In the early years the conference was known as the Aston-UMIST Labour Process Conference and not surprisingly the event rotated between the two. It began to change when new organisers came on the scene in the 1990s. Paul Thompson and Chris Warhurst, then at the University of Central Lancashire, held two conferences in Blackpool. It then followed Paul to Edinburgh, Paul and Chris to Strathclyde and Chris Smith to Royal Holloway. In the new century a more open process, focused on an Organising Group constituted by a collection of previously-host institutions, has led to more varied and adventurous locations. More information about the ILPC can be found in "The short overview of the labour process perspective and history of the International Labour Process Conference" by Chris Smith School of Management, Royal Holloway, University of London.
As for plenary speakers, in the first decade, that wasn’t the way that the organisers wanted to run the conference. Even after that, it was patchy, but we’ve had some good ones!