Congress: what an exhibition of excellence

While most people are still enjoying their summer holiday, planning for the IBMS Congress 2019 is already well underway, with the exhibition taking shape. The leading diagnostics companies have booked their exhibition space and are beginning their planning for product launches and demonstrations.

The Congress exhibition is unlike any other biomedical science exhibition; its sheer size and range of exhibitors and equipment makes it unique as a starter, but the opportunity to learn more is unparalleled. It is a badge of honour that this biennial event presents the most challenging exhibition that the International Conference Centre (ICC) in Birmingham hosts; while delegate footfall is not of the same magnitude as that produced by the major political party conferences that sometimes use the ICC, the IBMS is the only organisation that literally uses every hall and every inch of possible exhibition space. This is why Congress has such a major visual and psychological impact; in no other environment is the profession seen so brilliantly and dynamically.

For anyone who hasn’t been to Congress before, the exhibition comprises in the region of 150 companies, from the largest multi-nationals to small and highly specialised exhibitors; the one thing they all have in common is depth of knowledge and information about their products and services. Two large exhibition halls, the balcony, the registration area and the route to several of the exhibition halls, Congress fills every available square metre of the ICC with products and services relevant to delegates.

The exhibition provides attendees with access to a wealth of friendly advice and information; you can view the latest kits and equipment and see the latest innovations that are shaping the way pathology services are delivered. Congress is the platform of choice that exhibitors use to show some seriously large equipment and offer access to products for the first time; the importance of the relationship with industry partners that contribute so much to make this a uniquely successful event cannot be overstated.

Next year will mark the thirteenth Congress and while the venue has remained constant the content has evolved to meet the changing needs of the profession. Each time something new is added to the lecture programme, and the exhibition has evolved in parallel to become an integral part of the learning opportunities offered by Congress. For several years, attendees have been offered a number of seminars in one of the exhibition halls, which are free to attend. This is a significant development and is aimed at those people who wish to attend Congress but do not have access to funds for the main lecture programme.

The option to attend as a free exhibition-only delegate rather than a full delegate enables departments to allow the maximum number of staff to benefit and to take back different learning experiences. For 2019, a full three-day seminar programme will run in the exhibition hall, with some of the seminars presented by the exhibitors themselves, offering a different perspective to familiar issues. There will be a mixture of presentations and workshops that feature a range of topics and issues not covered on the main lecture programme. Aldo included will be a number of training seminars aimed specifically at trainers, training officers and potential candidates for IBMS examinations. These seminars and workshops are much smaller and more informal than the main lecture programmes and facilitate a greater degree of interaction between the audience and the presenter. They also encourage people to drop in while visiting the exhibition

In addition to the exhibitors and the seminars, Hall 4 is the home of the poster display. More than 150 posters will be displayed over three days, and anyone whose poster is accepted for Congress receives a free day as a full delegate. Compiling a poster is an excellent CPD opportunity and helps to illustrate the role of biomedical scientists in research and innovation.

Finally, networking isn’t just for managers, it’s for everyone. For those who may be thinking about a change in career direction or looking to gain experience in a different environment, the Congress exhibition is the ideal place to meet people, make contacts and network. Whether looking to buy or simply to increase your knowledge and understanding, there is no better place to start than the Congress exhibition.


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