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Las Vegas: Heli Expo

March 4-7, 2013. Heli Expo is short for the Helicopter Association International Show.  This year it hosted 60 helicopters, 736 exhibitors, and 20,393 attendees, making it once again the world’s largest helicopter trade show and exposition. Early this year the association hosted an industry forum at which senior FAA representatives addressed members’ questions about the regulations and oversight requirements for public-aircraft operations. The forum also included a presentation by the National Transportation Safety Board.  Helicopters can make quite a noise, so staying in good standing with the neighbors is important.  It was therefore good to hear that “The most important benefit of responding to a citizen complaint is the opportunity to assure the community that helicopter operators hear their concerns, and are  reducing noise impacts when possible.  HAI’s Fly Neighborly Program helps reduce noise impacts to the community and provides the cornerstone for an effective noise management  program”.  Shhhhhhhhh!

Las Vegas: TCA – Truckload Carriers Association

March 3-6, 2013. TCA is the Truckload Carriers Association, dedicating itself to operational efficiency, industry awareness, public policy, recruitment and retention – some common issues for an uncommon industry. TCA is apparently the only national trade association whose sole focus is the truckload segment of the motor carrier industry. The association represents dry van, refrigerated, flatbed, intermodal container, and end-dump carriers operating in the 48 contiguous states, as well as Alaska, Mexico, and Canada.  The challenges faced by truckload demand solutions, we heard, are tackled from a unique perspective.  TCA has a long history that includes several name changes throughout the years. The organization has its origins in two separate groups: the Contract Carrier Conference (founded 1938) and the Common Carrier Conference – Irregular Route (founded 1941). In 1983, these groups merged to become the Interstate Carriers Conference, which changed its name to Interstate Truckload Carriers Conference in 1988.  Names by the truckload…!

Baltimore: USCAP 2013

March 2-8, 2013. USCAP is the United States & Canadian Academy of Pathology, dedicated to “leading pathology educational excellence”, and a global leader in the transmission of knowledge in the field of pathology for more than 100 years.  The Academy has maintained a rich heritage of leading in the highest standards of pathology education, and attracts to its ranks the leaders in key areas of the science. The Annual Meeting has by far the largest attendance of physician-pathologists of any meeting in the world, it seems. The event regularly attracts over 3,000 pathologists from the United States and Canada, as well as several hundred scientists from overseas.  Studies have shown that well over 60% of the practicing pathologist’s time is involved in surgical pathology, cytopathology and organ-based pathology (i.e., anatomic pathology). This is one of the major strengths of the USCAP’s educational activities.  It’s like “taking the path(ology) less trodden…”

Washington DC: AFCEA Homeland Security

February 26-28, 2013. The AFCEA Homeland Security Conference tells us it’s about “Working together and keeping the nation safe”.  The show offers an opportunity to engage with key Government and Industry leaders on critical Homeland Security matters.  These included Cybersecurity Critical Infrastructure Protection, Biometrics/Identity Management, Information and Intelligence Sharing, Emergency Management, Mobile Communications, plus Training, Modeling and Simulation.  All too often, we heard, cyber and physical protection are considered separately, when really they go hand-in-hand.  The conference opened with a half-day of conversation about hackers, terrorists and natural disasters, and addressed concerns involving both physical infrastructure and the cyber environment for all kinds of attacks, be they physical, virtual or even natural in origin.  So now we have to worry about hurricanes hacking into our computer networks…?

Indianapolis: Pumper and Cleaner Expo

February 25-28, 2013. Full title?  The Pumper & Cleaner International Environmental Expo.   Attended by over 4,000 septic, sewer and drain businesses each year, the Pumper & Cleaner Expo shows off the latest products and technologies in the environmental service industry as well as providing educational seminars taught by highly skilled professionals.  500 exhibits spanned more than 500,000 square feet of the convention center, displaying everything from septic system components and trailers to portable sanitation units and industrial sewer equipment.  The Pumper & Cleaner Expo has grown significantly over the last several years, attracting environmental service professionals from 46 countries to discuss onsite installation, portable sanitation, sewer cleaning, utility location, and the like.  One of the remarkable sights at the show was a large crowd gathered alongside a row of porta-potty cabins, and NOT hopping anxiously from one foot to the other.  They were just checking out specs…

Chicago: International Housewared Show

March 2-5, 2013. IHA tells us it’s “the home authority”.  The acronym stands for International Housewares Association.  This body is the 75-year-old voice of the housewares industry, which accounted for over $300 billion US at retail worldwide in 2010. The not-for-profit, full-service association sponsors the world’s premier exposition of products for the home, and offers its 1,700 member companies a wide range of services.  The International Home and Housewares Show is, we are told, the world’s premier housewares marketplace, featuring 2,100 exhibitors from 34 countries, and more than 20,000 buyers from over 100 markets around the world.  The Inventors’ Corner Pavilion was anchored by 60 creative inventors and hot-off-the-press new products, a magnet for buyers and news media alike. The International Housewares Association partnered with the United Inventors Association (UIA) to attract a new wave of inventors to the show. What do you get when you cross an inventor with an inventory…?

Las Vegas: Channel Partners

February 28 – March 1, 2013. Channel Partners Telecom is, we hear, “the gathering point for the IT and Telecom Channel”.  As the Cloud, Data Center, WAN and Security take center stage in the business technology and communications space, VARs MSPs and Agents — about 30,000 of them in total —  converged at the Channel Partners event to get the scoop on IT and Telecom exhibitors, and to take in  more than 25 hours of education.  A Keynote roundtable asked “What Do Business Customers Want From Technology & Channel Partners?”  Meanwhile the main keynote, “Creating Business Value in the Cloud”, examined how the PC era is giving way to the cloud era. “That changes everything. All of the rules are turned upside down. Yesterday’s exceptions are today’s assumptions”, we were told. A training session on Application Integration in Action pointed out how traditional phone systems are like islands of technology,  functioning completely outside the key systems that run the business.  Some kind of wrong number?