In early 2007, Simon Ringer (University of Sydney) and myself (third from the right) were invited by ‘Business Events Sydney’ to bid for IMC18 to be held in 2014. (‘Business Events’ remit is to help professional bodies attract major conferences and other events to Sydney). Ever willing to take up a challenge we accepted this invitation and pulled together a bid team to make the case to the world microscopy community to bring IMC18 to Sydney. The bid, made in Rio in 2010, was, unfortunately, unsuccessful as the compelling sentiment was for the meeting to be held in Prague.
Disappointed, but undaunted, we returned from Rio and resolved to try again to bid to host IMC19 in 2018. So in 2012 we established a bid team including Rhiannon Kuchel from UNSW Sydney, Deirdre Molloy, Miles Apperley and Ellie Kable from the University of Sydney and AMMS president, Martin Saunders. This group, together with Suzanna Rickard and her team from ‘Business Events’, set about planning our campaign to bring IMC19 to Australia, with the focus of work to present our bid at the Prague meeting in 2014.
Our bid strategy had many facets, not least building a momentum through a presence at several microscopy meetings held in the year or so before Prague. To that end we had exhibition booths at several meetings where we inundated attendees with clip-on koalas and conveyed the message that it was time for IMC to return to Australia.
In September our bid team made its way to Prague in what was, frankly, a do or die attempt to bring the conference home; our bid competing against Beijing, China and Busan in South Korea. With our bid team supported by over 50 other Australian attendees, we carpet-bombed the conference with 4,000 clip-on koalas, complemented by enough Tim-Tams to harden the arteries of all attendees. Throughout the week we built a compelling case for IMC19 to come to Sydney culminating in formal bid presentations by Simon and myself.
Finally, on the Thursday evening the vote was held at the IFSM General Assembly and, to our delight, and relief, we won the bid to hold IMC19 in September 2018 at Sydney’s spectacular new conference centre.
This is a significant meeting with well over 3,000 attending IMC18 together with a major trade exhibition. Over the coming months our ‘bid team’ will morph into a ‘conference organisation committee’ and we will likely grow that team over the coming months and years with others in the Australian microscopy community to build a capable and committed team determined to create the best IMC ever.
HoS School of Materials Science and Engineering