By DAN REYNOLDS, senior editor of Risk and Insurance®
BOSTON---It wasn't just the weather that was wildly diverse during this year's Risk and Insurance Management Society Inc.'s annual meeting last week in Boston.
With an initial forecast of rain on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, we instead got smatterings of rain from time to time and temperatures that were cuttingly cold for this time of year, at least for those of us from slightly more southern environs.
Wednesday was classic New England, with bright sunshine from the start and clouds that moved in very quickly with more rain and cold in tow.
So too ran the RIMS conference attendance in its diversity. It turns out that a slew more folks headquartered in Europe and the United Kingdom had made the trip to Boston for this year's RIMS.
Maybe it's just that Boston is more snugly put together than Orlando, the RIMS locale in 2009, and closer to the Continent than San Diego, the RIMS base in the spring of 2008. But we at Risk and Insurance® could swear that we heard a lot more English accents along with some German and French being spoken at the various receptions and in the halls of the Greater Boston Convention Center.
Another indicator was the number of slender men in very well tailored and progressive cuts of suits. Sorry, but we have to admit that we just don't do one or the other in great numbers here in the United States.
According to data provided by RIMS's press office, there were more than 1,002 registered attendees at RIMS this year that came from countries outside of the United States. You might think that Canada, with such close proximity to the States, would lead the way in foreign attendance, but it was in fact the U.K. that sent the most attendees to the U.S.-based RIMS this year.
According to RIMS, there were 218 attendees from the United Kingdom here in Boston this year. That's a big jump, more than 45 percent in fact, from the 150 U.K. citizens that attended RIMS in Orlando in 2009, according to data provided by RIMS.
According to Debbie Girard, a communications manager for RIMS, there were approximately 5,000 registered attendees at this year's show in Boston. She estimated that there were around 4,000 exhibitors in attendance this year along with "several hundred" risk professionals who were in the city for meetings but not registered attendees.
All told, this year's figure of 1,002 attendees from outside the country represents a more than 7 percent increase over the non-U.S. attendance of 931 when RIMS was held in Orlando.
May 4, 2010
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