2013 is an historic year in the life of AMEE, and represents forty years of AMEE conferences. The first Conference in Copenhagen was attended by 40 participants from 10 countries, and addressed the topic of New Teaching, Learning and Assessment Techniques. Sessions consisted of plenaries and workshops. In contrast, we anticipate over 3,000 participants from 100 countries will attend AMEE 2013, many of whom will have the opportunity to present their own work and share their experiences with others from around the world. Teaching, learning and assessment will of course form the basis of the AMEE 2013 programme as it did at the first conference, but the range of additional topics and sessions is truly amazing. The theme of this year's Conference is "Colouring Outside the Lines", where we challenge presenters to cast away preconceived ideas and think whether there are new ways of working to produce future healthcare professionals to meet the needs of society in these times of limited resources.