In November 2017, 130 delegates from across Europe travelled to NewcastleGateshead for the Inborn Errors Working Party Meeting 2017 – an event which took place across three days at Crowne Plaza Newcastle – Stephenson Quarter.
This event was a joint meeting for the European Society for Bone Marrow Transplantation (EBMT), Inborn Errors Working Party (IEWP) and Paediatric Diseases Working Party (PDWP). The purpose of the working party and its members is to improve the outcome of transplant and gene therapy for severe congenital immunodeficiencies. The annual meeting provides the forum to discuss the latest updates in treatments and research for these patients.
Questions answered by: Roz Scott, Secretary to Chair of IEWP – Dr A R Gennery
Why did you chose to bring your conference to NewcastleGateshead?
We host the meeting in a different European city each year and felt NewcastleGateshead would be an excellent choice of UK city. We have not hosted the meeting in the UK since 2009 in Cambridge.
What do you feel you (the organiser) benefited from bringing the event to NewcastleGateshead?
We definitely benefitted from bringing this event to our region as it encouraged participation from more UK members. It is also an opportunity for junior members within the UK to take advantage of attending this valuable meeting where finding funding for travelling to other European cities would not be possible and thus encourages future participation and continuation of the society for the next generation.
How do you feel your delegates benefited from the event being hosted in NewcastleGateshead?
This is a charming city often overlooked when shortlisting European cities. Newcastle offers an easy-to-reach airport with minimal effort for transfer to the city centre and excellent rail links from London (under three hours) which all helps to aid smooth running of a conference from beginning to end, making it an overall more pleasant experience. We were able to host the meeting in the centre of the city in full view of popular sights and provide delegates with the opportunity to learn more about the city during their brief visit, instead of situating them in a windowless conference venue in a non-descript area which could be anywhere, which often happens with meetings of this size.
How did NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau support in the organisation of your event?
With the support of the Convention Bureau we were able to offer a very high standard of meeting. With the added benefits of hosting dinners at local venues, organising clear and concise travel guidance for getting to Newcastle and advising on what to see while delegates were here – the Bureau made it all simple and easy to arrange. The convenience of the online accommodation booking site they provided made bookings quick and simple for delegates too.
Did you come across any difficulties/hurdles when organising the event and how did you overcome these?
There were some hurdles with the meeting venue, loss of meeting paraphernalia, catering hiccups etc which we were able to manage in-house with the venue event manager. The Convention Bureau offered me excellent support with problems with delegates who had problems with their accommodation before and after the event.