IIMS London Conference 2019 reviewed

Great venues – Herringham Hall and Regent’s University and 10-11 Carlton House Terrace – none better. Brilliant speaker content on a range of relevant surveying topics on all three days. Meeting old friends and colleagues, networking and reconnecting with old chums and adversaries! Excellent food and the odd beer or two. What’s not to like about an IIMS London Conference? Those who attended have been most kind and wholesome in their praise for the event, which took the best part of a year to plan and deliver.

It would be wrong to single out any one presenter over another and IIMS is truly grateful to the speakers who came to present for the benefit of others! But, for example, Neale Rodrigues (Britannia P&I Club) reminded everyone of the importance of going back to basics and doing the simple things well. Who on earth would ever have thoughts about towing, or steering an iceberg? Yet Nick Sloane showed us that anything is possible. Keith Chappell and Tom Montgomery taught us to be extra vigilant as far as cyber security is concerned. It is many years since the UK regulator, Maritime & Coastguard Agency, came to speak. So IIMS is appreciative that Bas Edmonds, representing the Agency, spoke openly about the challenges ahead.

Dinner at 10/11 Carlton House Terrace (just a stone’s throw from Queen Elizabeth II’s residence) was splendid. A delightful venue in a magical setting proved to hit the right spot. The evening was much enjoyed by all. After dinner speaker, Capt Andrew Moll, MAIB Chief Executive, kept guests amused with his anecdotes. After dinner came the presentation of awards. President Capt Zarir Irani handed the Honorary awards to Peter Harris (Honorary Member), Carey Golesworthy (Honorary Member) and Capt Nick Sloane (Honorary Fellow).

Additionally, three Blue Water awards were presented. This award is given to someone externally who has made a significant contribution to the Institute. Mike Schwarz presented one to Mark Ford, IMCA Technical Director and others to Michelle D’Silva and Shreya Shirodkar, both from eDot Sulitions, the company behind the various Apps that have been engineered for the Institute.

The splendid 10-11 Carlton House Terrace that hosted the IIMS Conference Dinner
The splendid 10-11 Carlton House Terrace that hosted the IIMS Conference Dinner

Donations at the Conference dinner for the President’s chosen charity, the Jubilee Sailing Trust, made the sum of £363. IIMS has doubled this and has donated £726 to the Jubilee Sailing Trust in Southampton.

The transcript of Mike Schwarz’s dinner speech can be downloaded here: Dinner speech 2019

View a selection of photos take at the Dinner.

The AGM went smoothly. In truth there was not a great deal to vote on this year. Ursula Smith asked why we had not yet had a female President. Good question and food for thought. Watch this space! I was delighted to be able to give a positive update on two items voted through at the 2018 AGM. I announced the Institute’s intention to acquire the freehold of Murrills House as our new permanent head office, all being well and good in Q1 2020. Furthermore, I was able to update members on our progress towards the Marine Surveying Practitioner accreditation scheme. Members were asked to vote on two matters.
1. The motion to increase the 2020 annual membership by 3% Area 1 and Area 2 and 2% for Area 3 was approved.
2. The motion to ratify the management board’s recommendation for three replacements was approved. They are Peter Broad, Sanjay Bhasin and David Pestridge.

Comments from IIMS staff present at the event.

John Noble, Michael Omilani and Camella Robertson
John Noble, Michael Omilani and Camella Robertson

Camella Robertson, IIMS Membership Secretary said, “Its great to see members from all over the world meeting each other and networking, some for the first time, and others who haven’t seen each other for years reconnecting. The personal interaction for me was a highlight especially as most of our communications are done over email. I finally got to talk to them face to face.”

Craig Williams, IIMS Graphic Designer, said, “The highlight of the conference for me was being in awe at an iceberg being delivered from Antartica to South Africa (the country I grew up in) and the low point was finding out that it hadn’t actually happened yet!”

David Parsons, Certifying Authority Administrator said, “It was hard to know what to expect from my first IIMS conference, but I was not disappointed. The dinner in particular was superb, a beautiful setting.”

Said Hilary Excell, Director, Marine Surveying Academy, “Great to return to the superb venue at Regent’s University with spacious rooms, loads of character and atmosphere, and a welcoming team to support the IIMS Conference and eCMID AVI Seminar. The speakers were fascinating, everything from client expectations of surveyors to cyber security – what a mix. The eCMID AVI day was interactive as we have come to expect with lively detailed discussions all day long. It is always a pleasure to meet IIMS members and AVIs, putting names to faces, as well as catching up with old friends. We are now very much looking forward to our next two events in Singapore on 7th and 8th August, and Amsterdam on 26th September.“

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