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Britannia Conference 2016 – Iceland

Jun 13, 2016
Britannia’s annual conference has been to some interesting places over the years, but Iceland in March in 2016 probably heads the list. Report by Gavin McCarthy, Sales Director

Earlier than normal this year, the conference planners were looking to take advantage of the increased likelihood of seeing the Northern Lights at this time of year. As it was this was just one of the highlights of another excellent event that will live long in the memories of those who attended. 

The three-day conference followed the usual pattern with an uplifting welcome evening on Friday, 11 March. Having checked into the perfectly located Hilton Reykjavik hotel, delegates gathered in the banqueting hall to ‘enjoy’ a three course meal of Icelandic specialities while being entertained by traditional Icelandic folk music and a local expert telling tales of Icelandic folklore, legends and more recent history. Who knew, for example, that Britain ‘invaded’ Iceland during the Second World War? As for the food, this caused equal surprise – whale, shark and fermented herring weren’t to everyone’s taste but Britannia conference attendees are adventurous if nothing else (and a hungry lot) so everyone dug in in good spirits.

Day two brought delegates in bright and early into the conference business session. The main event always throws up an interesting mixture of speakers and topics. A snapshot of this year’s subjects were digital marketing, succession planning, new operational IT systems and other innovations. The business session was also an opportunity to introduce Britannia’s new FX (currency exchange) partner International FX. The event climaxed with the Britannia awards ceremony with regional and national awards given out to the best of the best within the Britannia membership. The business session finished promptly at 4pm allowing rugby fans to scamper off to the British sports bar in town to watch the Six Nations showdown between England and Wales.

On day three the intrepid delegates went out on a variety of expeditions to see the natural wonders of Iceland at first hand; whether it was snow-capped peaks, waterfalls, the blue lagoon or the famous volcanoes – there was something for everyone.

Finally, on Sunday evening the gala night brought the conference to a conclusion. A slightly more formal affair with another meal in the banqueting suite, however this time with more conventional fare on offer, delegates were well fed before the entertainment began. First up were a four-piece female acapella group from Iceland who began with a number of cover versions to kick the post-meal action off. A sophisticated start was taken over by a more raucous conclusion as a band bused in from the UK drove revellers onto the dancefloor to spin the night away.

So, another Britannia conference came to an end as one and all made their way back to different parts of the world. Iceland 2016 was Britannia’s best attended conference for many years and we’re sure that the choice of venue for 2017 will guarantee another great event and excellent attendance. Finally, Britannia would like to thank conference organiser Animo as well as all our loyal and generous sponsors - Reason Global, IFX, Basil Fry, Moveware, Haywoods, BAR Services and Active Supply - without whom the Britannia conference would not be the successful and enjoyable event it is every year. Thank you one and all!

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