October 26, 2023: The International Lead Association and its subsidiary the Consortium for Battery Innovation are near to closing a deal with the owners of Battcon, the US stationary battery conference, according to sources familiar with the matter.
Details of the deal, with negotiations that began earlier this year, are apparently at their last stages with completion imminent if not completed. Battcon — again apparently, according to these sources — approached Battery Council International as well as the ILA for a possible sale.
It is not known why Battcon, set up by the then established battery testing pioneer Glenn Alber, in 1998 and now run by technology company Vertiv, should seek such a sale. Each year the conference, which is regularly held in Orlando, Florida, attracts some 400 delegates.
Industry opinion is divided over the merits of such an acquisition — if a total acquisition it be.
“In one way it makes perfect sense that the ILA should then be able to leverage its commercial wing to recruit more CBI members. The role of the CBI is to galvanize the industry to create change,” said one commentator.
Another industry veteran, who again preferred not to be named, differed. “We all know that the ILA makes a substantial amount of money when it runs the [biennial] ELBC and it helps their funding for the following year, but do they have the resources and the expertise to manage Battcon too?
“Their expertise is meant to be about serving the interests of their members, not becoming a conference organizer which requires a different set of commercial skills than that of a trade association.”
In terms of conference timetables where budgets for attendees and exhibitors may clash, Battcon traditionally follows the annual conference of BCI at the end of April/early May. It will also clash with other events of the ILA which hold an alternating meeting each two years between its Pb meeting in the first summer and the European Lead Battery Conference the following end of summer.