CiB is currently planning its 2007 annual conference. It will be held at a great venue in a buzzing city. That city's Newcastle - and the problem is that it's 250 miles away from CiB's London heartland - and not quite the coastal draw of a Brighton or Bournemouth.
So far, the conference looks solid enough - but it lacks sparkle. It hasn't as yet got the 'wow' speaker that will either make our largely southern-based membership hop on the train to the frozen north east, or make those communication (plus HR, change and general leadership) folk based in the north think that this is a conference they can't afford to miss.
We need a headline speaker: someone different from the normal run of case studies and consultants who will both attract new blood to the conference, and make those who do attend really sit up and learn something. The problem is that CiB is firmly focused on internal communication - and there are very few, if any, widely known and respected IC gurus out there. It may be worth looking to the US, Australia or Canada and coaxing someone in from over there - but cost remains an issue. Otherwise, it's a case of taking a new angle and attracting perhaps a leadership speaker from the UK and beefing up other parts of the agenda. But either way, we need to do something to make the most of the opportunity Newcastle offers.