The European Society of Cardiology (ESC) today announces that it has chosen the venues for the 2013 and 2014 editions of its flagship annual event, the ESC Congress. Amsterdam and Barcelona respectively have been selected as the host cities after a rigorous evaluation process. The 2013 event will be held between 31 August and 4 September at the RAI Centre, while the 2014 event will be held between 30 August and 3 September at the FIRA de Barcelona.As the world’s premier cardiovascular conference, the ESC Congress enjoys an international reputation for the quality and relevance of its content. It draws over 30,000 participants from more than 150 countries to a five-day programme of scientific sessions, workshops and presentations, and a related exhibition of medical equipment, treatments and services. “The ESC Congress is an exciting environment that drives progress,” says Professor Roberto Ferrari, the ESC President.
“It is the one event that cardiologists from around the world – not just Europe – want to attend. They come to formally present and debate their ideas, as well as to network with friends, alumni and former colleagues. Their main motivation, however, is to keep up-to-date with the latest in science and research, to review new techniques and procedures, and to see developments in equipment, devices and drug therapies. As such, the ESC Congress represents an ideal platform for our membership to help advance the science, management and prevention of cardiovascular disease.” Nothing illustrates the achievements of cardiologists better than the results of an independent study¹ published recently. This shows that 70 percent of the increase in life expectancy measured from 1960 to 2000 is directly attributable to advances in cardiology. Contribution to remarkable progress of this kind is the essence of the ESC Congress.Prospective venues have to demonstrate that they can seamlessly absorb over 30,000 professionals while providing international links, a high quality transport infrastructure, modern logistics and event support facilities, reliable communications and IT networks, and quality hotel accommodation. In addition, the ESC expects the local government authorities, the venue itself and its contractors to have a track record of financial stability and excellent security. Amsterdam and Barcelona have both met all the criteria set by the ESC.
“I am delighted that the ESC Congress is returning to these great cities,” says the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the ESC, Isabel Bardinet. “Previous visits, including the 2009 event in Barcelona, have been very successful thanks to the efforts of a lot of people. The choice of venue is particularly important to get right because the Congress is the focal point of our calendar – which is why the process to select a venue is so complex, demanding and lengthy.” The ESC Congress is a conference and event on a staggering scale. Wholly organised by the society itself, the typical highlights include:
· 30,000 participants from around the world, of which 25,000 will be physicians
· 10,000 papers submitted with around 4,000 accepted
· 900 hours of science and education covering a wide range of cardiology-related topics
· 250 breakout sessions and workshops reflecting specialty subjects
· 25,000m² exhibition space to showcase industry products and services
Last chosen as the ESC Congress venue in 2000, the RAI Centre in Amsterdam has an excellent track record of hosting large international conferences, and offers a wide range of state-of-the-art facilities. Hans Bakker, President and CEO of RAI said, “We are very honoured and proud that the ESC Congress is coming back to Amsterdam. The whole destination team is completely aware of the impact of Europe’s largest medical meeting and is highly committed to making ESC 2013 a resounding success.” Strong co-operation between Amsterdam’s local government and its business and service sectors in the selection process demonstrated a clear ambition to become the European ‘City of Meetings’.
Agustín Cordón, Managing Director of the FIRA de Barcelona Conference and Exhibition Centre, is delighted at the prospect of welcoming the ESC Congress back to the city in 2014. “This decision is a strong endorsement of the organisational capacity of FIRA, and it strengthens our case for continuing to attract prestigious events of this scale. The ESC Congress is a world-class conference that gives positive exposure to FIRA and to Barcelona, and also, of course, healthy economic benefits to the whole region.” The selection of Barcelona as a venue is a reinforcement of the city’s commitment to international business, and underlines its ability to provide excellent accommodation and hosting facilities.