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Published:  14 December, 2007

I was interested to read your Viewpoint in the November edition of Shopping Centre in the wake of our record-setting BCSC Conference & Showcase. It raised important points regarding how BCSC - or indeed anyone organising a major industry conference and exhibition - can meet the dual-track requirements for delegates: the need to debate new thinking and the imperative to do business.

BCSC's remit is to be a forum for idea exchange and in the case of this major, annual event this exchange happens as much in the 'boardroom' (the conference sessions) as on the 'shop floor '(in the Showcase exhibition). Both are valid; each is valuable. Delegates attending this major industry gathering only have a finite amount of time and resources for conferences, and it's important that we continue to offer them the chance to attend both speaker sessions and our top-end exhibition.

BCSC offers a range of regular events including our gala annual dinner, seminars, talks, and a variety of social events and networking evenings. These give members and non-members a choice throughout the year: to focus on socialising and doing deals on the one hand or to concentrate on analysis, learning and debate.

We also run an additional yearly conference for shopping centre management which offers centre and asset managers a range of speaker sessions along with a workshop programme; as in the case of the Conference & Showcase, the exhibition and presentations are seen as complementary.

BCSC has continued to fine-tune the format of the Conference & Showcase to maximise the impact of each. And we must be doing something right. It's worth noting that participant numbers have grown from just 880 in 2001 to over 3,300 in 2007.

We will remain committed to providing our ever-growing list of delegates with both the Conference and the Showcase in one combined event.

Michael Green, Chief Executive, BCSC