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San Diego: CMAA

February 7-9, 2013. Join the Club!  CMAA stands for the Club Managers’ Association of America. CMAA has close to 7,000 members across all classifications. Manager members operate more than 3,000 country, golf, athletic, city, faculty, military, town and yacht clubs. CMAA’s World Conference and the Club Business Expo is the Association’s big event of the year. Audiences of up to 5,000 typically attend this event. The World Conference fulfills CMAA’s mission to provide a variety of relevant education opportunities that reflect the latest trends in the club industry. These include Pre-Conference Workshops, seminars, management clinics, round-table discussions and student programs.  The Association works with a team of committed, competent and highly regarded educators in the hospitality and club industry, to ensure that CMAA members benefit from an optimal academic experience.  Excuse me, sir, but are you a member…?

Orlando: MACS

February 7-9, 2013. MACS is the Mobile Air Conditioning Society, and they apparently wanted their show to be the Best of the Best.  Whether you were a rookie or a veteran, professionals who make a living from servicing and repairing or selling parts for mobile A/C and engine cooling systems in all types of vehicles needed to attend.  Attendees could learn from “the best of best” about service and repair of mobile A/C and engine cooling systems, new refrigerants, new technology and regulations. They had the chance to meet with all the most important vendors in the industry, the opportunity to hear from NASCAR driver Kenny Wallace, and meet drag race legend Don Garlits.  MACS is the leading non-profit trade association for the mobile air conditioning, heating and engine cooling system segment of the automotive aftermarket. It represents a growing membership in North America and 47 countries around the world. Hey Kenny, do you have the A/C going when you’re drag-racing?  I thought not…

Savannah: NATSO

February 3-5, 2013. It’s ‘NATSO’ complicated: NATSO has been representing travel plaza and truckstop owners and operators for over 50 years, and maintains a clear mission: to advance the success of truckstop and travel plaza members by delivering solutions to members’ problems — whoops, sorry, challenges —  and achieving the industry’s public policy goals.  Er, problems?  Well, jeez, things like parking space slopes that exceed the safe maximum angle, excess diesel exhaust fumes, not letting your employees park next to the dumpster because it shrinks the frontage available to passing truckers…  There, you had no idea it was all so complicated, did you?   Seriously, the nation’s truckstops and travel plazas are among the largest distributors of diesel fuel and gasoline, and NATSO closely monitors regulatory action and industry trends that affect the supply and distribution of fuel.  From biodiesel tax credits to underground storage tank requirements, NATSO is on the forefront of industry issues.  Hey, get that thing away from the dumptster, will’ya..?

Philadelphia: PV America East

February 5-7, 2013. The PVAE initials mean that this is PV America East.  The PV part indicates Photo-Voltaic Solar Energy, and this here is the industry’s conference and exhibition.  The event brings PV solar manufacturers and service providers together with installers, contractors, engineers and policy makers from the Eastern U.S.  Some big questions were being asked.  Why is it that 80% of Americans say they want solar power, yet less than 3% actually buy it? What will it take to effectively bring solar power into mainstream America?  What do current trends in solar energy mean for the PV Solar business?  What’s all this about Disruptive Innovation?  Attending the seminars enabled delegates to gain perspective on how to use new technologies to find, sell and build relationships with customers in the perpetually changing landscape of the solar energy industry.  You can do this even when the sun isn’t actually shining….

Boston: NRLA

February 6-8, 2013. The Northeastern Retail Lumber Association (NRLA) was established in New York in 1894 by a small group of pioneering lumbermen who recognized the value of cooperation (and could see the wood from the trees). These are people on a mission: to promote and support investment, education, and research related to, and for the benefit of, the lumber and building material dealers, their employees, customers, and the general public.  Today the NRLA has 1,150 members. The association represents independent lumber and building-material suppliers and associated businesses in New York and the six New England states.   Education seems to be one aspect distinguishing the independent lumber dealer from the rest, and has continued to be major focus. This year NRLA’s education team produced 21 seminars and webinars, launched an NRLA Facebook page, and built a new small dealer roundtable. Whad’ya mean, what’s the round table made of?  This is a lumber association, Mac…

Miami: Miami Green

January 31 – February 2, 2013. This show was billed as the Green Convention of the Americas, and it featured green building, solar clean tech, and much more besides.  The MiaGreen Expo & Conference claims to be the only event in the United States providing access to the ever-growing, non-stoppable green, renewable and sustainable markets for ALL the Americas.  (Miami is a well-known stopping-off point for countries to the South of the USA, i.e. pretty much the whole of Latin America).  MiaGreen has, we heard, developed as the one-stop, all-inclusive, interactive conference and marketplace for sustainability, combining a major trade show with leading-edge educational and networking programs, with a huge range of Machinery, Equipment and Tools serving the above-mentioned categories.  American enterprises dominated, with 80% US and 20% Latin America and Caribbean participation.  Remember, green is the color of money…

Dallas: AHR

January 28-30, 2013. AHR?  It sounds like what the Pirate King would say as he opens his treasure chest.  But no, seeing the acronym above the registration desk means you made it to the International Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Expo.  The drive for greater energy efficiency, greener products and sustainable technologies has, we heard, accelerated the pace at which new AC and heating products and innovations are coming to market.  In this challenging economy, these professionals must also be more innovative in their businesses, or risk getting left behind. Present were over 1,800 manufacturers and suppliers of the latest HVACR systems, equipment, products and services.  Attendees included Mechanical & Plumbing Contractors, Facility & Operations Management and Building Owners, Consulting, Project & Design Engineering types, folk from Public Utilities and Government Agencies…  Is it just me, or is it chilly in here?  I’m heading for the heating end of this jamboree…