Richard Adams & Zia Emin
In its 101st session, international CIGRE members, exhibitors and visitors converged on the Palais des Congrès in Paris for an entire week of activities. We started with the Opening Ceremony on Sunday afternoon, followed by a welcome reception where attendees could catch up with CIGRE colleagues in person for the first time in more than four years for many of the participants!
During the opening ceremony, many CIGRE awards were presented. Our very own Zia Emin received an “Honorary Member” award presented for proven participation in CIGRE technical activities in a leadership role of CIGRE, and for members whose service to CIGRE has been judged exceptional. Zia finished his 6-year term as Chairman of Study Committee C4 at the end of the session. Congratulations Zia!
The technical program began on Monday morning with an Opening Panel on the Energy Transition, featuring equipment, technology, systems and sector coupling. The overall technical program included 16 Group Discussion Meetings (GDM), 16 new tutorials, six workshops as well poster sessions and forums, including the ‘CEO Forum,’ ‘Women in Energy’ (WiE) and ‘Next Generation Network’ (NGN) from younger members, over the five days.
Recognizing that some delegates may not be able to attend physically, CIGRE TV streamed the sessions, tutorials, etc., to such duly registered delegates. Recordings will also be made available for catchup to registered delegates. Login here to find available CIGRE Paris Session recordings.
Behind the scenes, some 200+ meetings of Study Committees, Working Groups and National committees took place in the many rooms of the Palais, undertaking their administrative work and making plans for future work.
A technical exhibition of around 300 international exhibitors occupying 17,300 square meters over three levels of the Palais des Congrès also ran alongside the technical program. With more than 3600 registered delegates, CIGRE expected more than 9000 participants from over 90 countries, considering exhibitors and visitors alike. PSC also had a stand, with Ann Burns demonstrating a misspent youth with her PSC yo-yo skills! Check out the video here on LinkedIn.
Face-to-face is back!
The overall consensus seemed to be that it was good to be back in person after the four-year absence. While it has been possible to present remotely over the past two years, the networking and interaction by being physically present have been very much missed.
It wasn’t quite all business. The Thursday evening delegate soiree returned to the Pavilions de Bercy, a museum of funfair and fairground objects, with attendees able to enjoy the old side shows and attractions, such as carousels and even use pedal power to ‘drive’ one of the rides!
In addition to CIGRE’s official evening soirees, many country committees held evening events for their members who traveled to Paris. PSC sponsored three such events in support of the Australia/NZ Committees, the US National Committee, and the UK National Committee.
Preparations now begin for the 2024 Session in Paris (25th – 30th August 2024), with the call for papers expected in the next couple of months! Those dates are shortly after the Olympics in Paris and just as the Paralympics are about to start, Paris will likely be even busier next time!