Returning to Japan after a hiatus of over 10 years, the 82nd Annual Meeting of the Meteoritical Society was held at Hokkaido University in Sapporo from July 7-12, 2019. When it comes to the spaces sciences, Hokkaido University is one of the leading research institutes in Japan, and its breadth of expertise and local knowledge was one of the compelling reasons MetSoc chose Sapporo as host-city.From the first stages of the bidding process in October 2014 to the actual meeting in July 2019, Sapporo Convention Bureau provided support every step of the way. The tea ceremony and Japanese calligraphy, cultural programs arranged by the bureau, were a particular hit, drawing almost a third of the attendees and lending atmosphere to the venue.3, 2, 1...Touchdown!The JAXA Hayabusa2 Asteroid Explorer made a timely landing on the asteroid Ryugu during the meeting. Attendees crowded together to watch the live feed, breaking into cheers and applause when the probe successfully made contact.Local ImpactIn honor of the 50th anniversary of the discovery of the Yamato Meteorites in the Antarctic, organizers held an open lecture for Sapporo residents, making an impact on the community and sparking new interest in the field.On-SiteAfter a productive few days of lectures and poster sessions at Hokkaido University, delegates set out on field trips to the Horoman Peridotite Complex and the Mt. Apoi Geopark, a wonderful opportunity to see Hokkaido peridotite first-hand and exchange knowledge with local experts.Rock, or rice ball?Look twice before you take a bite! Organizers offered their own clever spin on the Japanese rice ball, making them in the likeness of meteorites using black seaweed.
The 30th World Buiatrics Congress, held in Sapporo from August 28 to September 1, 2018 brought together 2,021 participants from 68 countries, with half of the attendance from outside of Japan and over 150 students. The World Buiatrics Congress has a long history, the inaugural congress held in 1960, making this first ever WBC to be held in the Asia Pacific a landmark event.Hokkaido accounts for over 60% of dairy cattle and 20% of beef cattle raised in Japan, and is home to the largest number of cattle veterinarians in the nation. Sapporo, capital of Hokkaido and 5th largest city in Japan, is the hub of this industry, making it the ideal host for the congress.Sapporo Convention Bureau supported the bidding committee from early on, helping with the site selection, preparation of the bidding documents, and designation of the PCO. During the congress the bureau assisted with cultural programs for accompanying guests (Tea Ceremony, Flower Arrangement, Japanese Calligraphy, Kimono) and ran a city information desk.In the FieldBesides its diverse program with a large selection of workshops, WBC 2018 also offered participants the opportunity to visit local farms and see first-hand the quality control of animal welfare and dairy products of Hokkaido.Making a SplashThe host committee took special care with the promotion and branding of the congress, effectively using social media and PR goods to build hype and grow attendance.Got milk?A unique twist on the traditional coffee break, participants were able to network at the congresses “milk breaks” that offered coffee, with local Hokkaido milk of course, and milkshakes.Pay It ForwardSpecial sessions for the public allowed elementary school students to try their hand at milking cows, as well as learn about dairy and veterinary sciences.
The 5th International Wildlife Management Congress, held in Sapporo from July 26 - 30, 2015, was the first IWMC Congress to be held in Asia Pacific, and brought together over 1,400 participants from 46 countries.Sapporo's unique natural environment and exemplary practices in wildlife management were a perfect match for the goal of the Congress: to enhance global sustainability and the conservation of wildlife, as well as to recommend improved international models based on the latest interdisciplinary wildlife research. IWMC 2015 not only boasted a strong program, made all the stronger by local expertise, but also left a lasting impact on the community through CSR activities and youth outreach.The Value of a MeetingIWMC 2015 was a catalyst for future collaboration, Rakuno Gakuen University and Sapporo City Government signed an Agreement on Policy Proposals on Biodiversity, as well as an invaluable opportunity to discuss and come up with solutions for some of the serious wildlife-related issues that faced Sapporo, such as the increasing appearance of brown bears and deer in urban areas.Taking ActionAs part of a CSR initiative, delegates and citizens joined forces for a good cause, clearing out and cutting down thickets and tall grass along Toyohira River to prevent bear and deer intrusions into the city. To this day, citizens still gather along the river every year to repeat the process - talk about a legacy!Local FlairThe congress attracted a diverse lineup of exhibitors, including a local zoo and national parks from around Hokkaido. The networking events were also highly evaluated by the delegates, who were delighted by the selection of local dishes and wide array of Sapporo’s famous sweets.Generation NEXTThe younger generation wasn’t left out either, as a special symposium on wildlife management and preservation was organized for junior high and high school students from all parts of Japan, and received special coverage in the local newspaper. The IWMC also collaborated with one of Sapporo’s main summer events - Sapporo City Jazz, with a band from junior-high school performing at the Welcome Reception of the congress.