Every year for the past six years, I say I’ve had enough of organising this annual conference . I don’t want any more of the rollercoaster of elation and disappointment when speakers express interest but months later change their minds, when they realise that writing a conference paper actually takes time and they’ve left it too late.
This last week of September has been a spectacularly good week on the conference. We signed up three great speakers for the coming conference – one who can give the inside story on Central European developments; another who can give a really hot keynote speech on the global picture; and another one who has the whole overview of what’s going on in Russia. Even a major trader is interested to speak too. What a relief when it’s only seven weeks to the big day.
Not so lucky on our sponsor though. We’ve been very lucky with sponsors in the past. We were in Cologne in 2005 and had local giant BayerMaterialScience to sponsor us. Then last year we were in Amsterdam and had Lyondell as speaker and sponsor. They were both great events, but Antwerp has failed to attract the obvious big local candidates. Never mind – the delegates keep on coming back. About half the delegates have already signed up again for this year, cleverly helping themselves to the early bird discount, and this is before we even announce our headline acts. Once word gets around about our speakers, those tickets will be selling out fast.
We’ve got some very snazzy brochures to hand out in the ICIS suite at EPCA this weekend and (John and Paul pay attention here) this will be my last last conference, so make the most of it.