The spectacular venue was Pirelli’s headquarters, the auditorium being within a former cooling tower, which had been re-purposed and surrounded by a glass box. The site is also home to a 15th century villa in traditional Lombardic style with amazing frescoes, where we were privileged to have our conference dinner (accompanied by a tremendous thunderstorm!) and the Pirelli archive, which houses an incredible array of advertising. They even have their own Pirelli monogrammed boxes and researchers’ gloves! We were also given a demonstration of the tyre testing within a soundproof room in the R&D building. The day before the conference we were able to visit to the Gallerie d’Italia, opposite La Scala opera house, which holds the art collections of the Banca Intesa Sanpaolo, our hosts, and on the last evening we visited the Galleria Campari which, again, has an incredible display of advertising and promotional material.
The humidity and thunderstorms aside, it was an excellent conference and the SBA continues to go from strength to strength. Next year’s conference will be in Atlanta, hosted by Coca-Cola and 2017 will see the SBA in India for the first time, in Mumbai – can’t wait!