Over the last four and a half years a small team of Society Members and staff along with Dawn Lauder of the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre and Beverly MacLean of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau have been preparing for the Society's bid to host the World Congress of Soil Science in 2022. It offically started before the 2010 Brisbane, Australia Congress when then President Keith Goulding, Incoming President Helaina Black and I began preparing an outline bid to present to the IUSS council. Dawn and Beverley were fantasticly experienced in the process of preparing for the bid so far out. They helped Helaina and I to shape our virgin idea into a much more concrete and deliverable package, supporting us with not just sound advice but promotional materials, videos and photographs to help us show our vision of how good a UK Congress could be.
On arrival in Brisbane for the Congress I remember being very nervous and excited all at the same time. This was my first experience of the IUSS Council and it was very intimidating to be in the room with so many international leaders in soil science. The days were long as much of the IUSS Council work is done in the evenings of the Congress or fitted in arround sessions.
The day of the outline bid presentations was here - they had originally given me 30 minutes to present and answer questions - but the meetings had overrun so they asked me to reduce it earlier in the week to 15 minutes. On the day they said please make it 10! By now I had cut a great deal out and was starting to get nervous! I had hoped that our bid would be seen as a UK one and I would go last in the presentation order but sadly I was informed that the British bid would presented first. I gave it my best shot and the 10 minutes were over in a flash. Following me came bids from China, Switzerland, India and Italy. It was over, no decisions to be made just the intention that we would submit a full bid at the 2014 Congress in South Korea.
Four years later and here I sit in a hotel room on the lovely Jeju Island in South Korea, the day before our full bid is presented. Over the course of the last few years many have been involved in the discussions and decisions about the bid from Board, Council and the whole Membership of the Society. The input and support has been tremendous. Tomorrow I will sit in the Council room as our bid is presented by Bruce Lascelles, Dawn and Beverly. Bruce has put an enourmous effort into the bid leading up to tomorrow and win or lose I think we will all leave Jeju with some great memories and having learned a great many lessons.