Strictly Conventional

Sporting his name tag and full guest accreditation, Quentin Cooper joins the annual gathering of four very different trades.


0101The National Speakers' Association19981127

Philadelphia, 4 July: 2000 highly motivated, highly paid professional speakers converge for their annual convention - and they all want to be interviewed.

0102Driving Instructors19981204

Underpaid, underworked and under siege is how they see their industry, but the fighting spirit lives on at the 25th conference of Approved Driving Instructors in Rotherham.

0103Private Investigators19981211

In a quiet hotel on the outskirts of York, 40 detectives and their spouses gather for the Autumn Forum of the Association of British Investigators. One of the talks is on undercover infiltration.

0104 LASTThe Association Of British Travel Agents19981218

This year, the biggest British trade convention of all takes place on the Costa del Sol, where 2,500 travel agents and tour operators are whisked down to the winter sun for five days of business and partying.

0201The British Dental Association19991110

There is a whiff of chlorine inside the Riviera Centre, Torquay, as around 1,800 dentists meet to talk teeth. All the very latest equipment is on display.

0202Fifth World Plumbing Conference19991117

The spectacular resort of Sun City is awash with plumbers gathering from all over the world to discuss everything from water conservation to female urinals.

This is a dry part of Africa, so how good is the water pressure at the Cascades Hotel?

0203Fire 9919991124

Genteel Harrogate is alight with delegates, exhibitors and fire folk as the annual conference and exhibition comes to town.

This year's burning issues range from sex discrimination to the merits of nozzle technology.

0204 LASTPestex-protex 9919991201

Pest controllers and building preservers from all over the world converge on London to talk rats, termites and global warming. UK residents may be looking forward to a warmer tomorrow, but so are the insects from further south that have already reached Devon