Thursday, March 27, 2008

CIRCLE Conference - 1st day

The conference location is at the University of Nicosia, the former "Intercollege". The campus is about 5 km away from the city centre, and a bus transfer has been provided by the conference organisation. Unfortunately, only one bus goes in the morning to the conference and back in the evening. Since the public transportation in Nicosia appears to consist only of taxis (I have not seen a bus with line numbers on it yet), we would have to share a ride from the hotel to the conference location. At this first morning, the bus has been scheduled to depart before the breakfast is served – so most of us in the Centrum Hotel decided to skip the bus and leave after breakfast, sharing taxis – still enough time to arrive there before the first session starts.

The topic of the CIRCLE conference is "Consumer Behavior and Retailing Research". This is a bit off my own research interest, but I can contribute with a technology perspective: my talk on Friday will be about "Marketing in Web 2.0". The conference is organised in 3 parallel tracks, so it is not possible to attend all talks. The quality of the presentations varies from interesting student proposals to complete research studies.

In the evening, a tour is given through Nicosia. Well, we cover only a small part of the town: an area where "buildings have been reconstructed in the style of the 19th century". Unfortunately we no not see any of the really remarkable buildings, but we get a detailed explanation of the parking lots and the soccer/football places around the old city wall. We enter a bistro for a drink, then the bus continues to a village south of Nicosia, for an evening Meze with lots of meat and wine. A "show" is performed: dancers pretending to be part of the customers, begin to dance to the music and invite the guest to join in. It is possible that somewhere on Flickr/YouTube some pictures of me might appear...

After returning to the hotel around midnight, it is time to think about my presentation the next day: well, I just have to add to my existing set of slides (two: title page with my name, and an empty conclusions slide) a few more. Am done after midnight at 1:30.

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