203rd Meeting - Paris, France

April 27 - May 2, 2003

Nontechnical Registrants Program and Optional Tours

 All family members and guests attending the meeting social activities are required to register for the 203rd Meeting as a “Nontechnical Registrant.” The registration fee of $80 includes admission to all social events and an exclusive continental breakfast Monday through Wednesday, in the Blue Bar on the Lobby Level of Hotel Concord Lafayette. On Thursday, the breakfast will be hosted by President and Mrs. Spear in their suite.  Complimentary lectures include a “Welcome to Paris Lecture” by France Connection; and an informal discussion and review by the group of the novel, “Paris to the Moon” by Adam Gopnik. We hope that you will make plans to be with old and new acquaintances and enjoy one or more of the many exclusive sightseeing tours available through France Connection, the destination management company designated for the meeting.  You can register as a Nontechnical Meeting Registrant online or using the ECS form in the registration brochure (pdf).

Tour Registration

The best way to tour the area is through one of the exclusive tours specially designed for the participants and of the 203rd Meeting. It is recommended that you register for tours in advance using the form in the brochure or at the France Connection website at: www.france-connection.com/ecs2003 as tours are subject to cancellation pending enough registrants. Should you choose to register for a tour onsite, pending availability, tour prices will higher.  Confirmation of tour registration will be sent in the mail or via e-mail from the tour company. If you prefer to receive an e-mail confirmation be sure to provide an e-mail address to France Connection on the registration form. Tour tickets purchased in advance can be picked up at the tour desk, which will be located near the meeting registration area on Level 0, Neuilly side, of Le Palais des Congres. A representative from France Connection will be available on Sunday, October 20 from 14:00-17:00, and Monday through Wednesday from 8:00-10:00.

Monday, April 28, 2003

Lecture #1 – Welcome to Paris (08:30 – 09:00)

A representative from France Connection, will give a half hour lecture that will include an overview of the area and the tours offered to the group for the week.

Price: Complimentary for Nontechnical Registrants

Tour #1 – Panoramic Tour of Paris (10:00 – 14:00)

From the bustling Opera Square, you will drive to the rue de la Paix, the majestic Place Vendôme, the Grands boulevards, where the major department stores are situated, the Madeleine church and the spectacular Concorde Square with its famous obelisk. Continue next to the Champs Elysées, crowned by the Arch of Triumph with the tomb of the Unknown Soldier.  Continue on the residential Avenue Foch to the Trocadero for a spectacular view of the Eiffel Tower (photo stop), before going on to the imposing memorial of Les Invalides with the tombs of Napoleon and his son l’Aiglon (photo stop).  Return to the Right Bank of the Seine via the Alexander III bridge and continue along the Seine passing the French Academy, the Mint and the Conciergerie - the prison where Marie-Antoinette was held.  The tour then continues on the Left Bank and through the Latin Quarter - traditionally the student area of the city.  

See the historical University of Paris, the Sorbonne, the Luxembourg Gardens of Italian influence, the Pantheon - where many of the great men of France are buried.  Then on to the Bastille with the new Opera House and islands at the heart of the city - Ile de la Cité and Ile St Louis.  See Notre-Dame, the impressive masterpiece of gothic architecture, impregnated with the history of Paris, since its construction in 1163.  Finally drive through the Carrousel square and see the Louvre Museum with its new glass Pyramide surging gracefully in the middle of 8 centuries of architecture.

The tour will end in Montmartre where the participants will have the option to have lunch on their own. Guests choosing to have lunch in Montmartre will also be on their own to find transportation back to the hotel.  Guests who do not choose to stay in Montmartre will be driven back by coach to the Hotel Concorde Lafayette.

Price: 49 Euros in advance or 64 Euros onsite (pending availability)

Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Tour #2 – Versailles (10:00 – 14:00)

Versailles was built during the golden age of French royalty under the Sun King Louis XIV and was the government headquarters and the political center of France from 1682 to 1789, except during the Regency period.

The château de Versailles owes its reputation to the Sun King's outstanding Royal residence and grounds and was the largest Palace in Europe housing up to 20,000 people at a time.

The guided tour includes the State Apartments and the Hall of Mirrors (where the treaty of Versailles was signed in 1919) and free time to wander in the magnificent formal gardens, with their patterned flowerbeds, fountains and sculptures.  Please note that the tour does not include lunch.

Price:  65 Euros in advance or  80 Euros onsite (pending availability)

Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Lecture #3 – Book Review (8:30-9:30) Location: Blue Bar, Lobby Level, Hotel Concorde Lafayette

 This morning, the group will be reviewing the novel by Adam Gopnik, “Paris to the Moon.”  In 1995, Gopnik was offered the plush assignment of writing the “Paris Journals” for the New Yorker.  He spent five years in Paris with his wife, Martha, and son, Luke, writing dispatches now collected here along with previously unpublished journal entries.  A self-described “comic-sentimental” essayist”, Gopnik chose the romance of Paris in its particulars as his subject.  Gopnik falls in unabashed love with what he calls Paris’s commonplace civilization – the cafes, the little shops, the ancient carousel in the park, and the small, intricate experiences that happen in such settings.  It is highly recommended that participants read the novel prior to the review, and as a prelude to your visit to Paris!  Copies of the book are available at your local library, bookstore, or Amazon.com.  This novel is also available on CD or cassette tape.  Please purchase your copy in advance of the meeting, as the book will not be available onsite.

Price: Complimentary for Nontechnical Registrants

 Tour #3 – Walking Tour of Le Marais

It was in the 13th Century that the swamp lying on either side of the raised rue St-Antoine, a highway since Roman times, was cleared and converted into arable land.

By the beginning of the 17th Century, the then Place Royale, now the famous Place des Vosges built by Henri the 4th had become the focal point of the Marais: a walk under the remarquable arcades will show you the exceptional beauty of the place.  Several private mansions host many famous museums such as Carnavalet (devoted to the history of Paris), the Hotel Salé housing the Picasso museum, to name but a few.

A visit of the Picasso museum will be incorporated into the tour.  At the end of the tour, participants will have the option to have lunch on their own. Guests choosing to have lunch in on their own will also be on their own to find transportation back to the hotel.  Guests who do not choose to stay will be driven back by coach to the Hotel Concorde Lafayette.

 Price: 55 Euros in advance or 70 Euros onsite (pending availability)