Aromatics Day Two

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Everyone’s homeward bound from Cologne after the two-day Aromatics Conference, and it sounds like it went well. It started with doom and gloom about the recession, and then delegates heard the breaking news overnight and this morning about the terrible attacks in Mumbai, so there was plenty to distract them, but all the conference sessions were full, with some lively debate around the more contentious papers.

 
I would have liked to hear the reaction to Peter Demetriadi’s idiosyncratic paper on his endless battle with “the corporates”, as he calls them, over their poor behaviour and obsession with lawyers, and also David Cunningham’s paper on the well-known shortcomings of the styrene contract system.
 
It’s Thursday afternoon and Angela is already at her next event – some awards dinner at London’s Grosvenor House – and phoning to tell me the conference was full of “the usual suspects” and they loved the networking with the “very high calibre delegates”. She says they were very understanding about attendance numbers being down because of cutbacks in travel budgets. One delegate even asked her to hold next year’s conference in Hamburg because he had no budget to travel any further.
 
She says John Keeley’s first-day chairing of the conference was as madcap as ever, including his inadvertent destruction of the stage whilst trying to demonstrate the fire drill.
 
I haven’t heard any gossip so far about late night activity, just a few reports of early nights and modest imbibing at the Cologne Christmas Market. I think Cheap Chic is going to be the flavour of the coming year, with us all trying to outdo each other with tales of cheap flights, bargain hotels and eating in street markets.
 
(All the ICIS news articles from the Conference are posted on the conference website.)

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