emc2012, the 15th European Microscopy Congress, held at Manchester Central in September, was the largest event in the series so far. 1,714 registered delegates attended the conference, a 30% increase over the previous emc in 2008.
The record breaking numbers were drawn by eight parallel conference sessions that embraced the life and physical sciences, and delivered a balanced programme of optical and electron microscopy. This breadth made emc2012 the most inclusive event yet.
Professor Tony Wilson, President of the Royal Microscopical Society and Vice Chair of the Congress, said, "The conference sessions have provided an unparalleled opportunity for delegates to immerse themselves in their own area of interest, and also to witness new techniques and tools that might benefit their current work, or feature in their future activities."
Sitting side by side with the conference was the largest exhibition of microscopy equipment ever seen in Europe. More than 130 companies were present. This helped to attract an additional 759 day-visitors to swell the numbers further. If you add the 881 company representatives plus members of the press, it means that the total number that attended was comfortably past the 3,000 mark.
The event was organised by the Royal Microscopical Society which has a wealth of experience of staging large events.
"The RMS drew on its knowledge and reputation from running MICROSCIENCE every two years, and it was able to bring the light and electron microscopy communities together," said Professor Wilson. "The resulting buzz around the venue was very positive. Some of the exhibitors are saying that if they had realized it would be as busy, they would have brought more products to show."
During the event, the European Microscopy Society General Council met and selected Lyon as the venue for 2016.
"The Lyon team gave a very good presentation and there is every reason to believe that they will build on what has been achieved in Manchester," said Professor Wilson. "We will pass on what we have learned so that they can maintain the momentum. It should be another great event and I am looking forward to it already."
The Proceedings of emc2012 are available online here.