May 3-5, 2013. Let the Washington Post describe the show: “The National Rifle Association’s convention bristled with combative and triumphant rhetoric, having achieved a major victory in 2013: defeating the White House-backed package of gun-control legislation. The gun-rights group seems stronger than ever, with tens of thousands of enthusiastic participants, record high membership and effusive approval for the path taken by the its leader, Wayne LaPierre. Beneath the surface, however, some NRA allies are uneasy, saying that the organization is facing challenges on a scale it has not faced before. These include changing demographics and patterns of gun ownership; a new willingness of gun-state lawmakers to buck the NRA; and the rise of an organized and well-funded gun-control movement”. There is a “debate over whether the NRA made a mistake by pugnaciously opposing all of this year’s major gun-control proposals — including background checks for gun purchases”. Jumping the gun, perhaps…?
April 23-25, 2013. We love the concept of a show titled “Affordable Meetings”; it seems to make the assumption that most meetings are UN-affordable. Actually the official show title is “HSMAI’s Mid-America MEET”, and it’s all about meetings, events, education and technology. Organized by the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI), the 2013 MEET Mid-America attracted 800 planning professionals from organizations of every size, plus 100 exhibitors representing hotels, resorts, inns, convention and visitors bureaus, technology suppliers, plus food and equipment providers. There were comprehensive educational programs, so that planners from novice to executive level could hone their skills and develop new ones with hands-on learning. Case studies and practical demonstrations got learners out of their seats and into real-life applications, giving them take-away tips, tools, and techniques for better meetings. Apparently it’s about “meeting” expectations…
April 23-25, 2013. Interwire is the largest and longest-running wire and cable marketplace in the Americas. This international trade event includes exhibiting companies, speakers, and attendees from more than 50 countries around the world. The show crossed dozens of vertical industries including automotive, construction, aerospace, transportation, and communications. Organizer The Wire Association International, Inc. is a worldwide technical society for wire and cable industry professionals, dedicated to the promotion, collection and dissemination of technical, manufacturing, and general business information and trends in the industry. Interwire attracts visitors from throughout the world, with a concentration from the Americas. Attendees, 90% of whom have purchasing influence, represent the hundreds of companies that plan for a wide range of capital expenditures in the ferrous, nonferrous, and electrical segments of the industry. Hey, don’t trip over that wire…!
April 30 – May 2, 2013. The numbers participating in SPIE Defense, Security, and Sensing 2013 — even with budget cuts in many parts of the world and sequestration and government travel restrictions in the U.S. — was a sign of the value placed on advanced sensing, IR, laser, and display technologies for both defense and commercial applications. With attendance of more than 6,000, and 490 exhibiting companies, attendees took away valuable insights on the latest research in this area of security, as well as new connections for suppliers and customers. Some of this was about healing, not just security. Among presentations, Zhenan Bao of Stanford University reported her lab’s development of flexible, stretchable, and self-healing pressure sensors on a substrate she calls “super skin.” These could sense temperature and humidity, for example, to monitor stress in real time. Printed layer by layer, they could be equipped with an antenna to wirelessly transmit data to the doctor’s office. Gimme some skin…
April 19-21, 2013. KBIS stands for the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show. KBIS is the voice of the kitchen and bath industry and has been for 50 years, putting up an interactive platform that showcases the latest kitchen and bathroom industry products, trends and technologies. This year, the NKBA (National Kitchen and Bathroom Association) celebrated its 50th Anniversary, and unveiled a brand new conference series, “Voices from the Industry,” featuring 70 conference speakers representing all industry segments and every level of professional – a platform for sharing new ideas on design and inspiration, business management, a renewed focus on the customer, and sales & marketing matters. Courses spanned a wide range of industry-relevant topics including “Integrating Universal Design in the Kitchen,” “Google AdWords — An Introduction to Search Marketing,” “Improve Your Sales Performance With Consultative Selling,” and “Recruiting & Hiring for Success”. Um, ‘scuse me… where’s the bathroom…?
April 30 – May 2, 2013. SIAL Canada is North America’s Premier Agri-food Event, aka “The North American Food Marketplace”. Delegates were there to learn about local, regional and national products from Canada and 45 different countries, all under one roof. A keynote offered insights on consumer shopping, buying and media consumption behaviors and attitudes, to provide foodstuffs manufacturers and retailers with strategic visions to facilitate brand, category and retail sales growth. Another keynoter became inspired to help other people feel better after overcoming her own health challenges through the healing power of food. Delegates heard about a culinary tourism plan for Ontario that brings people and businesses together across agriculture, specialty food processors, wineries, tourism, chefs, foodservice and culinary schools. Also discussed were projects to improve childhood food practices in schools and hospital contexts. Who knew food could do you so much good…?
April 29 – May 1, 2013. Coverings is billed as “the ultimate stone and tile experience”, and is known for connecting the people, products, innovations and education that go to make up the tile & stone industry. (The visual motif you saw everywhere was silhouette people made of tile and floor-covering patterns, all cheerfully chatting and shaking hands — or is that shaking tiles?) With more than 20,000 professionals attending Coverings 2013, there were plenty of new business leads and contacts to be made, for input into a variety of tile- or stone- related topics. Visitors could observe creative masterpieces being constructed onsite at Coverings, when NTCA Five Star contractors and Atlanta-area design firms were partnered to showcase the synergy between beautiful design and professional installation. You could watch a bar/lounge, hotel lobby, inpatient room in a women’s birthing center and a master bathroom being created from inception to completion right on the show floor. Whoops, don’t slip on those tiles…!