In these remarks I would like to review the plenary (morning) session of isicad-2010 / COFES-Russia.
I must confess that initially we had hot discussions with Brad Holtz about the style of this event. Brad reasonably wished it to be a COFES Forum, and I was trying to explain that Russian vendors or (to be more precise) vendors in Russia are more used to workshops, which enable to supply certain vendor information to the audience (primarily – tell your clients about your solutions), while forums as some kind of meetings to discuss problems common to all attendees raise some doubts in the eyes of our vendors … The ends were gained by a kind of art: isicad-2010 is boldly called Forum and COFES-Russia goes by seminar – just in case... :). I take the liberty to further on refer to our common event as the Forum.
Jokes aside, overall the event has good chances to become a true Forum. First, the Working Groups and the concluding Round Table (combined with a press-conference) undoubtedly are the sites for forum discussions. Second, the final composition and format of plenary sessions justify the Forum style - if not completely, than certainly to a considerable degree. To be able to include maximum possible number of conceptual talks, we have drastically cut down the average time for presentations, introducing three options: 5, 10 and 15 minutes (excluding the Invited Talk). It is implied that to outline the essential ideas and concepts, define global trends, specify generally important problems, and the like, does not require too much time, unlike describing features of a new product or its new version. I’d like to emphasize that all speakers and companies that they represent showed full understanding of this approach and did not insist on extended time for their talks.