WE HAVE a new date for your diary - Friday 16 October 1998 - when the Institution's first autumn ball will take place, replacing the old summer ball. It is your event, and I should very much like to hear your views on what form it should take.
When the Institution calendar was assembled last autumn, the summer ball was put into its usual place for the second Friday in June. However, as you know, the Institution is on the move and is changing rapidly - as it has been encouraged to do by the Future Framework Presidential Commission. It was time to give the event a fresh look.
The summer ball came into being four years ago to update the traditional Conversazione and, although its lively format was enjoyed by all those who came, the feedback has been mixed.
First, numbers have been dropping and one of the reasons is that the ball was at the wrong time of year. There is too much going on elsewhere. Another reason is that, with little corporate entertaining and few family parties at the event, the summer ball was being enjoyed by only a select few.
What we are planning for the autumn ball is a dinner/dance, with a band in the Great Hall and a disco in the Buttery. Sounds familiar? Yes - but it's the people that make an event like this really successful, so we will be encouraging people to come in groups - whether they be friends, family, colleagues or business associates. The autumn ball will be open to all professionals from all callings with whom we work closely throughout the year.
We will be promoting the event among the staff of all Institutions, especially our own.
The evening will be attractive to the young and the more traditional alike. One of the ICE's major social events of the year needs a whole new character in order to gain a whole new place in the calendar. It's time to make the change, and to make it work.
Make a note of the date in your diary now. And please let me know what you think of the plans and how they might be improved.
Write, call, fax, e-mail - whatever you will - but let's hear what you would really like to see to make the ICE autumn ball go!
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