To Washington just over a week ago where an RDO delegation made a presentation to the ARDA Board on RDO and its activities, which resulted during the Convention, in both parties agreeing to the setting up a Co-operation Agreement between the two organisations (see Press Release to follow). The RDO Board had approved this agreement a week earlier.
There were about 200 delegates at this "small" conference – a good attendance figure by RDO standards for our main conference but clearly more of a 2/3 day working session for ARDA as there were numerous Committee meetings over the life of the Convention – many starting at 7 am! Not sure whether ARDA delegates go in for the late night sessions our RDO delegates tend to favour at our conferences (mainly around the bar of course!).
The "Town Hall" session on resales was extremely interesting as it demonstrated that the industry in the US faces many of the same issues faced by us in Europe, but in most US States, it would appear that legal constraints on the structure of the product are an added problem when it comes to dealing with resales and the shape and form of new products.
It may be that some of the work the RDO/TATOC "Group of Experts" is currently looking at in the field of Entry and Exit strategies, may also have resonance in the USA, but we will have to see the shape of the final report before that becomes clear.
It was also impressive that ARDA managed to produce a Senator, a Congressman and a TV Political Commentator to speak at the Convention, such is the lobbying power of ARDA!
I also had the chance to meet most of the ARDA` staff and go around their offices – Oh that we could boast such numbers and facilities! A number of projects and areas of operation clearly merit further investigation and I was particularly impressed with ARDA’s Communications and Educational capabilities – plenty of food for thought there!
Back to a wet cold London in the early hours and a stack of emails unanswered – "plus ca change" as they say!