Academics from Cambridge University and representatives from Cambridge-based organisations were joined by the Mayor of Cambridge at an event to celebrate the successful promotion of Cambridge as a global centre of excellence and a unique location for international conferences.
Organised by Meet Cambridge and held at Christ’s College, the evening presentation and dinner was a ‘thank you’ to Cambridge Ambassadors who, in bringing events and business to the city, are playing a major role in flying the Cambridge flag on the international stage.
As well as providing visiting delegates with the opportunity to enjoy a unique Cambridge Experience, the conferences and events brought to the region are important conduits, facilitating discussions and enabling knowledge exchange, whilst also delivering significant economic benefit to the local economy and its events supply chain.
Kelly Vickers, Director of Meet Cambridge told the gathering that in 2016/17, 75 international events were hosted in the city bringing 4,620 delegates which resulted in £8 million in terms of economic impact.
Endorsing the value of Meet Cambridge’s Ambassador Programme which offers free support to help organisations bid for and host conferences and events, Professor Andy Neely, Pro-Vice Chancellor of Enterprise and Business Relations, University of Cambridge said: “It is essential that we communicate the ground-breaking research that is taking place in Cambridge and continue to build international links. By helping to host conferences and meetings here, Meet Cambridge’s Ambassador Programme is already playing a key role in achieving this.”
The Mayor of Cambridge, Councillor George Pippas echoed the importance of bringing events to the city to share the unique buildings and open spaces and the economic impact it brings to the wider community.
Dr Julian Allwood, Professor of Engineering and the Environment, Department of Engineering at the University of Cambridge spoke about his recent five-day International Conference of Technology of Plasticity which brought 630 delegates from more than 30 countries to Cambridge.
He said: “This was the first time I had organised a conference on this scale and the help given by Meet Cambridge was invaluable, in terms of introducing me to venues, helping source suppliers and generally providing support in the four years of planning. The result was a great success with many delegates rating it the best conference they had attended.
“Apart from the parallel scientific sessions which featured papers given by more than 400 leading academics, we also had an introductory show given to 1,200 people in the Corn Exchange including 500 local school children and presented by Sir Tony Robinson, welcome and farewell parties, a private concert at King’s College Chapel and a College dining experience for 700, taking place simultaneously in three dining halls, linked by AV.”
Dr Dervila Glynn, Cambridge Neuroscience Coordinator, University of Cambridge also gave a presentation on the three-day public event which took place last June, when 3,000 people of all ages attended the programme of interactive exhibitions, lectures, informal talks and walking tours all showcasing the ground-breaking neuroscience research taking place in Cambridge.
She said: “BRAINFest was an ambitious festival which took one and a half years to plan and involved 170 neuroscientists who helped us stage 30 interactive exhibits in the Corn Exchange in addition to a programme of lectures, informal talks and an art exhibition featuring works by 400 local schoolchildren. Working with Meet Cambridge was a key factor in making all this happen.”
Meet Cambridge is the official free venue-finding service for conferences and events in Cambridge and the wider region and offers a programme of free support to anyone interested in making a bid to bring a conference to Cambridge.
Take a look at images from the event in our gallery
Left to right: Emma Thornton, Visit Cambridge; Anita Macdonald and Kelly Vickers, Meet Cambridge; Councillor George Pippas, Mayor of Cambridge; Dr Dervila Glynn, Cambridge Neuroscience Coordinator, University of Cambridge; Professor Andy Neely, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Enterprise and Business Relations, University of Cambridge; and Professor Julian Allwood, Professor of Engineering and the Environment, Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge.