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Meet the team: Kathryn our Conference Researcher

Guest blog post by Kathryn McWhirter

As a recent graduate working part-time and unsure about what I wanted to do after university, I came into my role as Conference Researcher for Glasgow Convention Bureau with no experience of the Meetings Industry and no real understanding of the work that goes into bringing conferences to the city.

Since joining the Conventions team in March 2018, I have learnt a lot about the industry and also about what makes Glasgow such an amazing conference city. My job as Conference Researcher involves identifying conference opportunities which are in line with the areas of expertise in Glasgow’s vibrant academic and medical communities, as well as completing research tasks for the Sales Team.

Prior to working for Glasgow Convention Bureau my experience of conferences came when I was working as a volunteer at a large academic conference at the SEC, while I was a student. I saw the huge amount of effort that went in to the smooth running of such an event to make sure it was a success. I loved the bustle and intense atmosphere of academic debate but didn’t give much thought at the time to what would bring a conference to Glasgow over other cities. My job now allows me to understand and contribute to the hard work and passion that goes into bidding to host these prestigious conferences in Glasgow.

I now know about the areas of research excellence and academic innovation which makes Glasgow such an attractive city for association conferences – and I continue to learn more each day! Glasgow has always been a city of innovation and invention and the city’s universities and medical institutes are home to world leading research in a variety of areas from Quantum Technology to Precision Medicine. The city’s proud engineering heritage is reflected in the current innovation being showcased, for example Glasgow is now a hub for small scale ‘cubesat’ satellites. We are also a proud IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers) city and have hosted 25 IEEE conferences since 1989 with at least another 7 to be held by 2022.

Life sciences and medicine is another particularly thriving area of research in Glasgow. The Beatson Institute is one of Cancer Research UK’s core-funded institutes and conducts life-saving cancer research, whilst the Golden Jubilee National Hospital is one of the largest cardiology hospitals in Europe and carries out the most thoracic surgeries in the UK and Ireland. Glasgow’s expertise across so many different sectors combined with our amazing venues, focus on sustainability and vibrant atmosphere makes it easy to see why it is such a great city for conferences.

As a student one of the main things which drew me to the English Language Department at the University of Glasgow was the enthusiasm and joy the staff took in their subject. I feel extremely lucky to find myself now working as part of a team that is equally enthusiastic about what they do and takes pride in the work they do for the city!

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