Supporting Your Attendance

We are proud to be a diverse community. We strive to ensure our meetings are as inclusive as possible and want to promote a safe and friendly environment for everyone who attends.

We want our meetings to be as inclusive as possible and encourage anyone with additional support needs to get in touch with suggestions and ideas for how we can help.

We will already be offering the following opportunities prior to and at the 2019 Annual Meeting.

Attending your First Annual Meeting

First time at our Annual Meeting? We’ve put together some tips and advice into a handy leaflet to help you get the most out of your first major ecology conference.

Registration for Carers

Any delegates that require a carer to be present are entitled to bring a helper free of charge. Please get in touch with Amy Everard.

Annual Meeting Webinars

These took place on Tuesday 19th November.

Top tips from our webinars are available now.

An Introduction to the BES Conference 11.30am-12.30pm:  Recordings will be uploaded in due coursewith notes fromt eh webinar made available here.
Are you attending the meeting for the first time? Looking for advice on how to get the most from the meeting?  This quick webinar will talk you through the main things to look out for in the programme as well as hints and tips on planning for the meeting.

Managing Conference/Health Balance 13.30pm-14.30pm
This webinar from our Accessibility Network is specifically for delegates with additional physical and mental health needs on what support is available at the meeting; preparing for and implementing simple strategies we have found effective for managing attendance at large conferences.  It’s also a chance to chat with our events team, who know the venue well, and ask any access questions you might have or feedback to the BES team other ways we can support you.

Pre-conference Meetings

Freshers function
Tuesday 10 December 17:30 – 18:30
Everyone remembers their very first conference! For those who are attending either this or any conference for the first time, attending alone or independently of research groups/universities/ supervisors and mentors.  This pre welcome meeting allows you to meet a smaller group of friendly faces who know the meeting well and are happy to chat about their experiences and share their tips for making the most of the meeting before heading into the formal welcome mixer

The Smaller Welcome Mixer
Tuesday 10 December 17:30 – 18:30
Welcome mixers can be overwhelming, with a lot of people and too much noise for those of us who find walking into large rooms and crowds more difficult.  To try and make this a little easier representatives of our Accessibility Network offer you a chance to meet before the mixer, we’ll introduce ourselves, and head to the welcome mixer together.

Quiet Room

As always we will provide a quiet room at the conference venue for anyone who wishes to have some time out to think or reflect.

Prayer Room

We will also have a separate prayer room for those that want to pray throughout the event.

Green space

Belfast ICC is located on the River Lagen, which has a number of footpaths to take a stroll down if you need some fresh air. Ormeau Park is a large park with open grass areas, and wooded sections and is a 15 minute walk from the conference centre.


Every name badge at the conference will have a section to write the pronoun you would like to be addressed with at the meeting. If you see someone wearing one of these badges, please use the words they have chosen to refer to them in conversation. Gender is an important part of a person’s identity. It is upsetting and frustrating if someone addresses you incorrectly. If you do, however, use the wrong words by accident, simply apologise.

Please-offer-me-a-seat Badges

‘Please offer me a seat’ badges for disabled delegates and those with invisible conditions who are less able to stand are available at the registration desks. If you see someone with a badge and you are seated, please offer them your seat, if you are able to.  If you are chatting to someone with a badge, especially during poster sessions and social events, please do invite them to find a seated area to continue your discussions.

More information on Accessibility in the city is provided on the Visit Belfast website.