Olefins Conference crowd control

I’m in Brussels for the ICIS Olefins Conference yesterday and the EPL today. With the conference sold out two weeks in advance, the place was heaving with people. We had standing room only in the conference room, and almost every seat taken at the lunch yesterday. Afterwards there were lots of compliments for the quality of the speakers, and especially the timing and location, which were ideal for the regular EPL-goers.


I managed to take a few pics in the conference but once again they look like they were taken from a speeding car. The photo here is of the panel of speakers on crude C4s, with the back of Gina’s head in the foreground. The speaker podium was unusually high, and when I stepped up to introduce the conference, it was like climbing onto a table in front of 130 people.


cropped olefins conf march 2010.jpgI learnt one new word: “glocalized.” I will aim to use it in one of our EPL meetings today. And another lovely expression: “cash bleeders at the bottom of the cycle.”


Loyal conference chairman Barry H had his work cut out keeping the proceedings running on time, as every speaker and question session seemed determined to run over its slot. I noticed that he managed to restrain himself from using too many rugby-related expressions, and he made the lively Q&A sessions look spontaneous, which is quite a feat. In his introduction, he remarked on the cosy seating arrangements by suggesting we all turned to our neighbours to say hi.


One recurring theme I hear from our industry speakers is that it takes a long time to get their presentations approved internally, by management and by legal. One speaker told me that it had taken weeks for his presentation to go the rounds, and that he had been particularly delayed by the need for his paper to be branded in the right colours.


(See ICIS news for the highlights from the conference papers.)


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