Welcome Reception: Raise a Glass to Congress!

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It was truly a wonderful first day of Congress, and what better way to cap the day than a welcome reception, a cocktail or two, and some networking, all from the comfort of your sofa. Yes, this year’s welcome reception may have been a bit different as we cannot visit in person, but I must say, lounging in my comfy clothes, drink in hand (albeit water, as it was still only 12 noon for me) while chatting with new friends from around the world had its own perks.

IIC President Julian Bickersteth opened by reminding us where we would have been (had Congress been in Edinburgh) strolling around the glass-filled grand atrium at the National Museum of Scotland. But a silver lining to this virtual format is that instead of the usual 400-500 delegates, this Congress now has over 3 times that number. We then enjoyed a short video from our Title Sponsor CXD, giving a delightful behind-the-scenes peek of their team and production (which I always love to see).

Charles Stable from the National Museum, Scotland then led us on a tour of the Museum, including a stop at the Nisga’a Memorial Pole (believed to be one of the oldest of its kind) which is so large, it had to stay in situ during the recent renovations. After a brief welcome from the Museum Director Chris Breward, we were then randomly shuffled into chat rooms where we got to meet and talk with a few delegates from around the globe.

My lovely group included delegates in Hungary, Sweden, Colombia, and the US. I heard all about fantastic work on colonial polychromy in Colombia, PhD research on wooden artefacts, and even had a quick brainstorming meeting with IIC team mate Chandra Reedy on upcoming ideas for “Studies in Conservation” and “News in Conservation”.

In the end, we raised our glasses with a toast to a fabulous Congress week. So, cheers to you all, and enjoy all that is yet to come at IIC’s 28th Biennial Congress Online!

Sharra Grow
IIC Editor, "News in Conservation"
IIC Congress Digital Engagement Volunteer Coordinator