Recent events haven’t deterred meeting planners to choose Istanbul for their next event. The Turkish destination’s latest wins include prestigious medical and IT-related congresses, a testament to the destination’s booming and vibrant determination to be a world leader in the meetings industry.
Text Rémi Dévé
The largest city in Turkey, Istanbul constitutes the country's economic, cultural, and historical heart, with its commercial and historical centre lying on the European side and about a third of its population living on the Asian side of Eurasia. Divided by the Bosphorus Strait, it’s a metropolis rich in 8,500 years of fascinating history.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Istanbul is also a leading meeting destination with unique venues, capable of hosting up to 30,000 delegates at once. There are four separate but integrable meeting and exhibition clusters in the city, from the Airport District, the Congress Valley to the Golden Horn and Asian side – in total Istanbul boasts seven convention and three exhibition centres, and 100,000+ beds in more than 194 five- and four-star hotels and 103 more to open.
Easily accessible from around the world, Istanbul is well served, with Turkish Airlines and its network of more than 280 direct flights - it even flies to more countries than any other airline in the world.
A knowledge hub leading the way in many fields of endeavour, the city has over the last decades seen expansion in such fields as the medical sciences, general science, industry-specific sectors, economics, transportation, architecture and design. Medical congresses even occupy the first place out of all the convention held in the city, with the recent hosting of the Association for the Study of the Liver and its APASL Meeting (4,000 delegates) or the European Group for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (4,000 delegates). 2016 will also see the European Society of Cardiology and the World Congress of Neurosurgery (8,000 pax) come to Istanbul.
The Turkish destination has also recently won the bid to host the International Conference on Information Integration and Web Based Applications and Services (IIWAS) & The International Conference on Advances in Mobile Computing and Multi Media (MOMM) for 2017. As Ismail Khalil, President and Founder of Web Applications Societ, put it: ‘’Istanbul is becoming more and more the knowledge and technological hub of Turkey with over 53 universities, 5 techno parks accommodating more than 663,000 students and 28,000 professors which makes Istanbul an ideal destination that combines culture and history with the latest technological facilities in a perfect and harmonious manner.’’
Supported by the Union of International Associations (UIA), the International Association of Professional Congress Organisers (IAPCO) and the Interel Group, the global public affairs and association management consultancy, Headquarters Magazines serve the needs of international associations organising worldwide congresses.