The Estonian Convention Bureau's annual 'Conference of the Year' gala awards ceremony took place in Tallinn on January 11, with the top prize going to Baltanest 2016, the 8th International Baltic Congress of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care.
Organised by PCO Estravel, the large-scale medical gathering brought 700 anaesthesiologists, researchers and other experts to the Tallinn Creative Hub in early December. It beat out 12 other nominees to win the prize.
This week's awards event, held at the Swissôtel Tallinn, was attended by about 100 guests – chiefly conference organisers, members of the conference industry and university representatives. The city's Deputy Mayor, Arvo Sarapuu, handed out the honours, accompanied by ECB Chairman Feliks Mägus and ECB Managing Director Kadri Karu.
“Baltanest really impressed our members with its top-level performance at all stages, from planning to execution. Conferences like these serve to raise the bar for quality in Estonia, setting a great example for other would-be organisers,” Karu noted.
In addition to the main prize, a 'Most Innovative Conference Solution' title went to the Specialty Coffee Association of Europe and Estonia Spa Hotels AS for organising Roaster Camp 2016 in Pärnu last October. A 'Successful Bidder' award was given to ICLC-14, the team organising the 14th International Cognitive Linguistics Conference set to take place in Tartu this year. That event is expected to bring in approximately 450 delegates from 50 countries.
The ECB has been handing out its 'Conference of the Year' award since 2011. Winners are chosen through a vote by all ECB members.
The Estonian Convention Bureau is a non-profit organisation established jointly by public and private sector bodies. It was founded in March 2008 in order to attract international conventions to Estonia. The bureau's 31 members include the cities of Tallinn and Tartu, and a number of DMCs, PCOs and hotels. It is co-financed by the Estonian Tourist Board, Enterprise Estonia.