The Monte Carlo years are over

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So it looks like it’s true. As the Blog reported here in June, EPCA is to abandon Monte Carlo, never to return. Next year it’s in Berlin, and in 2010 it’s Vienna, and after that it will not be coming back, one board member told industry players on the sidelines at the conference.


“It’s not the cost,” one well-placed source told me in the late afternoon hubbub of the Cafe de Paris on Place du Casino, where most of the tables in the sun on Sunday evening were taken by petchem folks downing an early aperitif or two.


“Vienna is just as expensive, but it’s the wrong image,” he said, meaning that in the hard times to come, the image of petchem bosses quaffing champagne with perhaps a little lightly grilled seabass amongst the Ferraris and roulette tables of Monte Carlo would be unpalatable to impoverished shareholders and employees.


True, EPCA has asked us to refer more on ICIS news to Monaco than Monte Carlo, concerned that the latter presented an image of frivolity which was inappropriate to the serious business of chemicals.


However, the EPCA booklet in our conference bags has this to say about future venues: “The 43rd Annual Meeting will take place in Berlin from 3 to 7 October 2009. Please note that from 2009 onwards, the Meeting dates will be shifted from the traditional last week-end of September to the first week-end of October. In doing so, we avoid overlap with the Berlin Marathon and the Monaco Boat Show.”


So, “Faites vos jeux” – perhaps we have not seen the last of the Principality. And it’s not a case of “Rien ne va plus!”

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