Friday, 11 December 2009

Hard Times but no Great Expectations

I have attended a number of these conferences in the USA over the years and they are usually awash with freebies. Firstly there is the obligatory conference satchel loaded with all the documentation – and I mean loaded as they weigh a ton. This year it is a canvas one but there are two items missing – the bottle of water and the pen. Happily the bottle of water has been replaced with an empty water bottle which can be filled from the water cooler – yay for the environment.

The second omission is stranger – there is no pen. Now a ball point pen doesn’t cost very much – why not? For those who didn’t bring pens or whose pens ran out there was a rush to the trade exhibition where the only pens seemed to be from the not-for-profits. Normally every stand is competing for the best give-aways –tote bags, memory sticks, stress balls (those foam things you squeeze to calm down!) loads of sweets and chocolates, muffins, coffee – the list is endless. This year there were two stands which had free pens and a couple with chocolates and that was that. If ever there was an indicator that economies are being made – this is it.

The exhibitors are not only from the pharmaceutical industry but also the voluntary organizations and it is always rewarding to swap ideas with our sisters in the USA.

There were just as many delegates – over 8,000 – just the companies cutting back. It is quite cost-effective for us to attend – we always get sponsorship but book our own trip – our hotel (or should it be motel) is cheaper than Travel Lodge but everything works and is clean but for some strange reason there is no plug in the basin – they don’t provide them. No meals included ,but happily loads of free food at the conference.

The day ended with a stunning presentation by another British scientist – we do punch above our weight. Tomorrow starts with posters at 7.00 ……..

No comments:

Post a Comment