It is a half-day conference, starting at 2pm and finishing (with drinks) at 5.15pm. And we find we are a little in demand. I wrote to the target audience promising "energetic and pacy" content, with some quick fire sessions, to provide a thoroughly focused opportunity to discuss East London, not just in the run-up to the Olympics but also - and more crucially really - in this strange new economy in which we find ourselves!
Well, I think we may have overdone the whip-up. Talk about stampede! We've had so much interest we've had to get a bigger room for this "high-profile platform to debate and promote the east London region as an emerging economy deserving investor interest" (this is the slightly more temperate wording of the organisers).
I guess if you're going to go around promising to develop a "new professional community spread across public and private sector who will come together regularly to discuss the opportunities that exist, and how best to enable them to be exploited" then you only have yourselves to blame. People need new ways of working. And they need them now. We have captured the zeitgeist.
So... Place East London seems set to become a major networking event bringing the public and private sector together to talk about the people and places, jobs and skills that will make the east London economy grow. East London may be in the spotlight over the next eight weeks with the Olympics (billed today as the "most high-profile event to grace our shores for more than 100 years") but what then? It is our intention to highlight the critical role the region will play in the future development and economic success of London.
For the longer term, London must focus on staying ahead of other UK and European destinations, and indeed plan for what is an uncertain future for businesses, employment, investment and our communities. And east London has a vital role in this as, arguably, the sub-region of the capital with the most capacity to grow and contribute to its future. Place East London will attempt to profile these key themes and look at the improvements we can make, as stakeholders in this vital sub-region.
Topics are focused on technology (getting the most out of "Tech City") digital infrastructure and How to make green technologies work (Mark Bradbury has even bought a new shirt), as well as the vital community-led place making stuff: making the unique mix of markets, shops and towns of the East End work, they are our life blood.
We intend to repeat the format in the autumn, taking stock soon after the Olympics (this may be a risky idea, but we are unafraid) and we look forward to continuing the debate for the years following on from our launch. I will report all about this first event on Thursday of course, but it looks as if we have a sure-fire success on our hands.
My thanks go to our many supporters and the members of the Advisory Group (a right motley crew if ever you saw one) all of whom have pushed and cajoled us into launching this exciting conference in the Olympic year. And now we've gone and got a bigger room, we've got a few (a very few) places available again. So to see what all the fuss is about go to www.placeeastlondon.com. Quickly now. It will be one helluva party.