Sunday, March 9, 2008

The Conference - we can still make it happen [Updated]

UPDATE May 19th 2008: Because of time constraints we have decided not to go forward with organizing a Conference at this years ILA. Currently my private life and my day job take up to much of my time to allow me to organize a Conference on the side. But we are continuing with many other projects where we need your support. If you want to sponsor Airshipworld, either financially or with your time as a contributor please send an email to airshipworld at gmail dot com.

Hello everybody, I wanted to wait with this a few more days but I think now is the time. Paul R. Denton just released the following statement to the Airshipworld Yahoo Group
After discussing the current issues with Charles; combined with the delays on the registration of the association and the mishaps in marseilles, we have decided that to proceed with the conference at this time would not be a good idea.

It is sadly as well that I have just had a personal loss and cannot put my personal energies into this project at this time until I have sorted out my personal afairs. This will probably happen around june. I have not given up the dream as I hope those who have been following this also. We will continue to try our best to promote the
airshipworld cause.

But , at this time I have to report that I can no longer put any more energy into the focalising of this conference.

I will continue to moderate this forum as well as work on other airship goals; but the synergy is not there at this time and it seems pointless to make something happen when only a few people are doing all the work.

Yours faithfully,

Robin Denton
VP Airshipworld Association.
Berlin & Johannesburg.
This means that the Airshipworld Association is not able to stage the First International Airship Investors Conference at the ILA this year. But it doesn't mean that there will not be an airship conference. I believe that there needs to be a dedicated Airship Conference at the ILA and if the only purpose is to show that our industry is part of the whole aerospace industry and that we are not just a small group of dreamers. I had a chat with Ekkehard Münzing on Friday afternoon, where we discussed the current situation. Mr Münzing is our contact at the ILA and helps us organizing the conference. We both agreed that there should be a conference about airships at the ILA. So yes we have the Support form the Berlin Airshow. We both agreed that it's probably easier to make a shorter event instead of a three day conference like it was originally planned. We came up with the following idea that - I think - is feasible. We reduce the conference from three half days in the afternoon to 1 half day in the morning on May 30th 2008. Using the Friday allows us to still appeal to business customers who are at the ILA opposed to the general public who will be at the ILA Saturday and Sunday. Since this will have to be in a different format I would like to call it:
The First Airshipworld Conference
I would like it to become a get together of the Airship Industry where Projects and Companies share their ideas and present themselves. I want to show those attending the conference where and how airships can be used. But also allow the attendees to address their questions and concerns. I have identified the following target markets from which I will try to invite representatives:
  • Governments - surveillance, funding, research
  • Tourism - leisure flights (Zeppelin NT), eco tourism, cruises
  • Freight and Logistics -cargo airships and heavy lift
  • Media Industry - advertising, mobile camera platforms, UAVs
This list is by no means complete, I rather see it as a first brainstorming. I believe we can make it happen. The next step is to develop a programme and to find speakers. This is the first and foremost goal and we only have 2 weeks to accomplish this. This is short notice but if we as the airship industry act as one and show the general public what we are able to deliver we will strengthen the whole industry. And who knows maybe we can even accomplish one of the original goals of the conference which was to attract investors but this should be a secondary goal.
After we have developed a basic programme we also have to think about financing the conference. Thanks to the web and computers most of the work can be done at a relatively low budget but the rooms at the ILA and some logistics will cost money and for this I ask for sponsors who pitch in some money. By cutting down the length we are looking at less than 1000 Euros that we need to have to be able to pull the conference off. I believe this is possible and I count on the industry, since I am not able to pull this of alone. I can devote my free time and all my knowledge to this but I am not in the financial situation to run this Conference all by myself. Please let me know what you think, share your ideas and start a discussion on the Mailinglist post a comment in the Blog or send us an email. Link to this post and the Blog let's get the word out. The Blog and the Airshipworld website will be the central hub for all activities around the conference. Maybe we can even extend the programme by having a little RC Airship Regatta afterwards or some workshops with some local Institution like a University, Library or Museum. I also see this as a prequel to the 7th International Airship Convention in October 2008. I am also thinking about doing something similar at the Farnborough Airshow in July 2008 in England if things come together for the ILA. Of course I would love it if the DGLR (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Luft- und Raumfahrt as well as the Airship Association and other associations from the Industry could join in and help so that we act as one industry showing the world that Airships are alive and coming back strong. If we believe in the Conference we will make it happen. So share your thoughts on the Mailinglist what do you think?

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