The Blog observed some key differences between east European and west European ICIS petchem conferences, while sitting quietly in the audience at last week's ICIS-MRC Russian Polymers Summit in
1 East: Loads of very direct questions from the floor, even complaints and personal digs.
West: A small number of courteous questions couched in legally acceptable language.
2 East: Direct answers from speakers, often admitting fault.
West: Careful diplomatic answers and promises to discuss off-line.
3 East: No texting during presentations.
West: Widespread texting
4 East: Jackets on throughout day.
5 East: Everyone stays in conference room throughout the day, even till the end of the last paper.
West: Diminishing attendance in preference for networking, and mass walkouts during technical papers.
6 East: Moderate attendance at post-conference cocktail party, and low take-up of free drinks.
West: Strong attendance at cocktails, plus industry gate-crashers who wander in because they were "just passing", and a hard core of delegates who stay on past the closing time while the hotel staff are trying to clear up.