The International Network of Research Management Societies (INORMS) is a biennial event hosted by ARMA (the Association of Research Managers and Administrators UK). Their 7th INORMS congress took place from 4th – 7th June 2018 is the EICC Edinburgh, bringing together its delegates from across Europe, Africa, Asia, Australasia, and the Americas. This year’s conference had XX sessions, xx seminars/workshops covering key research management topics surrounding this year’s theme of Promoting Global Research Management, Supporting Global Research Challenges.

The Facts:

  • 1,100 Delegates
  • 17 Exhibiters
  • 186 Speakers
  • 45 Countries
  • 1 Delegate Choir


There were numerous social activities included in this year’s programme, including a Harry Potter Wand- Making Workshop and an INORMS delegate choir. Delegates were invite to participate in a choir where we provided them with a professional music director and accompanist who coached and rehearsed with them for 2-3 hours until they were up to concert-standard  and ready to open the Gala dinner that night! Delegates were not only treated to the soulful voices for the INORMS choir, 750 guests joined in with the Red Hot Chili Pipers who performed a thrilling set after the Gala Dinner. This certainly set the Dinner guests up for the traditional Scottish Ceilidh which followed and continued on to the ‘wee’ hours of the night.

The Challenges & Solutions

The main challenge CPI faced in managing this conference was the volume of delegates and abstracts received was significantly higher than expected.
The targets for Abstract submission was 100 and we received 292 so a decision was made to increase the number of streams we had from 8 to 11. This meant that we had to be very careful about how we used the space in the EICC. We had to work very closely with the venue to allocate rooms and get the best room set up for each of the sessions and think about which topics would be more popular so that they could be allocated to the bigger spaces.


The Outcome

The increased numbers contributed to a great atmosphere at the conference and it was the biggest INORMS conference to date. The feedback from the conference has been very positive and we were thrilled to be working with such a wonderful organising committee.


Client Testimonial

“We presented CPI with the ultimate challenge. With just ten months before the event itself, could they help us organise our Conference? An International Congress, actually, where very possibly 1000 delegates might be attending. We were let down by our previous PCO and had to part company with them, which meant a real challenge for their successor, in terms of time and picking up the threads.

From the moment we met with CPI we understood that not all PCOs are the same. CPI’s can-do enthusiasm, confident experience and quiet professionalism stood them head and shoulders above the other recommended providers and over the past 10 months, our partnership has delivered the largest ever worldwide gathering of research managers and administrators in the outstanding city of Edinburgh, with nearly 1200 delegates from 55 nations.

The size and complexity of this event is eye-watering and only an operation of the capability of CPI, with their contacts, systems and significant back -office operation could make an event of this type possible for a small company such as ARMA.

Would we use them again? Belfast Waterfront, June 2019: planning now underway!”