Oh this year I’m off to sunny Spain
Actually, I would have been just as happy saying Viva Portugal but now that the NMBS and the BMF have come to an agreement it’s all set fair for an all-industry conference in Marbella next June.
The industry always wanted a conference that was open to everyone and, now that NMBS has decided not to confine its event to members-only and the BMF Board has decided to support its overtures, that is what we will have.
I think this is a really positive move for the industry. After the economic traumas of the past few years what we need more than anything is a spirit of co-operation and communication. We need frank and open discussions on the way forward for the industry. We may be well past the worst of the recession, but it’ll be a long time before we are back to anything like the good times we knew four or five years ago.
Quite apart from anything else, what we can learn from each other in a true spirit of industry co-operation now will help us to come through the next downturn. Which will happen sometime. Gordon Brown, for all his fine words, never did manage to finish the boom and bust cycle, bless him.
The question now is what will we get in June 2012? Will it be an NMBS Conference to which the rest of the world is invited? Or will it be an all-industry conference with something of interest to a wider audience and a focussed NMBS stream for members and suppliers who want it?
That rather depends on how far the spirit of co-operation and communication goes and on what the delegates want and what the organisers decide to offer.
The BMF’s stated intention is to work with NMBS to ensure that the industry gets the all-industry event it wants. And this is not an industry that is known for having strong opinions and not known for keeping quiet about what it wants. No doubt the organisers will have opinions from more people than they know what to do with.
Now, where did I put my bucket and spade? Oh and that form about renewing my passport.