Eight months to prepare, two days to deliver

Never before have I been dwarfed by two such menacing looking pirates!
Never before have I been dwarfed by two such menacing looking pirates!

It is hard to know where to begin as the dust starts to slowly settle on the IIMS 25th Anniversary Conference and AGM. I am sure I speak on behalf of my colleagues at head office, as well as myself, when I say how humbled we are by some of the kind comments people have made about the past couple of days.

The issue is that over eight months one gets far too close to these things and it is hard to see the wood from the trees. It is all about meticulous planning and envisaging the outcome of course. But ultimately it falls to others, the participants and delegates, to provide true feedback – and they have in the dozens and I am most grateful. If I sound emotional, then it is because I am. My colleagues and I put everything we had into organising this conference and I truly believe it was a fitting occasion to celebrate our silver jubilee.

Those who completed conference feedback sheets (and there were many) have been highly complimentary about the arrangements and conference as a whole. Thank you.

There are so many people to thank and I am not going to start naming them all, for the list is long and I will certainly miss someone out! But from the venue management and staff, who were amazing, thorough to couriers, cake makers, our speakers and presenters, videographer and photographer, my colleagues from head office and of course the delegates themselves. The list goes on.

Would I have done anything differently? With hindsight I would say no.

There are so many highlights for me personally. Photos will follow soon, available in the Report magazine as well as in online galleries via the web site. Videos of presentations and the awards ceremonies will follow too in a few weeks.

The view towards Canary Wharf as seen from the entrance to the Museum of London Docklands
The view towards Canary Wharf as seen from the entrance to the Museum of London Docklands

But thinking about highlights for a moment. We met to ponder and talk about the next 25 years, but it was so important to remember where we have come from and to celebrate our history. Meeting and introducing Capt Bill, our founder and first President, was a very special moment. Listening to Sir Alan Massey offering warm words of appreciation was special too. Seeing Chris Moody getting so very emotional (sorry Chris) when being presented with his award proves that the past does matter, as does recognition for those who deserve it. Seeing Stephen Karl, the magician, perform was inspirational. How did President Adam Brancher’s signed £10 note end up in the middle of a fresh, uncut lime? And on that note I will wish you all happy surveying.

Mike Schwarz
Chief Executive Officer

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