Securing a bid to host the most prominent international microbiology conference is a professional and personal win for Mike Taylor, Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Auckland.

With the help of the Auckland Convention Bureau (ACB) and Tourism New Zealand, Professor Taylor successfully bid to host the 20th International Symposium on Microbial Ecology (ISME) in Auckland in 2026.   

The symposium is held every two years and has been hosted in cities all around the world. 

“The very first one was in Dunedin in 1977, which was a couple of hundred people – now we’re talking a couple of thousand. This meeting has really gone ahead in leaps and bounds over the years and we’re very excited to be bringing it back to Aotearoa.” says Professor Taylor.

Why did you decide to bid? 

“I’m really passionate about the development of the microbial ecology field in New Zealand, and this is the premiere international conference in our field, so it was a no-brainer for me to try and bid for this meeting, bringing the best people in the world to New Zealand and showcasing what we have here.

“From a professional point of view, it certainly hasn’t done my international standing any harm to be chairing such a big meeting and, more broadly, it’s been really good for the profile of microbial ecology in New Zealand.”

What was the bidding process like? 

“Right from the beginning we worked very closely with the ACB team and Tourism New Zealand, and they were really instrumental in helping us put together a fantastic bid document.”
“What I’ve really enjoyed about the whole process is the interaction with the ACB team and the team from Tourism New Zealand. They’ve been very supportive, very professional, but  friendly the whole way through.

“At a personal level, I was incredibly happy at the bid submission stage. It really felt like we’d given absolutely everything and, if we were to win the bid – which we did, that was obviously fantastic. But, even if we hadn’t, I would have felt nothing had been left behind.”

Bid with Auckland Convention Bureau

If you’re passionate about boosting your own field, career, or company profile, and networking with people from around the world, the Auckland Convention Bureau’s international bidding team can help. A winning bid will bring your international peers together for a world-class business event in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland to share knowledge, ideas and new discoveries.

Auckland Convention Bureau works with bid champions at every stage of the process, from initial feasibility studies to creating a compelling and unique bid proposal, plus their services are completely free. 

If you’d like to find out more about bidding to host an international conference, get in touch with Gemma Wood at [email protected] or contact us here.

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