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Major medical conferences converge on Sydney

The Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre will next month welcome the first of thousands of international medical specialists in a busy year for major conferences.

Sydney’s biggest conference of 2011 begins on March 18 with 4000 delegates arriving for the eight-day Asia Pacific Congress of Ophthalmology, one of more than a dozen major medical events on the Centre’s calendar.

It will be preceded by the 6th World Congress on Pediatric Critical Care, expected to attract 1500 international delegates for seven days from March 11.

Other major medical events at the Centre this year include the Pharmacy Expo 2011 for 2800 delegates in June, the Australian Medical Students Convention 2011 for 1000 delegates in July and the HAA-ISHAPD 2011 haematology conference for 1500 delegates in October.

Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre Chief Executive Ton van Amerongen said the proliferation of important medical events demonstrated Sydney’s continuing strength in the fields of scientific and medical research.

“Sydney has traditionally been a strong source of medical innovation and the city is home to very active and successful medical and pharmaceutical industries,”  van Amerongen said. “At the Centre we play a very important part in connecting Australian innovators with leaders in their fields from around the world, and our continuing ability to attract these prestigious international conferences is a sign of our success in that role.”

As Australia’s busiest events venue, the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre will this year welcome more than one million people through its doors, attending more than 600 meetings, banquets, conferences, exhibitions and public events.

Among other high-profile events this year are the Australian Tourism Exchange for 2000 people in March-April and the new exhibition Grand Designs Live in October, based on the popular television program and expected to draw 15,000 people.

Having last year unveiled a contemporary new look for its Convention Centre Parkside, the Centre is now putting finishing touches to the final phase in its Parkside enhancements. A new system of moveable walls will allow greater flexibility and allow event organisers to create tailored configurations and exploit additional open spaces within the Centre.

“Along with recent investments in technology, interior design and environmental initiatives, these latest works help the Centre retain its place as Australia’s leading conference venue,” he said.

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