MEETinLEEDS & IMC shortlisted for prestigious award

Europe’s largest annual academic conference in the humanities – staged by the University – has been shortlisted for a prestigious industry accolade.

MEETinLEEDS and the International Medieval Congress (IMC) are in the running for the academic and independent team category prize at the Meeting Industry Association (MIA) Awards 2018 – the celebration of outstanding people in the business meetings and events industry.

A public vote will decide who wins the MIA Awards 2018. All you have to do is click on the University of Leeds image on the awards website and enter your email address to cast your vote. Voting closes on Sunday 14 October.

IMC Director, Axel Müller, said: “We are delighted to be shortlisted for this award, which recognises the hard work of the IMC team and the strength of the unique working partnerships that have allowed the IMC to grow in size and influence over its 25 years.

“Key to this success is the can-do environment which we work within, with colleagues from all parts of the University working together to make the IMC great. The IMC is exceptional in its size and internationality, and without support from across the University and the international programming committee, this would not have been possible.”

From 859 delegates at the first IMC in 1994, it has grown consistently to a record-breaking 2,900 attendees in this, its 25th anniversary year.

Having outgrown its original home at the University’s Bodington Hall, it now takes place on the main campus, where it has become the largest and most prestigious conference held at Leeds.

Delivered jointly by the University’s Institute for Medieval Studies (IMS) and MEETinLEEDS, the event is testament to this unique working partnership.

The collaborative approach extends across the University, in partnerships with Leeds University Union, Leeds University Library Galleries, faculties and services, plus organisations including Leeds Museums and Galleries, the Royal Armouries, English Heritage and The National Archives.

Beverley Kenny, Deputy Director Commercial Services, said: “During the IMC, the campus is alive with the passion of the teams’ vision.

“It is the combining of the IMC and MEETinLEEDS teams’ strengths that consistently delivers this event on the University’s campus, celebrating and harnessing its global impact and international reach. It is this collaboration, and commitment to the event, that drives the team desire for ever high standards in delivery and innovation.”

IMC is innovative in its interdisciplinary and inclusive approach to medieval studies. Papers from historians, archaeologists, linguists, archivists and re-enactors are equally welcome.

IMC differs from traditional academic conferences by offering a more immersive experience, featuring hands-on workshops, from combat techniques to bookbinding and medieval manuscript handling sessions. Thanks to its location in Leeds, delegates also have the opportunity to take part in expert-led excursions to a rich variety of nearby historical sites.

On the final day of IMC, campus is transformed for Making Leeds Medieval – a free public engagement event, which this year included dragons flying over campus, birds of prey, live music and combat displays. Visitors can experience the medieval world, thinking about their learning in different ways.

Professor Frank Finlay, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures and Director of the Cultural Institute, said: “I am delighted to hear that IMC has been shortlisted for these prestigious industry awards.

“Its growing success is testimony to the wonderful partnership between our academic and professional support staff teams. Dedicated to continuous improvement, the IMC goes from strength to strength, with each event better and more innovative than the last. This ensures exceptional levels of customer experience and service, and raises the international profile and vibrancy of the University and the city of Leeds as a visitor destination.”

Award winners will be announced during a ceremony at London’s Tower Hotel on Friday 2 November.