The Higher Education Purchasing Consortium, Wales (HEPCW) was excited to host the Conference on University Purchasing (COUP) 2017, at our Bay Campus between 5th and 7th September.
Hosted biannually by each of the UK’s regional purchasing consortia, COUP attracts a wide range of procurement professionals from within the UK and overseas. The conference is complemented by an exhibition of up to 70 suppliers who provide goods and services to the Higher Education sector.
Over two days, delegates were treated to a wealth of expert led presentations, training sessions and discussions relating to “Positive Change through Sustainable Procurement”. The robustly designed programme covered a range of topics, both strategic and operational, focusing on the increasingly challenging economic landscape with sustainability being a key consideration.
Bay Campus was the home of COUP, with The Great Hall housing the keynotes and breakout sessions being split with the state of the art School of Management with its waterfront views. A marquee was also pitched behind the library to hold a supplier exhibition.
For the duration of the conference, delegates conveniently stayed on campus in halls of residence, with complementary access to our state of the art gym facilities.
As a backdrop to the academic programme, attendees were treated to a diverse social programme, equipping them with fantastic opportunities to network and explore Swansea’s cultural offerings.
On Tuesday afternoon, events kicked off with an enthralling game of Zorb ball and a guided tour of Crymlyn Burrows, Swansea University’s Site of Special Scientific Interest, followed by BBQ which was hosted indoors due to the unpredictable nature of the weather!
After a packed day of knowledge sharing, on Wednesday evening delegates were transported by shuttle bus to the National Waterfront Museum in the Maratime Quarter for a drinks reception, followed by the opportunity to experience the city’s nightlife.
The conference drew to a close in the Sir Stanley Clarke Auditorium with its sweeping views of Swansea Bay, with delegates being invited to enjoy a formal gala dinner, whilst fantastic musical entertainment was provided by Cardiff based party band The Trends, followed by a DJ until midnight.
COUP 2017 was an undeniable success, with Howard Allaway, HEPCW Procurement Manager stating:
“We chose Swansea University as it was able to:
- Provide a landmark venue which promotes Wales and Swansea in particular.
- Offer state of the art facilities to hold conference keynote and workshop session for over 200 delegates
- Provide a marquee for the supplier exhibition
- Offer on campus catering for delegates and exhibitors
- Offer en-suite residential facilities for delegates and exhibitors
- The layout of the campus affords easy navigation and is accessible for delegates with mobility issues.
Coupled with this, we were able to benefit from other services offered by the team, notably
- Development and hosting of the conference website
- Online registration and payment system for delegates and exhibitors
- Promotion and marketing of the conference, including targeted mailing campaign, management of social media and design and print of conference materials
- Management of the exhibition space
- Organisation of social events to supplement the conference.
Throughout the process we enjoyed strong support from the Events Team, who project managed the process effectively and efficiently, and were able to respond to challenging timescales. Throughout the event itself we received support that was at all times professional, polite and patient.
I would have no hesitation in recommending Swansea University as an ideal venue for events of this nature”