Last week I was invited by our client PennWell to attend the Advisory Board meeting for its approaching conference series: POWER-GEN Europe, Nuclear Power Europe and Renewable Energy World, which will take place in Milan, Italy from 7-9 June 2011. The Advisory Board comprises senior executives drawn from organisations representing a broad cross-section of industry – ranging from consultancies and utility providers, to manufacturers, industry bodies and analyst houses.

The purpose of the Advisory Board meeting was to identify and agree on the plenary sessions and presentations that will make up the conference programme. This was no easy task, given the fantastic response to PennWell’s call for papers this year. Each abstract was reviewed and, following an intensive process of elimination, the strongest presentations were eventually agreed upon.

In an industry rife with contentious issues, I knew the discussion was guaranteed to be lively, and I wasn’t disappointed. It was fantastic to see some of the leading figures in the industry debate so passionately the topics and themes they believed the conference should address.

But it wasn’t all hard work and it would be a pity to go all the way to Rome without experiencing some of the amazing culture the city has to offer. In the evening, we were taken to an authentic Italian restaurant in the heart of Rome, where we feasted on pasta and were serenaded by traditional Italian singers and musicians.

As well as providing a welcome opportunity to get to know some of the Advisory Board members a little better, I was also able to explain to them how they can be more closely involved in the PR campaign Aspectus is undertaking for the conference series. It was also great to meet with so much enthusiasm and support, and I have returned with a wealth of contacts and ideas that I’m really looking forward to building on.

Everything I experienced during the two days I spent in Rome suggests that POWER-GEN EUROPE, and its co-located events, Nuclear Power Europe and Renewable Energy World, are events that are not to be missed. So if you are involved in the power and energy industry, make sure you mark it as a date in your diary!

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