Metabolomics research in Australia is gathering momentum. Interest in the discipline is growing rapidly with metabolomics-focused laboratories steadily increasing in number throughout Australia. Over the past five years, the metabolomics community have demonstrated significant interest in showcasing their world class research. The provision of equally world-class symposia and integrative conferences remain vital in providing critical networking opportunities and facilitating a wider scientific exposure of Metabolomics to the A&NZ communities. In 2016, a new Metabolomics conference was successfully launched in Melbourne, Australia; an annual metabolomics conference – with a unique twist!

Traditional conferences function in quite a similar manner: Conference session topics are predetermined and are structured to disseminate pre-planned material following a ‘one-to-many’ style. While many attend conferences to network, the development of meaningful connections with other attendees are not typically actively supported by conference organisers outside of hosted luncheons and social events.

The ANZMET conference (www.anzmet.org) is designed from conception as a community-owned event and provides a facilitated networking experience where (1) attendees learn on the first day of each others interests, experience, scientific background, collaboration opportunities and other avenues for outreach (The Round-table Discussion); (2) an open-forum format for rich discourse on spontaneous peer-selected topics (The Peer Session); (3) the delivery of critical updates in the field (Traditional Presentations) and (4) the tailored and vital exposure of young scientists to the wider research community (Rapid-fire Postgraduate Presentation Sessions).

The essence of any conference lies in community-building. A meaningful conference is a safe, supportive and open environment aimed at fostering growth, awareness and learning – and should be attendee-driven. These are the key ingredients for ‘re-engineering the traditional conference’ and are the basis and inspiration behind developing ANZMET as the first peer-driven scientific conference in Australia and New Zealand.

We kindly invite delegates attending the Metabolomics 2017 conference to join us for a fully facilitated networking and topical engagement experience during the Workshop Sessions on Sunday, June 25th at the University of Queensland st. Lucia, from 1pm-3pm.

We are also very excited to announce our now ongoing partnership with the wonderful scientific publication Metabolites. All delegates attending the workshops (or indeed those interested) are invited to contribute to the Metabolites Special Issue entitled "Selected Papers from the Australian and New Zealand Metabolomics Conference (ANZMET 2017) Peer Sessions Held during the Metabolomics 2017 Conference (13th Annual Conference of the Metabolomics Society)" http://www.mdpi.com/journal/metabolites/special_issues/Metabolomics_Society.