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Orlando: I/ITSEC

Dec. 3-5, 2012. This gathering is trumpeted as “the world’s largest modeling, simulation and training conference”.  The Training, Simulation and Modeling Industry, we heard, has a very important job to do in providing the best of training, equipment and simulation technologies for the forces in the field. I/ITSEC as a conference strives to meet these  important and ever-changing needs.  Delegates at this event seem to understand that training is a core process in a successful and modern business. In successful organizations, training is continuous, pervasive and institutionalized, we heard. These players came to I/ITSEC to find the resources that they need to adapt to the new tasks and threats of tomorrow.  There were over 4,000 attendees, plus over 8,500 Industry/Government/Academia personnel.  2,000 attendees were foreigners from over 50 countries.  Hey, this is “computing without borders”, already…

New York City: ICSC NYC

Dec. 3-4, 2012. This is the ICSC’s “International Conference and Deal-Making”.  So what exactly would the ICSC be?  Well, it’s the International Council of Shopping Centers.  And these folks dedicate themselves to “serving the Global Retail Real Estate Industry”.  And deal-making, of course.  This was an event designed for anyone involved in the retail real estate/shopping center industry profession – lawyers, marketing specialists, retailers, owner, brokers, developers, shopping center managers, and government employees.  A talking point was Next Generation, a program geared towards challenges, interests and trends in retail real estate.  The guiding committee felt there was a need to offer a program which helped new retail real estate professionals enter the business — and the trade association — while also offering continuing education and mentoring.  So these folks were, erm, learning to “keep it “real”…?”

Las Vegas: ASHP

Dec. 3-5, 2012. Why would you call a conference the “Mid-Year Clinical Meeting” when it takes place in December?  Better than 20,000 attendees at this meeting of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) seemed not to be much bothered by the apparent logical contradiction, in spite of (or perhaps because of) this apparently being “the largest gathering of pharmacists in the world”.  (Really?)  A forecast session presented key findings and recommendations from a new trends report from the Center for Health-System Pharmacy Leadership, and a panel of trend-watchers offered an assessment of health-system pharmacy, commenting on strategies that pharmacy departments could consider to improve their effectiveness.  Oh and, this being Vegas, they also held a poker tournament….

San Francisco: California School Boards Association (CSBA)

Nov. 29-30, 2012. CSBA is the California School Boards Association.  The aim of the conference was delivering practical solutions to help governance teams from districts and county offices of education, in their efforts to improve student learning and achievement. Whether a veteran board member, a superintendent, a board support professional or a first-time attendee, delegates came away from the conference with practical ideas and a renewed commitment to help their board accomplish the critical tasks ahead. Issues could be related to budget and finance, student achievement, governance, community engagement, communication or collaboration.  This event focused on key areas to guide governance teams through tough fiscal times.  Kind of like “getting an education” on education…

Atlanta: American Speech-Language-Hearing Assoc. (ASHA)

Nov. 17-19, 2012. ASHA is the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, and the ASHA convention was the premier annual event for speech-language pathologists, audiologists, and speech/language/hearing scientists. Bringing together more than 12,000 attendees, the annual convention provided delegates with a once-a-year opportunity to learn about the latest evidence-based research, polish clinical skills, improve techniques, and gain new tools and resources to advance careers and optimize the workplace. This year’s theme was “Evidence of Excellence: Opportunities and Outcomes,” and it focused on the partnership between clinical practice and research—the unique continuum in which evidence informs practice and builds the evidence base.  Speakers did the speaking… delegates did the hearing…

Toronto: Canadian Waste & Recycling Expo

Nov. 14-15, 2012. Canadian Waste & Recycling Expo (CWRE) is Canada’s big meet for waste management and recycling professionals representing companies in sectors like: Collection, Hauling, Disposal, Construction & Demolition, Facility/Site Operation, and Landfill Operations.  The aim is to serve the waste, recycling and public works markets.  The trade show includes events including an educational program produced by the Canadian Waste Sector Symposium.  Delegates were there analyzing new products and services, networking with colleagues and competitors, and gaining valuable insight into the latest industry advances. Under discussion were composting systems, incineration, thermal technologies, landfill operations, recycling equipment and services, waste treatment and the like.  Nobody there thought it was a “waste” of time….

Salt Lake City: SC12

Nov. 11-15, 2012. SC?  Something to do with South Carolina, maybe?  Nope. SC tells us it is the International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis. This year SC12 took a major step forward not only in supercomputing, but in super-conferencing, with everything designed to make the 2012 conference the most user-friendly on record. There they were, streamlining conference information and moving to a virtually real-time method of determining technical program thrusts.  No more pre-determined technical themes picked far in advance! Through social media, data mining and active polling, they were pinpointing what IT technical interests and issues emerge throughout the year.  (Might even inspire us to do some super-synopsis-writing….)