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Edinburgh closes powerful PCMA Global Medical Meetings Summit 2015

 PCMA Global Medical Meetings Summit delegates and organisers join their hosts Convention Edinburgh and its members on the Royal Yacht Britannia for the finale dinner
Tackling the challenges head-on, the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) returned to Scotland this month for its Global Medical Meetings Summit. Bringing a number of senior medical professionals from around the world, together they set about defining the most pressing challenges facing global medical conferences and defining possible solutions with take-home strategies.

The dynamic four-day programme, in partnership with VisitScotland, including sessions in Glasgow and Gleneagles, closed proceedings in Edinburgh at the multi award-winning Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC) and finale dinner on the Royal Yacht Britannia on Sunday 15th November. The wide ranging programme, brought together insightful learnings, interactive group tasks and frank discussions, focused on the current reality of medical conferencing, future trends and emerging technologies that will shape the conference of tomorrow.    

The invitation-only event attracted leaders in global medical meetings, with representatives from the American Society of Anesthesiologists, Societe Internationale d’Urologie, American Thyroid Association, World Allergy Association, American College of Emergency Physicians, Scoliosis Research Society and American College of Genetics and Genomics.  

With increased global competition, rapidly changing technology and a new generation of delegates looking beyond the traditional conference model, this is a challenging time for event planners.   Being able to step away from their normal practices, think more creatively about procedures, as well as the bigger, blue-sky thinking, were all well received by Summit attendees.  

One of the key learnings delegates reported was the simple message of listening and genuinely putting customers first.  Introducing new practices, such as in-house brainstorms to consider every stage of a customer’s experience from registration to conference end, and problem solving all of the ‘small niggles’, can completely transform their experience from satisfactory to excellent.  

With speakers including medical futurist, Dr. Bertalan Mesko and innovation expert, Hamish Taylor, the summit examined the industry’s relationship and often uneasiness around embracing new technologies and trends, such as self-diagnostic tools, social media, wearable technology and virtual meetings.  With change inevitable, particularly if associations want to engage and meet the expectations of Generation Y and Millennials, the Summit not only aimed to provide insider knowledge, but give delegates the tools and confidence to become Positive Change Leaders within their own organisation.  

Lesley Williams, Head of Business Tourism at Convention Edinburgh said: “As a BestCities’ member, Edinburgh has a close working relationship with the PCMA and we were thrilled to host the organisation along with this prestigious group of senior medical professionals.  

“Conferencing is rapidly evolving, bringing with it new challenges and issues. I think the sessions have genuinely helped people step back, evaluate and identify the small initial steps that can get the ball rolling and enable them to embrace wider change. It was clear from speaking to all the delegates how reinvigorated, motivated and excited they felt by the end of the Summit.”  

“Both the VisitScotland and the Convention Edinburgh teams are true professionals and collaborate in perfect harmony,” said Deborah Sexton, PCMA President and CEO. “They are skilled at counselling meeting professionals on how to best showcase their amazing welcoming and walkable city.  The award winning Edinburgh International Conference Centre is in the heart of the city and is unmatched with its remarkable building options - from a rotating auditorium that easily converts to accommodating 1200pp, 600pp or 300pp to their Exhibit Hall with built in moving floor that can turn into a raked theatre in 40 minutes.”  

Neil Brownlee, Head of Business Events at VisitScotland, said: “The PCMA Global Medical Meetings Summit was the perfect opportunity for Scotland to showcase its credentials in the medical arena, with Edinburgh, Glasgow and Gleneagles providing wonderful backdrops to inspire these global leaders. This hugely successful summit allowed this country not only to provide the stimulation behind discussions, but to reinforce its position as the perfect stage for meetings and events of all sizes. The academic excellence in our universities, meanwhile, contributes significantly to attracting medical conferences.”  

The Global Medical Meetings Summit began on November 12th in Glasgow, with a series of education events being held at the Scottish Exhibition and Convention Centre, before heading out to the iconic Gleneagles Hotel, home to the 2014 Ryder Cup. The program concluded in the Scotland’s capital city, with delegates staying at the five star Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa, dining at Galvin Brasserie Deluxe at the Waldorf Astoria, with events at the EICC and Royal Yacht Britannia. 

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