This year's edition of the European Wind Energy Conference (EWEC 2006), attracted some 2829 participants to Athens, of which 1563 were conference delegates and 1266 were exhibition staff and visitors. "Considering it was held in Greece where the market is less developed than other European countries, we regard that as very successful," says Bruce Douglas from the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA), the event organiser. "Our expectation was that numbers would be much lower." Of the participants, 806 came from Greece, with 221 of those signed up as conference delegates. Feedback from exhibitors, which represented 159 companies, shows that the quantity and quality of visitors were much higher than expected. "This is becoming the annual general meeting of the wind industry in Europe. It's the place to meet and do business," says Douglas. EWEC is to become an annual event to be held each spring rather than every 18 months, he adds. "EWEA policy is to hold a conference every year as a core activity and have the exhibition rotating between a large event in big countries with more developed markets and small countries where the exhibition will be correspondingly smaller in size," he says. "This means we can use EWEC as a platform to help develop smaller markets."
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