrapped up with a presentation by audiology hero, Dr. Angela Alexander who travelled all the way from Australia to give us her talk on Demystifying Auditory Processing Disorder Through Sweet Insights, which gave us a fascinating insight into her work.

© Dan Matthams Photography      The Audiology Academy’s senior tutor, Sarah Riches, hosts for a hearing-related wheel of fortune.


The 16th Annual Golden Lobe Awards


The annual Golden Lobe Awards event was a great way to close the first day. With a sparkly country and western theme, and a performance by country singer/songwriter Sarah Riches, attendees enjoyed a three-course meal and the opportunity to make new friends and catch up with connections in an informal environment.

The Golden Lobes Awards are an opportunity for audiologists to recognise the achievements of the hearing aid manufacturers and their products and recognise the unsung heroes of the hearing aid industry who work in customer services, acknowledging the valuable contribution that they make.

© Dan Matthams Photography Signia won AIHHP Golden Lobe awards for Best Rechargeable System, Best Marketing Support Team, and a Recognition Award for Stand-out Individual in Sales, Nathan Procter.


AIHHP Golden Lobes Awards 2023 -Winners


Budget Hearing System: UNITRON – MOXI V3

Primary Hearing System: WIDEX – MOMENT 220

Mid-Level Hearing System: PHONAK – AUDEO LUMITY 70

Premium Hearing System: PHONAK – AUDEO LUMITY 90

Best Hearing app: Starkey Thrive app

Best Rechargeable System: Signia

Best Customer Service Team: Wide

Best Technical Support Team: Phonak

Best Marketing Support Team: Signia

Consumables / Equipment Supplier: Puretone

Best Custom Build Manufacturer of the Year: Starkey Evolv

Recognition Award for Stand-out Individual – Sales: Nathan Procter, Signia

Highly Commended: Darrell Bedford, Widex; Kiran Sihota, Starkey

Recognition Award for Stand-out Individual – Non-Sales : Laura Rea, Phonak

Highly Commended: Leanna Hurst, Phonak

Tracey Wilkinson: Unitron

Overall Best Manufacturer of the Year: Phonak

AIHHP Recognition Award for Outstanding Services to Audiology :Dr. Gus Mueller


Forthcoming AIHHP Events:


March 22 2024: Members meeting, workshop and AGM Online via Zoom

June 21/22 2024: Manufacturers invited to present and attend networking/social dinner

November 29/30 2024: 30th Anniversary AIHHP Hearing Expo & 17th Golden Lobe Awards

Source: AIHHP

Ceri-Jane Hackling