Client name: British Society for Rheumatology (BSR)
Dates: 23-25th April 2013
Meeting Spaces Used: Full venue
The annual British Society for Rheumatology (BSR) conference brings together people from across the discipline including consultants, GPs, nurse specialists and other health professionals to network and keep up-to-date with scientific and research advancements.
This is the fourth time that the conference has been held at the ICC since 2005 and is due to be held here again in 2017, 2019 and 2021. This is a major event for BSR, and the ICC team, infrastructure, track record and reputation are all cited by BSR as reasons for bringing the conference to the venue. Around 85% of delegates at this event are UK-based, so the ICC’s location is also unique in terms of it being the most accessible venue of its size for delegates travelling from all over the UK.
use of space, with sessions taking place throughout the whole venue and the conference making full use of the Registration area and Foyers too. This also included being one of the first clients to test the ICC’s new 18-screen video wall. A key objective for BSR is to increase the profile of the organisation and provide engaging content to delegates in an equally inspiring setting; the ICC teams’ innovation and creativity is vital and they work closely with the organisers in order to achieve this.
As with most association conferences, revenue generation is important, so the ability to be nimble with sponsors and exhibitors to help them get the most out of their investment and help deliver further income streams to the client is a prerequisite.
This was a great year for BSR with a record 2,152 registered attendees. Feedback from the Society’s own evaluation survey was strongly positive with 96.5% of delegates stating that they’d recommend the conference to a colleague, and delegates rated the suitability of the venue as 4.54 out of 5 – the highest scoring venue since the event was last in Birmingham, 2010.
The feedback from exhibitors and sponsors was excellent, with new features such as an ‘Innovation Theatre’ integrated into the exhibition in Hall 3 being particularly welcomed as a way of interacting with delegates. The ICC’s technical team were presented with a number of challenges, such as creating a robust wi-fi hub for a conference session on the use of social media, which they more than delivered.
From the society’s event team point of view, they commented that they thoroughly enjoyed their time in Birmingham. All the ICC staff across the board – catering, technical, senior management – were fantastic to work with.
Nothing was too much trouble and staff were responsive to last minute changes. The local knowledge and helpful attitude of all ICC staff contributed greatly to the success of the event.
“The ICC is a world-class venue that our delegates enjoy visiting; this year we had record attendance, which is a remarkable achievement in today’s market, and the ICC’s central location is a real bonus for attracting more people. It has a great infrastructure: the team is excellent, the food is delicious and the space is flexible. The auditoria in particular have everything we need technically and they look good so we don’t have to spend a fortune dressing them. All in all, we’re delighted with this year’s conference which has more than confirmed that the three year deal we have just signed with the ICC was a smart move. We very much look forward to returning in 2017.”
James Glavin, British Society for Rheumatology.