Client: NHS Blood and Transplant and the University of Cambridge
Type of event: Three-day conference
Group size: 220 delegates
Venue: Homerton College and St John’s College
Date: 13th-15th July 2016
The European Conference on Donor Health and Management (ECDHM) is the primary platform to share knowledge and learn about the latest developments in science, policy and experiences in the field of blood donor health and management.
It is a relatively new conference organised and hosted by blood operators in partnership with academic collaborators. The 2016 meeting was only the second conference, the first being held in 2014 in The Hague. The conference will take place every two years and rotate between host countries; in 2018 conference it will be held in Denmark. The 2016 ECDHM was co-hosted by NHS Blood and Transplant and the University of Cambridge.
The organisers required bedrooms for speakers and delegates, catering for up to 220 attendees, parking, easy access to the railway station, space for a poster session and breaks, and two meeting rooms able to hold a minimum of 100 delegates, with the larger room up to 220 people.
Dr Nick Watkins, Assistant Director – Research and Development for NHSBT and ECDHM 2016 Committee member:
“Homerton College was able to meet our starting brief from the outset and with the support of our Conference Organiser, Clare Beach of Azura Events, we were able to host an excellent meeting. There were very few challenges and any that did occur were dealt with efficiently by the team. The facilities at Homerton were enhanced by the use of a marquee on the lawn for the posters, exhibition and catering, with delegates enjoying the outside space during the networking breaks. We were lucky with the weather, although we had several alternative options if it had not been favourable.
“We decided to host the conference dinner at a separate venue – St John’s College – to allow delegates to see more of Cambridge and have a change of scene for one of the evenings.
“We took the delegates by coach into the centre of Cambridge where they had a fascinating historical tour by See Cambridge Differently before enjoying drinks and jazz on the Backs of the College, a stunning location on a beautiful sunny evening. We then had a very special dinner in the Great Hall at St John’s College which for many of our delegates was an experience they will never forget.
“The team at Conference Cambridge were extremely helpful from the start. They suggested several PCOs to help us with the organisation from which we
selected Azura Events, as well as information about the city and contact details for suppliers.
“We received many positive comments on the event, both in relation to the venue, the organisation and the programme and look forward to putting together the 2018 conference based on what we have learned.”