I’m at ICCM 20 at the moment – the 20th International Conference on Composite Materials. There’s a lot to take in as anyone whose been to a busy conference can testify. I’m taking a few moments to decompress away from the hubbub of lunchtime networking. This conference has been very civilised and so whilst there are designated breaks (when comestibles turn up) the coffee is in constant supply.
The ICCM series seems to be constantly growing and number 20 is no exception – around 1800 people are here from, according to the schedule, 66 different countries. Two thoughts then:
1) Around 1450 presentation of which approximately 1200 are 15+5 minute oral presentations and 250 are poster sessions, although these guys have been given 3 minutes each on stage to sell themselves. If we make two big assumptions that i) on average, everybody keeps to time and ii) everybody speaks at 100 words per minute (again, on average) then we can see that 1,875,000 words will be spoken this week (not including Q&A, networking conversations etc)
2) With 1800 delegates, a coffee cup approximately 250 ml in capacity and, oh, lets say six cups of coffee a day, 2700 litres of coffee will be drunk during the conference each day – and it’s a five day conference!
If we combine those two thoughts, then that comes out at about 7.2 ml/word. What I don’t have a feel for at the moment is whether that is high or low…