In just a few years, the city of Nantes near the French Atlantic Coast has transformed itself. What used to be another French second-tier city is now a vibrant destination driven by innovation and knowledge.
Those attributes, along with sustainability efforts that made it the European Green Capital back in 2013, have regularly placed Nantes at the top of lists of the best cities to live in. It’s also now seen as a top choice for association events looking for something different. Case in point: the 4th edition of the European Conference of Oncology Pharmacy (ECOP4), which took place at La Cité Nantes Congress Centre in October 2018.
Wessel Nieuwenweg, congress consultant for the European CanCer Organisation (ECCO), said that while Nantes is a lesser-known conference destination, “that actually makes it more interesting. It can provide a new and fresh approach to international organizers and delegates alike.” ECCO was the conference secretariat for ECOP4.
While the economies of Nantes and the surrounding Pays de la Loire region are rooted in the traditional industrial and maritime sectors, the region is home also to leading international companies such as Airbus and is considered a centre of excellence for such sectors as the digital economy, culture and creativity, mechanical industry, sustainable development, and health and biotechnology. The congress centre also works with the University of Nantes.
In the case of ECOP4, the event attracted multiple stakeholders, including oncology pharmacists, hospital pharmacists, community pharmacists, oncologists, pharmacy nurses, and pharma industry leaders by providing a multidisciplinary approach to promote the highest standards of pharmaceutical care in the management and support of patients with tumors.
The program aimed to equip oncology pharmacy practitioners with knowledge about recent developments, advance the effectiveness of health-care delivery, and increase the quality of patient care. Advances in research, patient management, and practice were showcased in keynote lectures, scientific symposiums, and poster sessions in two well-defined tracks: clinical and practical.
According to Nieuwenweg, Nantes ticked all the logistic boxes to host ECOP4: It’s a historical, innovative, and attractive European city; it’s well connected to the world and less than two hours from most European capitals by train or plane; and there are plenty of affordable and quality accommodations in close proximity to La Cité.
La Cité also proved its flexibility. “During ECOP4 there was another congress taking place, which was operated in parallel to ours without any interference, problem, or confusion. This is not always the case,” Nieuwenweg said.
“ECOP4 was attended by over 500 delegates,” he added. “We were very pleased with the collaboration, especially in terms of the clearly visible city-wide coordinated effort to host us. That was a great added value and helped to both promote Nantes as a destination to our delegates and make Nantes’ stakeholders aware of the coming of ECOP to the city.”
This article was contributed by Boardroom and edited for use in Communique.