Delegates at the European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (ESPGHAN) meeting in Amsterdam have voted to bring their 2019 conference to Glasgow.
In intervening years the delegates will visit Athens, Prague, and Geneva.
The Scottish Exhibition + Conference Centre (SECC) will host a 4,200-plus delegation from ESPGHAN in 2019 following Glasgow’s bid being chosen ahead of five other cities, including Vienna, Istanbul, Copenhagen and Lisbon in a final vote.
The bid team was led by Dr Richard Russell and Dr Richard Hansen, both based at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children (Yorkhill) in Glasgow, with support from Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, the SECC and VisitScotland. The Glasgow team claimed “a landslide victory”.
“This was a tremendous team effort and is wonderful news for the city; on top of a well researched and scientifically robust bid, we also gave them a wonderful taste of Scotland: bagpipes, whisky tasting, a great city brand and a set of kilted warriors with a passion for what they do,” said Dr Hansen, consultant paediatric gastroenterologist at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde. “We won the member vote by a comfortable margin of 53 votes, underlining how the delegation bought into Glasgow.”
“This was a genuine team effort from Glasgow that saw our ambassadors, stakeholders and bid team aligned behind a strong scientific bid,” added Kathleen Warden, director of conference sales at the SECC. “The bid team worked tirelessly to engage with delegates and to show them how much they would mean to the city.”
Aileen Crawford, head of conventions at Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, hailed the ‘one Glasgow’ approach which, she said, had set apart the city’s bid from its competitors.
“This was a brilliant team effort and brought to life the very best of Scotland; our capacity to hold great events, to make delegations feel warm and welcome, to give them a taste of our unique heritage and identity, and also our willingness to support major association events through our BID Fund,” said Kerry Watson, marketing manager for associations at VisitScotland. “We’re looking forward to giving the delegates a warm welcome in 2019.”
One of the key subjects of the conference will be inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and to celebrate the win, the SECC lit up its SSE Hydro purple as part of World IBD Day earlier this week.