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40 . www.conference-news.co.uk . June 2012June ISLANDSEIMR Conference, Pickaquoy Centre, Kirkwall, Orkney Isles, May 2012Orkney recently hosted the international conference of the Environmental Interactions of Marine Renewable Energy Technologies (EIMR). The research conference brought together world experts in wave, tidal and wind renewable power. It was organised in partnership with the University of the Highlands and Islands, the Scottish Government, Heriot Watt University and Aberdeen University, as well as the National Environmental Research Council. Almost 250 delegates attended from the UK, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Scandinavia. There was a welcome reception at the Pier Arts Centre in Stromness, while the four-star Pickaquoy Centre in Kirkwall was the base for meetings. Organiser Jim Brown of Agenda Events said: "Bringing this conference to Orkney has really benefited the local economy, booking out much of Kirkwall's accommodation and meeting facilities. It has also brought together worldwide expertise in the marine renewable sector and enabled the islands to demonstrate their unique skills and knowledge base." CASE STUDY WOW FACTOR ON THE IOWThe Isle of Wight is not well known for conferencing, although it has carved a niche for music festivals, such as August's WOWFest which attracts 12,000 visitors each day. There is a lack of major venues on the island, although Ashley Curzon, Strategic Manager -Economy, Tourism and Events at County Hall, says many the hotels do have small spaces for more bespoke meetings.With a culture and history all of their own and breathtaking natural beauty, Scotland's 200 islands present numerous possibilities for organisers. Many, though not all, have a range of accommodation and some larger islands even have their own airports.On the tiny island of Barra the planes land on the beach, while Shetland and Orkney have regular fl ights from elsewhere within the UK. Auchrannie ResortOn the island of Arran, off the west coast and an hour by ferry from the mainland, Auchrannie Resort offers spa and conference facilities. Known as 'Scotland in Miniature', Arran boasts seven golf courses. Isle of Mull Hotel & Spa One of the Crerar Hotels, the Isle of Mull Hotel & Spa, offers meeting facilities and a new spa. Forty-fi ve minutes by ferry from the mainland, the Isle of Mull is SCOTLAND'S ISLANDSpopular with city based organisations looking for a retreat. The hotel offers a separate conference suite and a wide range of teambuilding and outdoor activities are available on the island. Amhuinnsuidhe CastleWith 12 bedrooms, Amhinnsuidhe Castle on the remote island of Harris is another potential meetings retreat. Following a meeting in the private rooms, with views of the loch and salmon leap, guests can enjoy a range of sporting pursuits.

2012June 2012 . www.conference-news.co.uk . 41 ISLANDSISLAND ISOLATIONFor those who want real seclusion, Spitbank Fort (above), a sea fortress in the Solent, offers nine luxury suites, bars, restaurant areas and spa facilities.Osea Island in Essex is another isolated destination. Opened in 2011, the island is connected to the mainland by the tidal road shown in the BBC's Great Expectations drama and Woman in Black staring Daniel Ratcliffe.The island has accommodation varying between The Manor House (10 doubles), 11 cottages and The Courtyard which is made up of six apartments.The Chapel venue can seat 36 for dining, and art, fi shing, bird watching and walking can all be incorporated into events on Osea. Access to the island is dependent on the tides and walking or cycling are the only methods of transport on the island.With a culture and history all of their own, and breathtaking natural beauty, Scotland's 200 islands present numerous possibilities for organisers