Case Study
ESACT 2024

The European Society for Animal Cell Technology (ESACT) held its 28th annual meeting from June 23-26, 2024, at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC) in Scotland. This significant event marks the third time ESACT has convened in the UK and its first time in Scotland, following previous meetings in Harrogate (2005) and Brighton (1992). This year’s congress welcomed over 900 delegates, each receiving a special treat of Scottish shortbread biscuits and a can of Irn-Brw to try on arrival in their delegate bag given out at registration.

Umbrella’s Used
Liters of Irn-Bru
Bespoke Tours
Bespoke Tours
Umbrella’s Used
Liters of Irn-Bru

Before the main congress started, a pre-congress programme took place on the Saturday. This pre-congress workshop was designed for newcomers and those seeking to broaden their understanding beyond their current expertise. Attendees gained valuable insights into the principles underlying the manufacture of various biological therapeutics, such as recombinant proteins and viral vectors. Delivered by expert communicators, the workshop aimed to enhance attendees’ experience at the ESACT meeting by providing a comprehensive understanding of the tools, instruments, and techniques used in both industrial and academic ACT sectors.

As part of the programme, CPI organised 9 bespoke tours around Edinburgh, each based on a different theme. Given Edinburgh’s unpredictable weather, 850 umbrellas were provided to delegates, proving useful when a downpour coincided with the start of the tours. The tours ranged from exploring Edinburgh’s medical history to a ghost tour. In addition to the 8 walking tours, a more accessible tour focused on poetry writing and whisky tasting was held at the EICC. In total, CPI managed 72 groups going out on tours including one group of 190 delegates who climbed to the peak of Arthurs Seat in the fog.

To conclude the congress, the ESACT Gala Dinner was held at the National Museum of Scotland. Delegates enjoyed a welcome drink while exploring part of the exhibition, before being led by bagpipe into the Grand Gallery for a sit-down dinner. Surrounded by a spectacular array of over 800 objects from diverse cultures and disciplines—from tiny glass sculptures to a girder from the original Tay Bridge, whalebone scrimshaw to Art Nouveau design—guests dined in an extraordinary setting. After dinner, the Red Hot Chilli Pipers entertained with modern songs given a bagpipe twist. Following their performance, a ceilidh ensued, where delegates learned traditional Scottish dances. To cap off the night, a DJ played music until late into the night.

What's Next?

Find out how you can create bespoke tours for your delegates to explore the city by contacting our Conference Producer Anna

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