So this was going to be it; I was heading for the Summit. I had previously experienced single-lender conferences where everyone is “on message” and honour bound to keep their mouths closed if anything controversial should arise. But that was nothing compared to the multi-lender Summit.
Having girded my loins, I entered the first group session: “What will the Packager Market look like in three years time?” The preening of certain egos, designed to woo the likes of packaging companies; the steadfastness of those who had been around a long time, confident in their allure and stature; the cut and thrust of debate where passionate delegates voiced their views, even if these were sometimes a little naïve or blinkered.
Dinner at the hotel followed. Guests were wined and dined before rushing out to lose all their money in the Casino. But I was saving myself for the morning, which came around all too quickly. I assembled with a number of others to debate the impact of IT. More passion and more ideas followed. Then a final group session on regulation and compliance – be still my beating heart – before we were whisked off to Monte Carlo.
And that was it – it was over, all too soon. I started the week a summit virgin, but came home a summit veteran – prepared to listen to the overtures of anyone happy to send me off to the next conference. But in terms of experience, knowledge and new contacts made, it was worth it.