Reading, UK

July 16 - 20th, 2024

Main Symposium, Education Day, and Individual Day sales have ended.

Email tishspringdale@gmail.com for late registration enquiries.

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Education Day Program (19th July)Further details now available here.

2024 Symposium, Reading, UK

We very much look forward to welcoming you to the United Kingdom for our 2024 Symposium. It is 30 years since the Symposium was last held in the UK, and this re-visit is long overdue. The event will include trips to some of England’s famous gardens in the South of the country, plus our usual Education Day.

Our base will be the town of Reading, about 35 miles West of London. Reading has good transport connections to both London, and London Heathrow Airport (LHR) (See the Travel Information button). It is a convenient location for those who might add on holiday in the UK, or mainland Europe (e.g. Paris Olympics), before or after ‡ the symposium.


Main Symposium Tuesday, July 16th p.m. – Saturday, July 20th a.m., 2024

Optional Pre-Symposium Day - Tuesday, July 16th, 2024

Optional Post-Symposium Day - Saturday, July 20th, 2024

(‡ if travelling the week after the symposium, aim to make your journeys earlier in the week. Many English schools break for holidays towards the middle/end of that week and airports will be especially busy the following weekend 26th-28th July)

Gold Sponsor:

Silver Sponsors and Victoria-Level Commercial Member Supporters:


Main Symposium $550

ADD Pre-Symposium (Pre-Symposium bookings now Closed)

Add Post-Symposium $140

The costs include all entrance fees, conference day fee, meals where specifically listed, coach travel on symposium days, coach gratuities, coach and hospitality room refreshments. You will need to book and pay for your hotel accommodation separately.

N.B. There are limited spaces on the pre- and post- symposium days. Use the Symposium Registration button.

We would like as many people as possible to benefit from attending the whole event, but understand that some (especially those living in the UK) will have seen the gardens already. We are therefore offering separate day-registration for individual days, including the education day, at the rates below.

16th July: Pre-Symposium tour day to Cotswold gardens & Oxford Botanic Garden, including the opening reception (Pre-Symposium bookings now closed).

17th July: Tour day to RHS Wisley and Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew $155

18th July: Tour day to Longstock and Bennetts Water Gardens $190

19th July: Education Day at Reading $215 including evening banquet, or
Education Day at Reading without evening banquet $165

20th July: Post-symposium tour day to growers and Wakehurst $140

N.B. These day-registrations will only be available whilst places remain. 

Please see the Symposium Program for more details of each day, and times to arrive for boarding of coaches at our Reading hotel.

Final cut-off date for Main and Post-Symposium: Sunday 30th June or when spaces are filled

Final cut-off date for Pre-Symposium: Monday 24th June (bookings now closed).

Please await confirmation of your symposium place before booking hotels/flights

Hotel rooms: Our guaranteed room block has now ended – see below.


Our Host Hotel is:
The Crowne Plaza,
Caversham Bridge, Reading, UK, RG1 8BD

Sited on the banks of the River Thames, and with a terrace heading down to the water, our 4-star host hotel has all the expected facilities, with on-site restaurant, bar, and health club with pool. Rooms have ensuite bath/shower, Wi-Fi, TV, and in-room mini-fridge and safe. We have negotiated a 20% discount for residents on alcoholic drinks purchased at the bar.

Note that hotel room rates in the UK include taxes.

Our guaranteed room block reservation has now ended. Please contact the hotel directly for best available rates. There are other hotels in Reading within walking distance if the host hotel is full.

Click on the Hotel Information Button to find out further details about the hotel and how to book:

The Education Day Program

The theme:

The pivotal role of ponds in greening our gardens

With wildlife struggling from habitat loss, pollution, and weather extremes, our gardens have become vital refuges. In addition to the wide range of plants, fish, dragonflies and other water organisms that thrive in our water gardens, many organisations note their value in encouraging and supporting amphibians and bird life too. How do we encourage gardeners to create diverse and beneficial water features? And how can the industry play its part in supporting biodiversity and becoming more sustainable, responding to environmental concerns?

For further details of the speakers and program, see the Education Day 19th July on the full program by clicking on the button.



For the first time, the International Waterlily and Water Gardening Society will be including poster presentations at its annual symposium. The posters will be displayed during the education day (Friday 19th July, 2024), to be held in our hosting hotel in Reading, UK.

Posters are an ideal opportunity to publicize research/investigations that individuals or groups have been carrying out. This work might be as part of an educational institution, a business, or an individual effort. They are a visual means of communicating the work, results, and conclusions. Poster presentations are a popular part of many conferences, and we are enthusiastic about including these as part of our 2024 symposium.

More Poster Presentation details and the Poster Submission form are available at https://iwgs.org/poster-presentations-at-the-iwgs-symposium-2024/.


Our Silent Auction is a great way to support the Society’s fundraising, and a popular symposium event. Other forms of business sponsorship can be found here .

You can donate various items… functional, fun, large and small. Everyone is encouraged to donate, both business and private donors, attending or not. For businesses this is a useful way to publicise your name (or product) to our specialist audience. Popular items have included books, art, handicraft, equipment, tools, plants*, vouchers for goods and services (easiest where an item is bulky, and can be shipped later; please note shipping limitations).

Bring your item(s) to the Education Day first thing, along with a form for each item (we’ll supply these in your registration pack). If not attending, contact us to obtain shipping information. *International travellers are advised that appropriate paperwork  is required to bring in plants.

Please peruse the auction items on display during the open hours on Friday, and write down your bids on the form for any items that you like… Time for some competitive bidding! The auction closes towards the end of the conference time, and you pay for, and take away any items where you win the bid. All auction proceeds will go towards current work (e.g. Plant Database; Website; New Waterlily Competition) and future IWGS projects. 

Q & A about the Symposium?

If you have a question that isn’t answered here, please contact James Allison jallison@aquapic.com

Any common questions/answers will be appended here

Answer: Register and pay for the first two. Then reload the form and register and pay for the third person.
Answer: Register and pay for one of you, adding the pre-symposium. Then reload the form and register and pay for the second (without the pre-symposium).
Answer: Email us [iwgsmail@gmail.comwith your request, and the name used to book your main registration, and we shall send you an invoice for the additional pre or post-symposium fee (as long as spaces are available). When the invoice is paid, you will be sent a confirmation email.

PayPal is the provider we use to handle credit & debit card payments. You do not have to have a PayPal account to use your debit or credit card to pay via PayPal. If it is impossible to access PayPal in your country, please let us know, as you may be able to pay
using an alternative (e.g. Stripe).

We would like it to be cheaper. However, when planning for a group of anywhere between 70-150 people, it is difficult to balance the required quality and costs. A primary objective is not to lose money, as we cannot afford this optional event to reduce the limited funds of our organisation, and undermine its wider services to other members
(and non-members). We have to set the pricing so that costs are covered, even if we get a poor turnout, or if a bus is only partly filled. Hotels that can accommodate groups of 150, and handle a conference day, a seated meal, parking for three buses, and have good
transport connections, all come at a cost. We considered simpler University-style single accommodation, but even this isn’t cheap, and for couples split in two single rooms, the combined costs are greater than a hotel. If you are single, we can put you in touch with other people looking to share a twin room and so save costs.
If any profits are made by the symposium, these go into the running of the Society, and have in many cases provided crucial funding for our activities (including the website, plant database, and New Waterlily Competition) which still depend on many hours of unpaid
volunteer work.

Yes, if you are staying at the hotel during the main symposium, remember to register your car at the front desk when you check in and note that you will need parking to the end of day on the 20 th . You will then receive the IWGS free parking rate, and not have to pay the normal £15/day charge.

If you are booking for the main symposium and the pre- or post-symposium, and require accommodation in the hotel on the night of the 15th and/or 20th , do not use the online form but contact the hotel directly by:
 phoning during UK business hours (9 am – 5 pm) on +44 118 925 9900* and asking for Federice Pesante.

 make your request by email to Federice Pesante crsupervisor@cp-reading.co.uk mentioning the IWGS group and code ‘IW2’ plus ALL your dates & accommodation requirements.

Note:  *Outside UK business hours, the hotel number will take you to IHG central reservations. They are not always aware of the block booking, and we strongly recommend that you use the other two options mentioned above.

View Past Symposia:

2023 Symposium - Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

2022 Symposium - Naples, Florida

2021 IWGS Virtual Symposium

2020 Symposium - Symposium scheduled for Naples, Florida was cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions

2019 Symposium - Le Temple-sur-Lot, France

2018 Symposium - San Angelo, Texas, USA

2017 Symposium - Pennsylvania, USA

2016 Symposium - Merida, Yucatan, Mexico

2015 Symposium - Lawrence, Kansas, USA

2013 Symposium - Winter/Spring Caribbean Cruise

2011 Symposium - Qingdao, China

2010 Symposium - San Angelo, Texas USA

2009 Symposium - Chicago, Illinois, USA

2008 Symposium - Richmond, Virginia, USA

2007 Symposium - Thailand

2006 Symposium - Florida, USA

2005 Symposium - Bethlehem, PA, USA,

2004 Symposium - Toronto, Canada

2002 Symposium - Portland, Oregon, USA

2001 Symposium - Nashville, Tennessee, USA

2000 Symposium - Chicago, Illinois, USA

1999 Symposium - Kassel, Germany

1998 Symposium - Washington D.C., USA

1996 Symposium - Temple-sur-Lot, France

1995 Symposium - Atlanta, Georgia, USA

1994 Symposium - Hampshire, England, UK

1993 Symposium - Rye Town, New York, NY, USA

1992 Symposium - West Houston, TX, USA

1991 Symposium - Munich, Germany

1990 Symposium - Orlando, FL, USA

1989 Symposium - Garden Grove, CA, USA

1988 Symposium - Harrogate, England, UK

1987 Symposium - Denver, CO, USA

1986 Symposium - St.Louis, MO, USA

1985 First IWGS Symposium - Longwood, PA, USA