Wow! We just passed a milestone in EPIA convention attendance—100 attendees. For those of you who met in Frankfurt that first year, did you see this coming? At that time when our producers approached a prospective customer the biggest sales hurdle to overcome was to explain why someone would want to actually pay for a plastic bag of ice. From small acorns grow strong oak trees, but it takes time and good conditions.
Lovely cocktail party enjoyed by all, with silly faces for photo opportunities, pirate masks, novelty beards and good wine! After a short bus journey the evening started in the centre of Athens, where we were greeted by the treasure hunt team. The challenge was to find the 20 missing pearls around the Plaka district of the city, each found pearl brought an interesting tale. The treasure hunt was enjoyed by all and the winning team was the red team who all received a bag of traditional Greek herbs. The final destination of the evening was spent in a traditional Greek tavern, where we ate a huge feast of Greek salads, tzatziki, lamb shank, pork dishes, mountains of delish food, wine and beer was served whilst we listened to a live band and Jack and Maryse danced the night away. Factory Tour to Crystal Ice A.S See you next year in Montpellier - South of France in Languedoc/Roussillon Region hosted by Olivier and Gilles Phalippou from Glaçière Narbonnaise
What a fantastic convention we had in Palermo, Sicily! We were graced with perfect sunny weather, 23°C during the days and 17°C early in the mornings (as many of us found out during the wee early hours). Palermo turned out to be an exciting city, from the cab rides down one-way streets the wrong way (cabs and buses seem to be allowed to share the far right lane against on-coming traffic), to the crazy night life, to the wild ice bag throwing contest with so many uncontrolled bags of ice flying in unsuspected directions. Our hosts, Simone and Leopoldo from Ice³, could not have been more hospitable!
What a time we had, from the welcoming cocktail party with sponsor specific drinks at the ice bar, the medieval banquet with a real fortune teller, the search through ancient York for local treasures and a noisy drink fest, to the final First Annual EPIA Ice Bag throwing contest.
The EPIA conference in Barcelona last November was a real success with a record attendance of more than 100 participants. Professional development workshops, sales techniques role-playing, HACCP certification discussions and training, producer and supplier matchups using the concept of "speed dating", discussions and ad hoc meetings among members kept all of you very busy throughout these few days.
The third convention of the European Packaged Ice Association took place in Spain in Palma de Mallorca at Hotel MELIA PALAS ATENEA between the 14th and the 16th of October 2010.