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November 11, 2008

Health roadshow offers North East a change of heart

Shoppers in the North East recently received crucial assessments and advice that could protect them from heart disease, through a pioneering roadshow run by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) at local supermarkets.

The BHF Live! Roadshow, delivered by Event Marketing Solutions (EMS), was designed to use a supermarket setting to reach people in the North East – a region with some of the highest death rates from heart disease in England.

A total of 735 heart health risk assessments were carried out on board the vehicle and over 16,000 healthy eating leaflets and booklets were distributed to shoppers during the roadshow campaign.

Hear-felt: A member of the public is given a heart assessment on the BHF Live! roadshow vehicle

Live data capture from the tour shows that 43% of visitors who were asked said they would eat more healthily as a result of attending the roadshow, with 22% saying they would share information learned with family and friends.

Meanwhile, 97% of the visitors surveyed rated the roadshow as ‘useful’ or ‘very useful’.

The six-week tour was a pilot for the charity, designed to raise awareness of heart disease, and promote healthy eating and lifestyle messages.

A central feature of the roadshow was the offer of a free heart health risk assessment on board the mobile exhibition vehicle. In the opinion poll, which was conducted daily using a hand-held PDA, 34% of visitors said it was this that had most interested them about the event.

The heart health risk assessments proved so popular that appointments were fully booked within hours of the unit arriving at a new destination.

“We are absolutely delighted with the results from this tour,” said BHF risk manager Duncan Innes. “It demonstrated a massive demand for the heart health risk assessments and, perhaps as importantly, evidence that people were prepared to change their lifestyle as a result of the experience.”

Commenting on the format of the live experience, Justin Isles, account director at EMS, said: “This project demonstrates the power of face-to-face marketing to change attitudes and behaviour. It was all the more pleasing for us because the messages being promoted were potentially life-saving.”

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