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World Tunnel Congress 2019: how to engineer a complex congress, with a truly local taste

Imaging a group of engineers climbing down 40-metres underneath Naples historic centre or conference attendees having working lunch at an Archaeological site in front of the sea or their surprise when they discovered that the World Tunnel Congress featured a group of sessions dedicated to Archaeology, Architecture and Art. In fact, the WTC 2019 congress was quite original and definitely engaging.

World Tunnel Congress 2019 is a major international conference, promoted by Italian Tunnelling Society (SIG) and ITA-AITES Association, and gathered from 3rd to 9th May in Naples 150 speakers and +2.700 most important experts from 60 Countries on design and construction of underground works, focusing on tunnelling, engineering and innovation.

The 2019 edition, organised by AIM Group International as congress full PCO, featured outstanding scientific contents, record numbers in terms of attendees and exhibitors, new learning formats and experiences, a strong link with the destination and the local community, which all made this edition really successful. Which are the secrets of this success?

  • The original theme and program as indicated by the title Tunnels and Underground Cities: Engineering and Innovation meet Archaeology, Architecture and Art. In fact, the Neapolitan area is the cradle of underground works, from the Greek-Roman period to the new metro subway. So in addition, to usual topics true Italian trademarks were combined to the program such as history (Archaeology), design (Architecture) and genius & creativity (Art).
  • Off-site Technical Visits. Delegates have been involved in a series of off-site technical visits to the Greek-Roman tunnelling system, the underneath itinerary of the just-restored Galleria Borbonica, the award-winning Metro station in Naples, the Rome’s Metro, the high-speed railway Naples-Bari and even the Brenner Base Tunnel, the longest underground railway tunnel in the world!
  • Multiformat exhibition area. Because of the presence of huge machines and booths, the exhibition area was set up with an unusual format, with two large pavilions and 7 outdoor areas located in the vast park of Mostra D’Oltremare congress center, extending 2,500 sqm, where more than 200 exhibitors had the possibility to present their activities.
  • Outstanding social moments with a truly local taste. Some working lunches were settled at the stupefying archaeological Pausilypon site of Seiano Caves. The Gala Dinner was hosted at the Pietrarsa Railway Museum, reached on board of an historical train, a special concert was offered at the prestigious San Carlo Theatre, just to mention some of the unique moments organised.
  • Local community partners. WTC chose to support the no-profit Arché Foundation and its project of building a community house with 14 flats where to host mothers in need with their children: like tunnels Archè projects help people to overcome difficult times and find an easier path for their lives. Furthermore, WTC participated in Food for Good Program and donated all the exceeding food to local charity organisations, while all lunch and coffee breaks were supplied with biodegradable and recyclable dishes.

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