The official conference and events bureau for Cambridge is celebrating helping to secure three high-profile international congresses, delivering an economic impact of approximately £1.5 million* to the city.
Meet Cambridge, founded and funded by the Cambridge Colleges, has supported three local organising committees through the services of its Conference Ambassador Programme to win bids against stiff competition from other international destinations.
The association congresses are global events, which rotate between countries, often following a strict selection process.
Following Cambridge’s success against Shanghai, the 16th Symposium of the International Neurotrauma Society – NeuroTrauma 2024 – will bring around 700 leading scientists from around the world to the city in August/September 2024. This meeting is considered the ‘Olympics’ of Neurotrauma and it is the first time the six-day event has been held in the UK.
Meet Cambridge’s support included producing a video and a comprehensive bid document, arranging site visits, venue-finding and liaison. The team also secured the services of Suzy Howes and associates ltd who will be the Professional Conference Organisers (PCO) for the event.
The bid was led by local conference ambassadors: Professor Peter Hutchinson, Professor of Neurosurgery, University of Cambridge and Professor David K Menon, Head of Anaesthesia, University of Cambridge.
The second event is for The International Association of Music Libraries (IAML), which is organising a five-day event in July/August 2023 to be attended by 400 delegates and including plenary sessions and social activities.
IAML encourages and promotes the activities of music libraries, archives and documentation centres to facilitate projects in music bibliography, music documentation and music library and information science at national and international levels.
Meet Cambridge assisted with information for the bid, venue-finding and site visits.
The congress ambassador was Margaret Jones, Music Collections Supervisor at Cambridge University Library, together with a team comprising Anna Pensaert, Sarah Chapman and Susi Woodhouse.
The third successful bid is the International Organization For the Study of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IOIBD) which will take place over four days in early 2023. With 115 delegates, the event will comprise plenary sessions and a gala dinner.
Meet Cambridge assisted with venue-finding and site visits, as well as providing options for a local PCO.
The bid was led by Professor Arthur Kaser, University Chair of Gastroenterology and Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator and Marischka Konings, IOIBD Secretariat.
Judith Sloane, Head of Meet Cambridge said: “It is such welcome news that Cambridge has been selected for these high-profile international events against stiff global competition. Not only does it reinforce our city’s continuing appeal to associations, but it also signals confidence in a return to in-person meetings following the pandemic.
“Cambridge’s unique scientific and academic clusters offer outstanding opportunities for collaboration and knowledge transfer; the impact of these events and the legacies that they will produce will have long-reaching effects across the world, I’m certain. We are looking forward to welcoming the delegates over the next couple of years.”
“In total these three events will bring around 1,200 delegates here, staying for an average of five days with sessions and accommodation spread across both Colleges and hotels. We estimate that these congresses will have an economic impact of around £1.5 million for the city, in terms of spend on accommodation, meals, tours and shopping.
Prof Peter Hutchinson added: “I came across the services of Meet Cambridge and the Cambridge Ambassador Programme in 2018 and we have been working with the team ever since on the bid for NeuroTrauma 2024. Their support has been invaluable to the local committee; they sourced venues, organised site visits and obtained letters of support from local and national agencies including Government departments, to produce a professional bid document. I would wholly recommend having a chat with Meet Cambridge if you’re considering bringing an event to the city.”
Meet Cambridge has an established Conference Ambassador Programme that supports academics and business professionals who would like to promote and champion Cambridge as a congress destination through a range of free services including bid support, material resources, marketing collateral and practical help.
The NeuroTrauma 2024 local committee. Left to right: Mr Adel Helmy; Dr Virginia Newcombe; Mrs Carole Turner; Ms Tamara Tajsic; Prof Peter Hutchinson; Prof Marek Czosnyka; Mrs Suzy Howes; Prof David Menon; Mrs Judith Sloane (Meet Cambridge); Dr Ari Ercole; and Dr Peter Smielewski.
*VisitBritain Business Events Research, Delegate Spend and Trip Extensions Report 2017.