"Having ran a number of large conferences with The University of Edinburgh, I’d like to say that the collaborative planning process, logistical advice and support leading up to the conferences was not only fantastic, but vital component to the success of each event. No matter what we throw at you, your event management team, and front of house team, deal with it all in a calm and professional manner. We had a power issue during one of our conferences, and the Edinburgh First team managed to quickly and effectively find a solution, allowing the conference to continue without a hitch! I have really enjoyed working with the team (Louise, Cassie, Adele, Stewart and Daniela) and look forward to working with them on many more successful conferences going forward."
Shona Black, Head of Events,
University of Edinburgh Business School

Case studies (click to expand)

Genome Science 2019 saw an impressive line-up of all-female keynote speakers for the very first time in the event’s history.

250 delegates from academia, healthcare and industry came together to discuss the opportunities and address the challenges of genome science and technology.  Organised by the Roslin Institute and Edinburgh Genomics, this annual event has grown from an informal meeting in Nottingham back in 2007 to a fully-fledged international conference.

Held for the first time in the Scottish capital city, delegates travelled from as far afield as Australia for the three-day conference and explored a wide range of subjects such as disease resistance and animal conservation.

Professor Mick Watson, Personal Chair of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology with the Roslin Institute has been part of the committee organising the event.

He said: “As a frequent attendee of this conference over the years, myself and the team are thrilled to be hosting it in Edinburgh for the first time and to be welcoming four fantastic keynote speakers who will bring a wealth of insight from their own research and experiences.

“When we first started meeting in Nottingham 12 years ago it was based upon the advances made in DNA sequencing technologies – it was a revolution of sorts in biological research.

“It is a rapidly changing landscape so we find it hugely beneficial to meet up and discuss some of the opportunities and challenges we are all facing.  Congregating in Edinburgh is a real sign of our city’s strength in genome research.” 

After an informal welcome reception, the forum took place at the John McIntyre Conference Centre, the University of Edinburgh’s year-round conference venue.

Keynote speeches were made by Dr Sarah Teichmann from the Wellcome Sanger Institute, Professor Jane Carlton from NYU Centre for Genomics and Systems Biology, Dr Kirsten Bos from the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History and Professor Wendy Bickmore, Director of the Medical Research Council (MRC) Human Genetics Unit in Edinburgh.

Held for the first time in the Scottish capital, the Forum explored a wide range of subjects that have the potential to impact the lives of all of us.  This ranged from drug coatings in pharmaceutical science and 3D printing innovations, to geotechnical and environmental applications which could help us predict landslides more efficiently.

After an informal welcome reception, the forum took place at The John McIntyre Conference Centre, the University of Edinburgh’s venue built specifically to handle events of this nature.

Launching in Leeds in 2007, the event has alternated between China and the UK since, including visits to Guiyang, Shanghai and Yangzhou. It was initiated to help facilitate and foster collaboration between communities in both the UK and China in the multidisciplinary field of particle science and technology.

Dr Zeynep Karatza, a Research Associate at University of Edinburgh’s Institute for Infrastructure and Environment has been part of the team tasked with coordinating the event.

She said: “For this forum to come to Edinburgh is a real sign of our growing strength in particle technology a hugely important subject. While we have our visitors from China we also have people coming over from as far afield as Australia.  That’s in part because this is a unique event in the field – and collaboration is at its heart, both between countries and between disciplines.”

Originally founded as the UK–China Particle Technology Forum, the inclusion of the word ‘International’ since 2013 acknowledges its now worldwide popularity.

People First (Scotland) is a Disabled Persons User Led Organisation and registered Scottish Charity - working for the human rights of people with a Learning Disability or Intellectual Impairment.  Set up in 1989 (on the back of a disability conference held in Pollock Halls), People First (Scotland) continues to campaign to ensure that members of the organisation are supported to seek the same human rights as anyone else, the chance to choose where and with whom they live, freedom from discrimination and fair access to the justice system.  Their board of directors is made up solely of people with learning disabilities.

On the 5 September 2019 People First (Scotland) held a two-day conference for young people with a learning disability or intellectual impairment from across Scotland.  The Young Person’s Conference, comprised of three different workshops which focused on relationships, decision making and employment.  There were 43 young disabled people in attendance with the team of People First workers on hand as well as a number of other supporters.

The event took place at the John McIntyre Conference Centre (JMCC) located on our Pollock Halls estate.  The majority of the event took place in the Pentland Suite, the largest conference space in the building, which can host up to 300 people.  With plenty of extra, accessible space for break out sessions, the John McIntyre Conference Centre was an ideal choice for the Young Person’s Conference.

On the first evening the conference delegates were served dinner at the JMCC.  It was requested that the menu should be quite traditional due to certain dietary requirements within the group. We were more than happy to comply with this request and changed the regular menu to suit the needs of the delegates. The menu comprised of cream of leek and potato soup, roast chicken with mashed potatoes (or macaroni cheese) and vanilla panna cotta followed by tea, coffee and shortbread.

Since the Young Person’s Conference was a two-day event, People First (Scotland) required accommodation for their delegates. The University of Edinburgh was able to accommodate all delegates at Chancellor’s Court (used during term-time as student accommodation).  Chancellor’s Court, an accessible building, is also part of the Pollock Halls estate which meant that delegates did not have far to go between the conference and their accommodation. It was also important that delegates were placed in rooms next to those supporting them - getting the accommodation right for these delegates was crucial in order for them to feel comfortable and safe during the conference. Evacuation plans, signage and other aspects were discussed at length in advance of the event.

People First (Scotland) was impressed by the service they received from The University of Edinburgh in aiding them to host such a successful event.  There were a number of reasons for this:

  • Large accessible spaces for their delegates over the two-day event
  • Flexible catering options, incorporating all dietary requirements
  • A named contact at Edinburgh First who had a full picture of the requirements
  • Plenty of accessible accommodation close to the event venue. The fact that supporters  could stay next to delegates was essential

People First (Scotland) commented on how ‘helpful [the University of Edinburgh team] were throughout the whole process’ and thanked them for their ‘flexibility, willingness and patience with their processes and arrangements.’

Our Case Studies:

Genome Science (2019)

Genome Science 2019 saw an impressive line-up of all-female keynote speakers for the very first time in the event’s history.

250 delegates from academia, healthcare and industry came together to discuss the opportunities and address the challenges of genome science and technology.  Organised by the Roslin Institute and Edinburgh Genomics, this annual event has grown from an informal meeting in Nottingham back in 2007 to a fully-fledged international conference.

Held for the first time in the Scottish capital city, delegates travelled from as far afield as Australia for the three-day conference and explored a wide range of subjects such as disease resistance and animal conservation.

Professor Mick Watson, Personal Chair of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology with the Roslin Institute has been part of the committee organising the event.

He said: “As a frequent attendee of this conference over the years, myself and the team are thrilled to be hosting it in Edinburgh for the first time and to be welcoming four fantastic keynote speakers who will bring a wealth of insight from their own research and experiences.

“When we first started meeting in Nottingham 12 years ago it was based upon the advances made in DNA sequencing technologies – it was a revolution of sorts in biological research.

“It is a rapidly changing landscape so we find it hugely beneficial to meet up and discuss some of the opportunities and challenges we are all facing.  Congregating in Edinburgh is a real sign of our city’s strength in genome research.” 

After an informal welcome reception, the forum took place at the John McIntyre Conference Centre, the University of Edinburgh’s year-round conference venue.

Keynote speeches were made by Dr Sarah Teichmann from the Wellcome Sanger Institute, Professor Jane Carlton from NYU Centre for Genomics and Systems Biology, Dr Kirsten Bos from the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History and Professor Wendy Bickmore, Director of the Medical Research Council (MRC) Human Genetics Unit in Edinburgh.

Seventh UK-China-International Particle Technology Forum (2019)

Held for the first time in the Scottish capital, the Forum explored a wide range of subjects that have the potential to impact the lives of all of us.  This ranged from drug coatings in pharmaceutical science and 3D printing innovations, to geotechnical and environmental applications which could help us predict landslides more efficiently.

After an informal welcome reception, the forum took place at The John McIntyre Conference Centre, the University of Edinburgh’s venue built specifically to handle events of this nature.

Launching in Leeds in 2007, the event has alternated between China and the UK since, including visits to Guiyang, Shanghai and Yangzhou. It was initiated to help facilitate and foster collaboration between communities in both the UK and China in the multidisciplinary field of particle science and technology.

Dr Zeynep Karatza, a Research Associate at University of Edinburgh’s Institute for Infrastructure and Environment has been part of the team tasked with coordinating the event.

She said: “For this forum to come to Edinburgh is a real sign of our growing strength in particle technology a hugely important subject. While we have our visitors from China we also have people coming over from as far afield as Australia.  That’s in part because this is a unique event in the field – and collaboration is at its heart, both between countries and between disciplines.”

Originally founded as the UK–China Particle Technology Forum, the inclusion of the word ‘International’ since 2013 acknowledges its now worldwide popularity.

Young Person’s Conference (2019)

People First (Scotland) is a Disabled Persons User Led Organisation and registered Scottish Charity - working for the human rights of people with a Learning Disability or Intellectual Impairment.  Set up in 1989 (on the back of a disability conference held in Pollock Halls), People First (Scotland) continues to campaign to ensure that members of the organisation are supported to seek the same human rights as anyone else, the chance to choose where and with whom they live, freedom from discrimination and fair access to the justice system.  Their board of directors is made up solely of people with learning disabilities.

On the 5 September 2019 People First (Scotland) held a two-day conference for young people with a learning disability or intellectual impairment from across Scotland.  The Young Person’s Conference, comprised of three different workshops which focused on relationships, decision making and employment.  There were 43 young disabled people in attendance with the team of People First workers on hand as well as a number of other supporters.

The event took place at the John McIntyre Conference Centre (JMCC) located on our Pollock Halls estate.  The majority of the event took place in the Pentland Suite, the largest conference space in the building, which can host up to 300 people.  With plenty of extra, accessible space for break out sessions, the John McIntyre Conference Centre was an ideal choice for the Young Person’s Conference.

On the first evening the conference delegates were served dinner at the JMCC.  It was requested that the menu should be quite traditional due to certain dietary requirements within the group. We were more than happy to comply with this request and changed the regular menu to suit the needs of the delegates. The menu comprised of cream of leek and potato soup, roast chicken with mashed potatoes (or macaroni cheese) and vanilla panna cotta followed by tea, coffee and shortbread.

Since the Young Person’s Conference was a two-day event, People First (Scotland) required accommodation for their delegates. The University of Edinburgh was able to accommodate all delegates at Chancellor’s Court (used during term-time as student accommodation).  Chancellor’s Court, an accessible building, is also part of the Pollock Halls estate which meant that delegates did not have far to go between the conference and their accommodation. It was also important that delegates were placed in rooms next to those supporting them - getting the accommodation right for these delegates was crucial in order for them to feel comfortable and safe during the conference. Evacuation plans, signage and other aspects were discussed at length in advance of the event.

People First (Scotland) was impressed by the service they received from The University of Edinburgh in aiding them to host such a successful event.  There were a number of reasons for this:

  • Large accessible spaces for their delegates over the two-day event
  • Flexible catering options, incorporating all dietary requirements
  • A named contact at Edinburgh First who had a full picture of the requirements
  • Plenty of accessible accommodation close to the event venue. The fact that supporters  could stay next to delegates was essential

People First (Scotland) commented on how ‘helpful [the University of Edinburgh team] were throughout the whole process’ and thanked them for their ‘flexibility, willingness and patience with their processes and arrangements.’