ICIS editors are setting off from the Singapore office on Tuesday night for the seven hour flight to Seoul, South Korea for the APIC conference on 14-15 May, despite news of delegate cancellations due to swine flu fears. I've been following with fascination the news from Asian companies who have been talking quite openly about their cancellations.
Steve Tan's article on 5 May quoted several Japanese and Chinese firms which had already cancelled, and Bohan Loh's piece on 6 May had announcements from Thailand's Siam Cement Group (SCG); Taiwan's CPDC, Formosa Petrochemicals and CPC; and Singapore's PCS.
In addition to some genuine health concerns, delegates have also said that they are concerned about being detained in quarantine if they travel. Others believe that some firms are cancelling for commercial reasons, as the economic downturn bites further into travel budgets.
Undeterred, the ICIS team is setting off to meet contacts, cover conference presentations and interview industry bigwigs. Steve Tan, ICIS Singapore managing editor says that his schedule is packed with meetings with Korean contacts. Even if the 800-plus delegate list is shorter than for last year's popular Singapore APIC, it looks like those who make it to the event will enjoy a less hectic conference with more time to network with those who've braved the journey.