What’s in a book?

Imagine a world with no books. No curling up in front of the fire with Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet, no following Huckleberry Finn on his adventures, and no War and Peace to use as a doorstop. And how would we ever have learned that there are so many shades of grey?!

Although our abstract books are perhaps not quite as page turning as Harry Potter, they are the culmination of a lot of hard work from scientists, designers, printers and our wonderful Conference Officers/Book Editors!

Depending on the conference, our abstract books can range from “booklets” to 500 page tomes. They comprise all information relevant for a conference participant, including the programme, sponsors, poster numbers, participant contact details and of course – most importantly – the abstracts. Despite the introduction of an event app some years ago in the hope to reduce our carbon footprint, the printed abstract books are still loved and requested by the majority of our conference participants.

Abstract books through the years

Our amazing Conference Officers are not only responsible for the planning and smooth running of our conferences, they are also required to take on the role of book editor, which involves:

  • Extracting and sorting the abstracts from our registration system
  • Assigning the short talks and speakers
  • Coordinating the artwork for the cover design
  • Ensuring all sponsors and corporate partners are correctly represented
  • Assigning poster numbers
  • PROOFING!!!
  • Sending to print
  • Packing the books into the conference bags
The printing process – so many steps involved!

So next time you grab your abstract book at a conference, take a moment to think about the wonderful people responsible for putting the little bundle of paper in your hands!

Just a few of the abstract books produced over the past years
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