From 2009-2013, the MWS was managed by our long time partner, Nature, as a Nature Conference.
In 2009 the venue reverted to the Deauville Resort, on the Beach, an idyllic location that we had left in 2006 because it was to be converted into condo apartments. That did not happen, so we moved back.
But the hotel proved unsatisfactory . Poor accommodation. It was used next year, but the MWS then moved to the mainland.
For 2010, Nature shortened the length of the MWS, by beginning on Sunday afternoon. The duration was cut to three days. Good topics but the organizers stuck to using the same number of speakers as in the longer MWS.
The result was that the lunch breaks were curtailed to less than an hour, especially when the short oral talks were lengthened.
Attendees complained they could not get out into the sun, did not have enough time to visit the posters or view the exhibits.
The crunch came in 2012, when, despite the protest from the other directors, the dates were moved by a month to the last four days of February. And the number of exhibitors, which in 2008 had been 22, fell to zero.
Loss of income and an amenity. The number of attendees dropped. The income dropped.
See the factoid, ” The snowbirds are coming”.
It did not help than in 2011 the venue had been moved to the newest and most expensive downtown hotel, the Marriott Marquis.
MWS 2013 went ahead , but in advance, Nature, who had run the MWS on a sole financial responsibility basis, informed the Foundation that in future they would need a guarantee of a large fee if they were to continue.
The end of our 25-year partnership with Nature?
The end of the MWS ?
See next week’s thrilling installment.
Angelo Azzi and Elsevier to the rescue.