International Organisation for Mycoplasmology (IOM) Congress

EVENT HIGHLIGHTS
  • First time the congress has ever been to Queensland and only the second time held in Australia
  • 2016 congress will be the 40th anniversary of the IOM organisation
  • Brisbane congress will be the 21st international meeting of the IOM
  • QUT’s A$230 million Science and Engineering Centre to provide a cutting edge venue
  • World renowned Brisbane-based scientists add weight to city’s congress bid
Attendance 250 delegates are expected to attend
Host City Brisbane, Australia
Venue Science & Engineering Centre Queensland University of Technology
Date 2016 - July


Photo Credit: 21st Congress of the International Organisation for Mycoplasmology

ABOUT THE CONGRESS 
The International Organization for Mycoplasmology (IOM) is a non-profit scientific organisation dedicated to the study of mycoplasmas, which are micro-organisms causing disease in humans, animals, plants and insects. The organisation’s international membership of approximately 500 is made up of researchers, microbiologists, clinicians, immunologists, epidemiologists, biochemists, entomologists, plant pathologists, veterinarians, geneticists, molecular biologists, bioinformaticians and other scientists who work in this specialisation. The biennial congress deals with topics such as why and how the mycoplasmas cause disease, how these diseases can be treated and potentially be prevented through the use of vaccines.

This will be only the second time that this congress has been held in Australia.  It is a major coup for Brisbane to attract this prestigious event in a year which will be the 40th anniversary of the founding of the IOM and will also be the 21st biennial congress. The congress is expected to attract renowned researchers and scientists from Brisbane, Australia and throughout the world.

The key rival bid for the 2016 congress was the US city of Washington, which is home to the JC Venter Institute, a very important global scientific research institution. It was regarded as a significant achievement for Brisbane to be awarded the congress against such a prestigious alternative destination.

Why Brisbane?
The local organising committee advised that the main reason Brisbane won this congress was due to the highly professional bid document. The bid, which included comprehensive detail, specific attention to proposal guidelines and a detailed budget, was prepared by Brisbane Marketing. The IOM Board was also impressed by the Brisbane Marketing images provided, which conveyed the quality and diversity of accommodation, restaurants and various tourist attractions in Brisbane. Maps in the document showed that hotels were within walking distance of the venue.  Transport options for delegates on arrival in Brisbane and during their stay in the city, were also featured.

Cutting edge congress venue
The IOM Board was delighted that the Brisbane conference would be held in The Science and Engineering Centre atQUT, which opened in February 2013.This Centre brings together new facilities, offering the worlds-best technology and is set to revolutionise teaching and research in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Located in this contemporary building is ‘The Cube’, with its two-storey high interactive learning and display screens. This is one of the world's largest touch and display systems and is the centerpiece feature of QUT's new $230 millionScience and Engineering Centre at the Gardens Point campus, located in the Brisbane CBD. This area will be the central hub where IOM 2016 congress delegates will congregate each day and display print and electronic posters.

The venue’s central city location provided another plus in Brisbane’s favour, with delegates to be housed in accommodation within close proximity, providing an easy stroll to and from the conference each day. 

Benefits for Brisbane
It is expected that this five day congress will not only showcase the high standard of undergraduate teaching available at QUT but will also draw attention to the various in-house research institutes at the university, including theInstitute of Health and Biomedical Innovation.  The local host committee will also be aiming to demonstrate the quality and strength of research being undertaken at QUT, at universities and research institutes elsewhere in Brisbane and throughout Australia.

CONVENTION BUREAU SUPPORT
As the official Convention Bureau for the city, Brisbane Marketing is responsible for promoting Brisbane nationally and internationally as a Business Events destination. In association with its member partners, the Convention Bureau plays a key role in securing Business Events for Brisbane.  It provides meeting planners and event organisers with free advice, support and a wide range of services, in order to ensure that the city meets all of the conference’s needs and objectives. For IOM 2016, this support has covered a number of critical aspects and is ongoing.

The Bid
The Brisbane Marketing Convention Bureau developed and provided ongoing assistance with Brisbane’s bid for the 2016 IOM Congress.  The bid process was quite complex, commencing in 2012 and extending over a period of more than eight months. It required the preparation of a preliminary bid, followed by an even more detailed version addressing specific criteria after feed-back from the IOM Board.  Further queries from the Board were addressed before Brisbane’s bid win was finally confirmed in February 2013. The local organising committee advised thatBrisbane Marketing assisted along every step of the way, keeping things on track and ensuring that every detail was covered.

One of the bid strategies was to highlight the very high calibre scientists working in Brisbane and Australia. In conjunction with Brisbane Marketing, the Brisbane Bid Committee sought support and commitment from notable experts who included:

  • Professor Murray Mitchell – University of Queensland, Centre for Clinical Research
  • Professor Michael Good – Griffith University
  • Professor Mark Kendall – Australian Institute for Bioengineering and NanotechnologyUniversity of Queensland
  • Professor John Mattick (AO) – Garvan Institute of Medical Research
  • Professor Ian Fraser (AC) – Translational Research Institute at the Princess Alexandra Hospital

Each of these esteemed scientists has made a considerable contribution to the field of medical research in Australia and will be proposed to the IOM Scientific Program Committee as potential keynote speakers for the IOM Congress in Brisbane in 2016.  Citywide support for the 2016 IOM Congress in Brisbane was evident, with letters of endorsement for the Brisbane congress also coming from the Premier of Queensland, Brisbane’s Lord Mayor and the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation at QUT.

Another important component of the bid was to present an interesting and enjoyable social program. Brisbane Marketing established not only the social but also the scientific program and embedded these within the bid proposal. The social program includes daily tours and activities for delegates and their families, social events to be held during the congress itself and optional post congress tours for delegates and their families to extend their stay in Brisbane. 

Congress promotion
The IOM Congress is to be held in Brazil in June 2014.  With Brisbane Marketing’s assistance, significant conference promotion and delegate attraction activities will be undertaken. These include the development of promotional postcards, posters and Brisbane-branded clip-on koalas for local organisers to hand out at the South American congress. The posters will also be distributed to relevant laboratories around the world. A promotional video will be created by Brisbane Marketing to show to all delegates who attend the hand-over presentation in 2014, when the congress is officially passed from Brazil to Brisbane.

Ongoing support
Brisbane Marketing has continued to provide support to the International Congress for Mycoplasmology 2016Organising Committee by keeping tabs on milestone deadlines and tasks that need to be addressed in the lead-up to the event. This includes the conference promotion and delegate boosting activity that is due to take place in Brazil in 2014.

Brisbane Marketing Convention Bureau General Manager Rob Nelson said: - “We’ve been delighted to provide our expertise and assistance to the local organising committee for the International Organisation for Mycoplasmology Congress. We were thrilled to assist them in winning this prestigious congress against some formidable competition, which we believe reflects well on our city’s capability in this specialised field, as well as our extensive infrastructure. We look forward to continuing our promotional support to maximise attendance at the congress in 2016.”

OUTCOMES
“Brisbane Marketing assisted me every step of the way and they were just wonderful. It took eight months to develop this bid and they were constantly helping me, keeping me on track, their attention to detail was amazing and I’m sure that the actual quality of the document that we presented was a major reason why we were awarded this congress.”
Dr Christine Knox, School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Health
Queensland University of Technology

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