UK Chapter

of the
International Perfume Bottle Association

A group for collectors of perfume bottles and perfume ephemera

Convention 2011, Holiday Inn, Leicester

holiday innOur 11th convention at the Holiday Inn, Leicester was thoroughly enjoyed by members. It was only our second venture outside the M25 - we had two good years at Gloucester in 2007 and 2008 - but this was our first venue that is just a short walk to a city centre.

The Saturday activities were held in two rooms of the Leicestershire suite and were opened by our Chair, Angie Holmes who welcomed forty delegates to the meeting. As well as several first time attendees, including our youngest ever delegate; 11 year old Cristina Burns and her mother Raluca, we had several members from outside the UK: three American, two German, two Dutch and two surprise visitors from Belgium.

susan arthur, talking via SkypeWe then had an exciting innovation – a live video address from the IPBA President, Susan Arthur from her home in New Jersey where it was 7am. The Skype connection was made instantly and members heard Susan describe arrangements for the 2012 convention in Jacksonville Florida and Las Vegas in 2013. Susan also announced that the 2014 convention is to be held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

After a discussion with Chris Hipkiss, once again our very able Master of Ceremonies throughout the weekend, a short chat with Cristina and an introduction to our guest speaker Eric Knowles, Susan signed off with a wave from delegates around the room.

eric knowlesEric Knowles, Antiquarian, “Antiques Roadshow” expert and TV presenter, gave an interesting and entertaining talk about Rene Lalique which is the subject of his latest book.

After the lunch break, Eric stayed to hear our guest from the US, current IPBA membership secretary Peggy Tichenor. peggy tichenorPeggy gave her fascinating talk about Julien Viard that she had previously delivered to the IPBA convention in Chicago earlier in the year.

Terry then gave a short report on the 2011 Fragrance Foundation UK FiFi awards that he had attended as the UK Chapter’s judge for the packaging categories this year. The award ceremony had been held in the magnificent Banqueting House in Whitehall, London.
Following their success last year with a slide show about the Harrods Perfume Diaries, Leah and Paul Lefevre presented two new films, one about “Perfumes of Italy” and the other about their visit to Milan and to a private perfume museum. Both films were set to some wonderful music and members were enthralled by them.

To round off the afternoon, delegates discussed the format of our conventions. While we are supported by broadly the same loyal members each year, we do not attract the majority of our members. 
The evening session began at our own private bar outside the Leicestershire suite and was followed by a delicious buffet meal. As has become traditional, after dinner we held an auction of the more valuable items that had been donated for the raffle. This was once again run by Chris Hipkiss in his own inimitable style and the auction raised a wonderful £186.

Another selected donation was raffled amongst delegates. The remainder of the evening involved much socialising......

Sunday - Sale Day
Those dealers who couldn't make the journey the previous evening set off at the crack of dawn to set their stalls up early on Sunday morning. We had ten dealers this time so there was plenty of room for everybody.
Welcome return visitors were Stefaan and Tom from Belgium and we were also pleased to see dealers Rita Warden, Mel Nazeralli and Siobhan Miller for the first time. Thanks must go once again to our regular dealer members who forego their usual venues to stand with us.

poster outside Holiday InnWe tried to extend the range of items for sale to vintage and vanity goods, with limited success this time. We also hoped that being so near the city centre and with substantial local advertising, the number of public admissions to the sale room would be many more than we have had previously. We also invested in a large, reusable poster for display outside the hotel at one of the busiest road junctions into the city centre. (right, with Maureen Langelaar) In spite of all this, there wasn’t an increase in public entrance.
We did learn some lessons though and next year will show an improvement. We weren’t helped by the hotel being full that weekend with football and rugby supporters!

After the drawing of the large and popular raffle (at which the South Wales contingent drew a complete blank this time!) the convention ended with many people praising the event and, in particular, the venue.

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