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ICC Kyoto：Just 1 week before ROSCon, the Japanese government reinstated the visa waiver program.
Did this have an effect on attendance?
Denise： It may have, but overall I think people were just really interested in coming. We anticipated having lower numbers if the visa requirement were still in place, but we were just shocked that the numbers kept going even as we were close to coming on-site, even before that they knew that they wouldn’t need visas. We were expecting 500 participants and ended up with over 750 registrations, so we actually had to stop letting registrations in. I think it was both because people wanted to come back to the first in-person ROSCon in 3 years and because the idea of Japan and Kyoto was very exciting.
ICC Kyoto：Did COVID-19 affect other parts of the conference besides visas?
Denise： We had to change our lunch format from buffets to Japanese bento boxes, but they were supremely popular and made the lines go very quickly. Then the participants could go out and explore to find places to sit and eat, so overall I think it worked out pretty well.
Denise Barker, MeetGreen Project Manager (PCO)
ICC Kyoto：What are your impressions of using ICC Kyoto?
Denise： Everyone I’ve talked to says it’s beautiful. Your staff is very accommodating and we’ve been impressed by the professionalism and attention to detail. For example, we’ve noticed that when we go to check meals and breaks, everything is set and ready to go, and we also noticed that handheld microphones have a device to keep them from making noise when they’re set down. Everything has been surprisingly easy since we got here on-site.
ICC Kyoto：Has anything changed about your impression of Japan and Kyoto since coming?
Denise： I’ve definitely been surprised by the general niceness of people. I think ROSCon would be interested in coming back, and I would recommend Kyoto to other clients as well.