Tokyo has been selected to host the XXII International Society for Eye Research Biennial Meeting in 2016. This event will be coming to Japan for the fourth time; Tokyo follows Osaka, Nagoya, and Yokohama as a host city. Having been held in the capitals of several other countries, the conference is now coming to Japan's capital for the first time.
Takeshi Iwata of the Tokyo Medical Center played an important role in bringing this conference to Japan. He talked to us about his hopes for the event:
The convenience of accessing Tokyo from around the world, and of accessing the rest of Japan from Tokyo, was important in bringing the conference to Japan. In particular, Japan is only a few hours by plane from other Asian countries, and that encourages attendance from the rest of Asia. With the Tokyo Congress, we want to showcase Tokyo as the hub of eye research in Asia.
Another area where Tokyo scored highly is its abundance of sightseeing attractions during the period of the conference. We highlighted tours to the Kabukiza Theatre, Mt. Fuji and Tokyo Skytree. The fact that so many plays and other performances are happening all the time in Tokyo also makes the city appealing. The many options for places to host receptions and gala dinners were another plus.
Along with Tokyo's appeal, our bid for this conference included trial concepts that were welcomed. The ability to conduct the conference entirely in English, to make it paperless, and to introduce technology in a more prominent way, were some of the reasons for our bid's success. Having a lot of medical schools in the host city boosts the number of attendees, and Tokyo is home to more medical schools than any other big city in Japan. Companies that tend to sponsor events are also concentrated in Tokyo, so there will be plenty of exhibitors signing up. Those were some of the other selling points for the bid.
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