Montreux 2010, Switzerland

There must be a more beautiful and tranquil conference centre in the world but I haven't found it yet! Montreux is actually famed for its music associations and is celebrated worldwide as a major jazz destination. Fortunately for the 1000 or so delegates attending the 7th World Conference on Detergents, I wasn't singing...I had been invited by the brilliant scientist and one-time boss of global R and D at Unilever, David Duncan to follow an unbelievable trio of keynote speakers. For the first time ever, the CEOs of P&G, Unilver and Henkel were addressing the delegates of this industry-leading conference. Named somewhat prosaically, this conference tackled huge issues ranging from global water shortage to emerging markets and from the 'new normal' to the future of the planet. All a real eye opener for me who had been invited to present and explain how the world's major retailers go about the business of winning and retaining today's 'modern' customer.