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Orlando: FETC 2011 (Florida Educational Technology Conference)

FETC Conference & Expo is a comprehensive and progressive educational technology conference in Orlando. The event exposed all the latest hardware, software and successful strategies on student technology use. ETC is designed for teachers, principals and deans, district administrators, curriculum designers, media specialists, technology directors and other educators. The profile of exhibit includes Assessment Solutions, Assistive-Learning Technologies, Computer/Presentation Furniture, Computer Hardware/Peripherals, Literacy Solutions, Administrative/Business, Management Software, educational/Instructional software, and Multimedia Software. What do you mean, the dog ate your e-mailed homework?

Vegas: Stone Expo

StoneExpo/Marmomacc Americas’ is sponsored by the Marble Institute of America (MIA) and the Natural Stone Council. The mission of the MIA is to promote the use of natural stone and be the world’s stone information resource. Membership is worldwide and includes over 1,750 natural stone producers, exporters/importers, distributors/wholesalers, fabricators, finishers, installers, and industry suppliers. Folks like Allied Stone Industries, Building Stone Institute, Elberton Granite Association, Indiana Limestone Institute, Marble Institute of America, National Slate Association, Natural Stone Alliance, New York State Bluestone Association and Pennsylvania Bluestone Association. So… not your usual stoner movie….

Chicago: Adventure Travel Show

“As you enter the Show”, we were told, “you are immediately transported to another place as you experience the music, dancing and cultures from worldwide destinations!” The Chicago Travel Adventure Show had exhibits on dozens of exotic and venturesome destinations, with special presentation titles like Europe Through The Back Door, Panama the Best-Kept Secret, There’s Nothing Like Australia, and Get Lost! The Cultural Pavilion featured henna tattoo, face painting, balloon sculpture, cultural custom jewelry, masquerade headsets, and Polynesian heritage showcase. When you gotta go…. the travel bug has gotcha.

Orlando: PGA Merchandise Show

Back in the 1950s, they apparently used to sell golfing equipment in parking lots. That was before the game of golf had developed into a multi-billion dollar industry and a national obsession, and those informal little selling meets have now evolved into the behemoth that is the PGA Merchandizing Show. It’s now a “comprehensive multi-purpose business platform for 1000+ vendors representing every business sector of golf from market leaders to start-up companies”. Golf industry leaders addressed key issues, there were education seminars and chances to share and discuss best practices. New golf employment initiatives were launched, as the industry tries to shrug off the recent economic unpleasantness. Spirits were high, and the attendees all wandered around with those strangely goofy grins that people get at sport shows and sport celeb encounters.

San Francisco: Mac World

Those who say “I’m a Mac” all know that their favorite tech company famously does not attend or exhibit at big consumer electronics shows like CEA. You wanna see Macs, iPhones, iPads, Mac apps? You have to come to San Francisco, where the show is a one-manufacturer-only affair. Anyone who thought that the boys in tech were getting it all their own way should have seen TechGirlz: Women in Technology Making a Difference. This was an elite group of women who have been able to breakthrough the glass ceiling to become trusted and relied upon voices in technology. Women are becoming an ever-growing force in the world of technology, social media, blogging, digital music and videocasting. This group of TechGirlz is here to tell you how it’s done. Just don’t call them Mac, Mac.

Phoenix: TSE 2011 (The Special Event 2011)

TSE stands for The Special Event, and the organizers rather grandly trumpeted it as “the dawn of a new beginning”. Its kind of “an event about events”. TSE is like The Big Game which is really the Super Bowl except one has to pay to say it. Super Bowl. The Special Event is the largest tradeshow and conference in the world for event professionals. Delegates could discover thousands of event products and services on the tradeshow floor, and get education both inside and outside of the classroom environment, choosing among over 100 Conference Sessions and Training Workshops. Different learning “tracks” included business development, design, event management, food services, tools and resources, sales and marketing, even a special program on managing weddings. Overall, the show was judged to be pretty… “eventful”. Super Bowl.

Denver: Snow Sports International Exposition (SIA)

The SIA Snow Show is within hailing distance of Colorado snowmobile country. For more than five decades, the SIA Show has been bringing wintersport mavens together in one place, making it the most important trade event for the snow sports industry. Showcasing trends, innovations, product lines and styles, the show claimed to be the first time globally where nearly 1,000 brands were presented in an authentic environment on and off the snow, all “powered by the passion and culture of snow sports”. Representing a $3 billion industry, the industry’s retail buyers attended the SIA Show to see the product collections for the 2011-12 year. Since its inception, this show has been listed in the top 200 US trade shows by Tradeshow Week and is currently ranked 59th. Time for a little Apres-Ski now?