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May 27, 2009

Olympics draws european medical event to UK capital

The Associations Conference (AC) Forum has chosen London to host its 2010 Annual General Assembly, swayed by the UK capital’s hosting of the 2012 Olympics, Visit London announced at IMEX in Frankfurt today.

The AC Forum is Europe’s only networking platform established exclusively for and by associations with in-house congress staff. With 23 members, it represents some of Europe’s leading medical associations, including: European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD); European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO); European Society for Cardiology (ESC); European Society of Radiology (ESR); International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP); European CanCer Organisation (ECCO) and World Dental Federation (FDI).

“The Associations Conference Forum meets in January every year in a different European city,” said AC Forum presiden Luc Hendrick. “For 2010, we selected London as the venue for the General Assembly and an intense two-day working meeting. As one of the positive effects of London hosting of the 2012 Olympics, AC Forum members are keen to learn how the congress and events industry can benefit from the Games."

Despite London’s poor showing in the ICCA’s global meetings survey, where it finished 19th, Visit London was keen to stress that the AC Forum’s decision – along with the hosting of GASTRO 2009, one of the largest medical conferences to come to London – “further establishes the capital city as one of the world’s leading destinations for association conferences and large meetings”.

“The AC Forum gives us a wonderful opportunity to showcase all that London has to offer, particularly at times when new developments are coming to fruition, such as ExCeL’s continued expansion with a 5,000-seater auditorium and a new 1,000 bed city hotel – Westminster Bridge Park Plaza,” said Becky Graveney, Visit London’s associations sales manager.

“With such a favourable exchange rate against the Euro and so much buzz around the city fuelled by the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games, there has never been a better time for the European associations market to consider London as a first choice to hold conferences and large events.”

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