EICC Case Study Coming together Chris Garrett, Conference and Event Services Manager for the British Association of Dermatologists, tells us just how good it was to be part of the first event held in the EICC's spectacular new event space.

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As the first clients to use the newly expanded EICC, can you describe your experience of the facilities?

It was excellent. When you go to a new venue, there are certain expectations around its appearance and what it has to offer. The EICC's newly expanded space really was spectacular - it had a great look and feel to it. I've been to new venues in the past, where things haven't been quite finished in time. It wasn't like that at all at the EICC. The venue was completely finished and ready for our delegates. I was particularly impressed by the link between the two buildings. Around the Strathblane Hall and new Atrium space it was completely seamless - you would never have known that they were once two separate buildings.


Can you tell me a little bit about International Investigative Dermatology (IID)?

The IID is a tri-society meeting of the European Society of Dermatological Research (ESDR), the American Society for Investigative Dermatology (SID) and Japanese Society for Investigative Dermatology (JSID). Every five years these three groups cancel their annual meetings and come together for IID. This means that this conference only comes to Europe once every 15 years.

The conference itself showcases academic and scientific research on dermatology. Part of this is a poster display, outlining new developments and research findings in the world of dermatology. The event lasts five days and is made up of meetings, plenary sessions, guest speakers and sponsored talks. We had 2,300 registrants this year and more than 1,500 of those had their posters on display.


What were the highlights of the conference?

The organisation was great. Everything happened where it was supposed to, when it was supposed to, which was a big plus. Our delegates also raved about the venue - they were very impressed. Everything went smoothly and our delegates were happy, so we couldn't really ask for anything more.

How did the EICC assist with all the speakers at the event? I understand there were over 100.

We were allocated a speaker preview room, where we could ask speakers to bring their presentations. The EICC's technical production team was very helpful. They kept a close eye on our speakers and were great at letting us know if there was going to be a potential delay with any of the presentations.

Overhead view

You showcased 1,500 posters at the event. Was this the largest you have managed at a conference?

Yes. At our annual meetings we typically have around 250 posters, whereas at the EICC we displayed over 1,500. This was a major part of the meeting as the posters showcase research that has taken place in the world of dermatology. It was a lot bigger than what we have displayed before and the EICC was very helpful in supporting us to get set up and allowing us extra time to take the posters down at the end of the event.


How did you find Edinburgh as a host city?

Our delegates really liked the compact nature of the city. Having the accommodation and event venue close to one another is often rare, but in Edinburgh everything was on the doorstep.

What features of the expanded EICC did you find most beneficial to your event?

The new Lennox Suite was essential to display all of our posters at their best. Without the use of this space, we wouldn't have been able to showcase all of the posters together, and we would have perhaps had to look at an electronic alternative, which wouldn't have done the posters justice. I was also really impressed by the Atrium and the Platform 5 Café, which provided a great informal meeting space. Our delegates really enjoyed sitting there and having coffee with their colleagues. This space proved to be invaluable.