Aberdeen Ambassador Network celebrates most successful year yet


VisitAberdeenshire recognised the achievements of 16 academics and business leaders who attracted over 4,000 conference delegates to Aberdeen in 2016, at last night’s (10 May) Aberdeen Ambassador Network awards ceremony.

The network is designed to encourage professionals and academics to bring high-profile conferences to the region, and works in partnership with Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre, University of Aberdeen, Robert Gordon University and the James Hutton Institute.

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The event was hosted by broadcaster Lesley Riddoch, while Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Aberdeen Andrew Lawtie handed out the awards to a wide range of conferences including the 1,000 delegate World Karate & Kickboxing Commission Aberdeen Open, University of Aberdeen’s Maximising Economic Recovery in the Oil and Gas Industry and the annual Alzheimer’s Research UK conference.

Graeme Mackay, ambassador programme executive of VisitAberdeenshire said, “2016 has been the strongest year yet for the Aberdeen Ambassador Network which is fantastic. We have worked with a variety of conference organisers from many different industries which demonstrates the strength of our ambassador programme and our conference facilities in Aberdeen, but we still have the capacity to grow the network further, and this can only be achieved through engaging with our local academics and business leaders. There is an association for nearly everything, and we’re fortunate to have distinguished universities that specialise in medical science and research here on our doorstep, while our buoyant business sector has an array of thought-leaders from a range of professions which include chartered accountants and engineers as well as haulage and farming. These are all industries which we have a strong representative in, and we should, as a region, be doing more to highlight our UK and global contribution to these individual industries by hosting conferences here in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.”

Long term Aberdeen ambassador member professor Cherry Wainwright, director of Centre for Cardio-metabolic Research and co-director of Centre for Natural Products in Health at the Robert Gordon University explained the value of the network. “I’ve been part of the Aberdeen Ambassador Network for over five years and find it hugely worthwhile as it allows you to confidently bid for conferences to come to Aberdeen with the assurance you have excellent support, not only from VisitAberdeenshire but the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre and the Aberdeen universities. Personally, I get a tremendous buzz from hosting a conference, and I would encourage young people in the early stages of their career to host a conference, as it helps to raise their profile externally within their discipline and develop a list of global industry contacts.

“The Aberdeen Ambassador Network offers excellent support if someone is thinking about hosting a conference but doesn’t know where to start, and provides excellent networking opportunities, bringing all the right people you need to work with to the one place. I have brought many global conferences to the region, and it’s a joy to bring them to Aberdeen as we have a great product to share with the rest of the world. In my experience, not many places have such fantastic food or such a vast and interesting range of heritage attractions in the region that delegates can experience.”

Aberdeen Ambassador Network 2016 winners

Mr John Scrimgeour, University of Aberdeen, Maximising Economic Recovery in the Oil and Gas Industry – The Issues

Mr Malcolm Evans, Lion’s Den Martial Arts Academy, World Karate & Kickboxing Commission Aberdeen Open

Mr Patrick Walker, Robert Gordon University, Social Pedagogy Development Network Conference 2016

Hazel Curtis, Seafish and Emeritus Professor James A. Young, University of Stirling, International Institute of Fisheries Economics & Trade

Dr Paul Schlicke, University of Aberdeen, Dickens Fellowship International Conference

Professor Marijn De Bruin, University of Aberdeen, Dr Clare Cooper, University of Aberdeen, European Health Psychology Conference

Professor Chrisina Jayne, Robert Gordon University, 17th International Conference on Engineering Applications of Neural Networks

Dr Jeff Pan, University of Aberdeen, 12th Reasoning Web Summer School

Dr James Njuguna, Robert Gordon University, NanoStruc 2016

Mr Neil Curtis, University of Aberdeen, University Museums in Scotland and Scottish Universities Special Collections and Archives Group UMIS/SUSCAG

Professor Bettina Platt, University of Aberdeen, Alzheimer’s Research UK

Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeen Hydrogen Summit 2017

Professor Susan Duthie, Robert Gordon University, UK Molecular Epidemiology Conference

Dr Margaret Watson, University of Aberdeen, Social Pharmacy Conference 2016

The Aberdeen Ambassador Network is a partnership between VisitAberdeenshire, Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre, University of Aberdeen, Robert Gordon University and the James Hutton Institute. For more information, visit www.visitabdn.com/AAN

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