In the absence of an ESB congress in 2020, the decision was taken to wave the 2021 memberships for the members in good standing in 2020, meaning no congress-related incomes in 2020 and heavily reduced membership incomes in 2021.
Yet, our major awards (Mobility, Best PhD Thesis and Best Student) were maintained in 2020 and even enhanced (extra call in November 2020 for the Mobility Award).
In 2021, the Milano team had to handle the organisation of the online conference, which was a premiere in the history of the ESB, and they had a very limited time. Beside the technical aspects, the challenge was to maintain registration fees as low as possible, according to the typical costs expected for an online conference, while the organization had to cope with a sharp increase of the price of services for online conferences, and with the uncertainty about the participation of sponsors and exhibitors.
Fortunately, the good financial health of the ESB until now has allowed to back up the efforts of our local team, while we were able to maintain a full programme of awards worth 18.000+ €. This is of course an exceptional situation, and should similar burdens persist in the coming years, the financial sustainability of the ESB would be seriously harmed.
For the time being, we can say that we did it! And in the name of the Society, I would like to thank all the members for their continuous support over time, through both the membership fee payments and the participation to the ESB congresses.
Jérôme Noailly, ESB Treasurer