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January 09, 2014


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Charles Oppenheim

I attended all but two of the events, as a visitor, member of the organising committee, delegate, exhibitor (Derwent Publications, Pergamon Infoline) or speaker, sometimes for just one day, often for the entire conference, starting from the first one in 1977. Although the venue varied a lot in the early years, I associate it with the Novotel, where it was based for many years. When it moved to Olympia I still took the tube to Hammersmith, and would walk from there - much less frustrating than waiting for that elusive Olympia tube. Lots of memories, mostly happy, some sad (e.g., learning of John Lennon's death from an exhibitor). Online has been a fixture of my professional life, and, as Phil says, it was THE place to be each December. I strongly suspect it was at Online I first met Phil!

In its early years, I'd pick up freebies as stocking fillers for my children. More recently, I picked up freebies as stocking fillers for my grandchildren. That shows just how long it has been in my life. End of an era.

Liz Broomfield

Oh no - I spent a few years attending and another few organising the EBSCO stand at Online and it was always lovely to have my international colleagues over and meet up with other people from the industry. I remember the painted man and lady, too! End of an era, gosh.

Mark Hepworth

... on the supplier (Datasolve and later Financial Times Information Services) side of the fence, strong memories of working night and day to get the new products or search features implemented and ready for launch before the big day ... and the pleasure of meeting the regulars, plus of course, the wind down drink with colleagues after the manic few days !-)

Sue Hill

I started attending in 1979 and spent ages walking the aisles seeking out Nordic customers or potential customers to invite to an annual cheese and wine party we held at The Business Book Shop at London Business School which was at the time run by Alan Armstrong & Associates. We loaded everyone onto a red London bus and off we went. What fun - and oddly more wine was consumed than cheese!
Fond memories of people standing around waiting for demonstrations of 'on-line' using acoustic couplers which didn't work as no one had realised you needed to dial 9 for an outside line.
On-line we all muttered. It will never take off.
In 1986 I had my first stand having just joined TASK FORCE PRO LIBRA Ltd the precursor to TFPL. All I cam remember is the sorest feet (most sore feet?) in the world after three days an NO VOICE at all. The world stopped by at our lurid green stand. 'Recruitment for information people?' Unheard of.
Then over the years it became a consuming part of life - well certainly the last quarter of each year - and 70% of our budgets) as we geared up to exhibit our wares.
One year as Sue Hill Recruitment I think I won best stand. Sigh. All done with black paint and red Christmas baubles.
Many life-time friends fro all over the world were made in the aisles of Olympia and as Phil said - it took three days of walking around and you still hadn't seen everyone or everything in the early days.
Such fond memories but the world has changed and to stay the same you have to change.......
Sue Hill

Liz Broomfield

Mark - indeed, and I very distinctly recall being on hands and knees in my best suit cutting the plastic covering of the carpet off as my stand builders had left it on then built the stand on top of it - round and round with my Stanley knife, then having a quick bacon sandwich and standing on that carpet welcoming everyone as they came on to the stand from all points of the world.

Sue - I met you there, now I come to think of it!

Hazel Hall

Fond memories indeed. Thank you Phil for sharing them. You'll see that I have posted mine at http://hazelhall.org/2014/01/13/farewell-online/. I have curated a link to this one there too. I'd like to pull all similar posts together, so if anyone spots others, please let me know by commenting on my Farewell Online post.

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