A Sheffield Ambassador will welcome more than 450 delegates from around the world to Sheffield this weekend as the iSchools’ annual international iConference comes to the UK for the first time.

Val Gillet, Professor of Chemoinfomatics at the University of Sheffield’s Information School, is jointly hosting the event with the iSchool at Northumbria University.

The theme of the conference is ‘Transforming Digital Worlds’ and it will focus on the importance of the information field in transforming an increasingly data-driven world.

iSchools is a worldwide association of around 90 Information Schools dedicated to advancing the information field, and preparing students to meet the information challenges of contemporary society.

The iConference has grown year on year since the series began in 2005 and brings together thinkers and leaders from academia, industry and not-for-profit organisations to discuss emerging challenges and potential solutions for information and data management.

More than 420 of this year’s delegates hail from outside Sheffield, with people travelling from North America, China, South East Asia, the Middle East and Europe to attend the event at the University of Sheffield’s Diamond building from Sunday 25 to Wednesday 28 March.

The Information School at Sheffield has been at the forefront of developments in the information field for more than 50 years and has recently been named number one by the QS World University Rankings by Subject. 

The School’s research reflects influences from computing, health and chemistry, as well as different arts, humanities and social sciences disciplines.

Professor Val Gillet said: “I’m proud to be bringing the iConference to Sheffield. It’s a real coup for the University and is great timing given our recent top position in the QS rankings.

“The Sheffield Ambassador programme has been invaluable in helping me organise the parts of the conference taking place outside the university. Particularly the hotel bookings, the social events and liaising with city centre restaurants to let them know we’ll be descending on the Sunday night!

“They’ve taken care of what would have been a real headache.”

When delegates aren’t attending the packed programme of presentations and workshops, they’ll be making the most of what Sheffield has to offer.

Various social events are happening across the city, including an opening reception in the Millennium Gallery and Winter Garden, a reception for Heads and Deans in the Town Hall and a conference banquet in Sheffield City Hall.

They’ll even have the chance to experience one of the wonders of the Peak District with an excursion to Chatsworth House.

If you bring conferences to the city, or would like to, you could benefit from the free, expert support available from the ambassador team. You can find out more about it here.

If you’d like to speak to someone about becoming a Sheffield Conference Ambassador, contact Gemma Tissington on 0114 273 5978 or Gemma.Tissington@sheffield.gov.uk.