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Manchester reports a decade of ‘substantial growth’ following ICCA ranking jump

Manchester has significantly strengthened its reputation as an international conference destination, jumping ten places above its 2012 position in the influential International Congress and Convention Association’s (ICCA) annual report.

The city now ranks 68th in the global table and shares company with cities like Chicago, Moscow, San Francisco and The Hague, whilst at a UK level Manchester has moved into third place becoming the leading non-capital destination.

Amongst the thousands of conference held in Manchester 34 were deemed significant international conferences and were ICCA approved – four additional meetings on 2012, representing a 13% increase.

International conference submissions which were accepted by ICCA and took place in Manchester in 2013 include the World Congress on Disaster & Emergency Medicine at Manchester Central and the World Congress on Anthropological & Ethnological Sciences and the Congress of the History of Science, Technology & Medicine which both took place at The University of Manchester.

Andrew Stokes, chief executive at Marketing Manchester said: “Manchester has experienced substantial growth in the number of international conferences visiting over the past decade and is securing events with increasingly larger delegate numbers and academic prestige.

“International meetings are all about intensive debate and discussion, bringing the world’s leading minds together to discuss a particular topic and through identifying those industry sectors, academic subjects and local experts that make Manchester truly stand-out on a global stage we have been able to tap into those opportunities which add the most value to the city - becoming known for intellect, knowledge and innovation whilst boosting our key sectors and solidifying our position as a global destination.

“Combine this with the draw of our collaborative ‘team Manchester’ approach - which utilises a consortium of stakeholders including Visit Manchester, our international convention centre Manchester Central and other venues, University conference offices and industry supporters, backed up by internationally respected academic ambassadors who lobby their own associations to bring events to the city - and Manchester offers a very attractive proposition for international conference organisers.

“We’re extremely proud of this strategy and it has paid dividends in recent months by helping us securing a string of high profile international events such as SER2015 – the World Conference on Ecological Restoration, International Surgical Week 2015 and EuroScience Open Forum 2016”.

Sarah Evans, sales manager at The University of Manchester, said: “Last year The University of Manchester hosted over 2,500 delegates at international conferences during our busiest ever summer. We have seen a huge growth in the number of international events thanks to our proactive academic community engaging with the incredibly successful Manchester Conference Ambassador Programme. We are delighted to see this recognised in Manchester’s rise in the global rankings.”

Angie Robinson, chief executive of Manchester Central, said: “During the last decade Manchester has propelled itself to become one of the world’s destinations of choice for international conferences.

“In 2013 we were proud to host conferences such as the World Association for Disaster & Emergency Medicine and the European Medical Writers Association 2013 at Manchester Central. We look forward to taking our unique ‘team Manchester’ partnership from strength-to-strength as we continue to attract some of the leading international conferences to England’s second city.”

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