It was with some trepidation that Saphia and I arrived at Centre Point at 7.30 am on a sub-zero morning last Thursday, ready to set up for the Licensing Essentials Course. Trepidation due to the harsh weather, that’s to say. With the best part of a week’s worth of snow in the UK, up to 24 inches in parts of Scotland, Northern England and the West Country, we were going to need some luck to have all our speakers and delegates arrive in time.
What a diligent bunch of people we had this time around. Many contacted us just to check that the event was still on ( British stiff-upper-lip demanded that it must be ) and to advise us of hurdles they faced in reaching us. In the end, however, we lost no more than a handful of delegates from the further-flung parts of the country, and lost no speakers at all to the weather. Warner Brothers’ Paul Bufton had to cancel, but through illness, and he was able to give us enough notice to find a good substitute for the panel debate in which he was due to take part.
The course flowed smoothly throughout the day. For the first time we captured the whole event on video, so extra thanks to all concerned for the occasional shuffling of mics and cameras that this entailed. We make a big promise with our course: ‘Give us one day to teach you all you need to know’ , but judging from early feedback we once again succeeded. A programme with a wide variety of speakers and topics reached its conclusion in our now regular Licensing Debate, a lively hour of questions, answers and opinions, made even livelier by the fact that our panel brought with them the news that England had failed in their bid to win the staging of the 2018 soccer world cup. This somewhat scuppered one question from the audience about the licensing potential of this tournament, but not the mood which was upbeat throughout. Straight onto the Winter Warmer networking bash, whose flow had only just started, and first drinks only just poured, when we were savagely interrupted by the fire alarm, and all present obliged to shuffle out of the building in a temperature of minus two degrees to comply with the law. Fortunately the interruption lasted no more than ten minutes, though I’m not sure that all who exited actually returned: hard to tell anyway, as many guests had a more comfortable arrival after this bit of fun was all over.
A big thank you to all who attended. We expect to bring you better weather when we stage our next event in Spring 2011.