Jenna Hadley
16 January 2013 13:45



The International Convention Centre (ICC), Birmingham has secured a three-year deal with the British Society for Rheumatology (BSR), which is estimated to bring over £5.5m to the local region in economic impact. 

The annual three- day conference and exhibition typically attracts 2000 delegates and will take place in 2017, 2019 and 2021; generating almost £2m for Birmingham’s business visitor economy at a time. 

The BSR is also holding this year’s conference at the ICC on 23-25 April for the fourth time, having staged its 2005, 2007 and 2010 conferences at the venue. 

The event brings together people from across the discipline including consultants, GPs, nurse specialists and other health professionals to network and keep up-to-date with scientific and research advancements. 

Weeks after the controversial NHS reforms are implemented; the conference will provide an opportunity to hear the latest developments in CCGs and commissioning from Bob Ricketts, Director of Commissioning Support Strategy at the NHS Commissioning Board. Bob was recently named one of Health Service Journal’s 50 most influential people in the NHS: “Where there is a problematic policy to implement, the call goes out to send for Mr Ricketts, who has an impressive track record of making sometimes high-flown policies work on the ground.” 

This is my image caption

This is my image caption

Former health advisor to Tony Blair and Director of Strategy and Commissioning of the NHS London Strategic Health Authority, Paul David Corrigan CBE, will also be speaking at the April conference. 

Director of Marketing and Events for the BSR James Glavin said the central location of the ICC played a big part in their decision to sign up to a three year deal, as they have found attendance figures tended to be higher at the Birmingham based venue. 

“The ICC works really well for us and we usually see a significant jump in delegate numbers with it being so easy to get to and centrally located. This year we are also expecting to attract a larger international audience due to the number of world experts and leading rheumatologists speaking at the conference, along with key political figures.” 

“The ICC is also a great venue in terms of the space and infrastructure, and as it is so well known, this helps with our marketing. The team has also been very helpful in finding potential solutions to some of our challenges such as finding additional exhibition space.” 

Rheumatology 2013 comprises three days of conference sessions as well as an exhibition and will use all ten halls at the ICC. At this year’s conference the BSR are launching an ‘innovation centre’ in the style of an open theatre in the exhibition hall, where delegates can receive information and advice from industry expert’s in-between sessions. 

Catherine Newhall-Caiger, Business Development Director for the ICC said: “We are extremely pleased to welcome back the British Society of Rheumatology’s annual conference. An event like this is not only great for Birmingham in terms of economic impact, but the high profile of the guest speakers also helps put Birmingham on the map and in the minds of some extremely influential people.” 

Commercial Director for Marketing Birmingham Ian Taylor said: “The BSR’s commitment to stage its 2017, 2019 and 2021 conferences in Birmingham is a further illustration of the continued work to attract and retain significant medical events in the city, boosting an already strong visitor economy worth nearly £5 billion. 

“With an ambitious on-going investment programme in the city, BSR conference delegates will be able to observe at first hand the developments being made to our transport and hotel infrastructure as Birmingham seeks to remain the destination of choice in the events sector.”