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Dunedin set to welcome 2018 SPNHC Conference

The Otago Museum, in partnership with the University of Otago, has been successful in its bid to host the inaugural 2018 conference for the Society of the Preservation of Natural History Collections (SPNHC) together with the Taxonomic Database Working Group (TDWG).

The conference – themed Collections & Data in an Unstable World – will host approximately 300 delegates from around the world responsible for the care of natural history collections, their documentation and dissemination of information. The conference programme itself will likely consist of fieldtrips, keynote speeches, themed sessions, demo camps and workshops.

The Otago Museum will be the primary venue for the conference activities, with neighbouring University of Otago offering support to the bid through the provision of conference venues, break out rooms and labs.

Fresh from his trip to Berlin to present the proposal, Robert Morris, Director of Collections, Research and Education at Otago Museum is delighted to have received news that the bid was successful.

“Hosting a conference of this scale is a real coup for both the Museum and the city,” says Morris. “This success reaffirms our commitment as an institution to connect our local communities with international dialogue, leveraging our world-class collection to foster knowledge of the natural world.”

“We anticipate there will be great interest amongst local practitioners, and believe hosting the conference in Oceania will encourage a growth in support for these two organisations throughout Australasia. This will be the first time that both SPNHC and TDWG will hold the conference jointly and stage such an event in the Southern Hemisphere.”

The bid was also a result of a successful collaboration between the host venues, Enterprise Dunedin and Tourism New Zealand, along with their Conference Assistance Programme (CAP), and will have far-reaching economic benefits for the city across sectors with an estimated economic benefit to the city of $630,000.

“The continued collaborative approach is proving to be a winning formula for the city. The support Tourism New Zealand provides with the CAP scheme allows us to compete on a level playing field with other international destinations. This great result showcases our growing international profile for business events,” says Bree Jones, Dunedin Enterprise Business Events Advisor.