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ICC Birmingham brings the Best of British & Irish to the IUPS World Congress

The International Convention Centre (ICC) Birmingham
The International Convention Centre (ICC) Birmingham is celebrating, after successfully hosting the World Congress of the International Union of Physiological Sciences (IUPS), which saw the team deliver one of the largest global conferences of the year so far, culminating in a Best of British & Irish themed party.

With over 3,000 delegates arriving from all over the world for the six day event (21 -26 July) deemed the largest in the physiological sciences calendar, the ICC team showcased all of its in-house expertise from account management to client hosting and technical services to ensure that delegates received a welcome to remember.

Business Development Director, Catherine Newhall-Caiger, said: “This is the first time the full international event has been held in the UK since 1993 so we wanted to make the conferencing experience the best it could be and showcase the variety of culture that the UK has to offer visitors. Hosting an event such as this with so many elements to it is always a challenge, but with such a great team of experts here at the ICC, I am pleased to say it was a great success.”

The whole venue was hired, with the main auditorium, Hall 1, hosting a free public lecture, daily conferences and speaker sessions, many of which were webcast across the world. Full use was made of the state of the art technology provided by the ICC, including the new Media Wall above the registration area and the recently installed Dynamic Imaging Projection System.

The remaining space was used for the IUPS Expo (Hall 3) and break out areas where delegates could network, conduct meetings and have informal briefings. Centenary Square, at the front of the ICC was also utilised with a free Mobile Teaching Unit - a Lab in a Lorry -to engage the general public on how the human body works.

The highlight of the congress was the Best of British & Irish themed party, where the unique public mall running through the centre of the ICC was closed, giving exclusive access to delegates and allowing them to network with their peers. As the principle focus of the evening, British & Irish themed dishes, created by the award-winning in house catering team, were served alongside Guinness stocked Irish bars enabling delegates to experience a ‘taste’ of Britain and Ireland.

The entertainment on offer was also carefully selected by the events team, with a Scottish bagpiper, Welsh male voice choir and an Irish band all showcasing the best of Britain.

Commenting on why IUPS chose the ICC to host their quadrennial event, Nick Boross-Toby, Director of Events & Marketing at The Physiological Society, UK & Ireland said: “Our first impression of the ICC was fantastic, with its appealing canal-side position and central city location.

“The Mall is a fantastic space; it’s light, airy and has lovely vistas of the venue and outside. The building is extremely well designed and you are never more than a couple of minutes’ walk from each area, which is excellent for the flow of delegates throughout a conference and in stark contrast to some venues.

“The Boardroom suites are a great addition and the ICC comes with plenty of flexibility on the use of space, as well as the added bonus of the world-class Symphony Hall – where some delegates attended a show during the week.

“The little touches have made a huge difference and the ability to deal easily with numerous chops and changes has helped the event planning process to go smoothly. I have nothing but praise for the ICC team. We’ve had a very friendly and personable relationship with them – they have a real sense of humour”.

Ian Taylor, Commercial Director at Marketing Birmingham, the city’s strategic marketing partnership that operates Meet Birmingham, said: “Birmingham has enjoyed a productive relationship with the life sciences sector in recent months. This follows a strategic approach to target events that act as a catalyst for the city’s economic growth.

“The IUPS conference is predicted to have generated more than £6.5 million for the local economy, with delegates enjoying the city’s internationally-recognised culinary scene and world-class cultural institutions as part of their stay.”

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