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New York City: INTERPHEX 2013

April 23-25, 2013. INTERPHEX pitches itself as America’s leading annual pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical trade show. Key pharma decision-makers find the products, services and information they need to ensure quality and maximize efficiency and flexibility, the better to solve manufacturing and supply chain problems. INTERPHEX, we heard, is where “intelligence and passion intersect with the full spectrum of industry products and services to create new insights and innovation”.  This is supposed to be the place in the industry to showcase products and solutions to an audience from big and small pharma, biologics, service providers, and generics — which, we were told, have open projects worth over $11 billion dollars.  The biggest attendee group was general management, closely followed by production and manufacturing, marketing and sales, and business development.  Clearly they came looking for “healthy” growth patterns…

Lexington: COAL Prep

April 30 – May 2, 2013. Coal Prep claims to be the only annual trade show and conference in the U.S. dedicated to coal preparation and processing. Industry professionals came from all over the world to share the latest ideas and techniques on coal preparation and processing technologies. Commercially-minded delegates were there to purchase and preview the latest equipment and services, view to increasing plant productivity and reducing costs.  Coal industry professionals were presented with a conference programmed by a dedicated Technical Program Committee made up of operators and industry leaders.  High on everyone’s agenda was talk about re-positioning coal as a valid fuel for the future, despite its increasingly beleaguered reputation as a “dirty fuel” that contributes to global warming and other ills.  Ranged against the “clean coal” aficionados were a few refuseniks who seemed to think that “clean coal” was a concept about as logical as “dehydrated water”….

Toronto: Health and Safety Ontario

April 30 – May 3, 2013. If Canada is your stamping ground, and you consider yourself a “partner in prevention”, chances are you were in Toronto, rubbing shoulders with the other delegates at the Health and Safety Ontario show and expo, billed as “Canada’s largest Health and Safety event”.  The show is the result of a recent move to reorganize the independent efforts of twelve H&S associations into four streamlined organizations, in order to serve members and customers. Health & Safety Ontario is comprised of the following organizations:  the Infrastructure Health & Safety Association, the Public Services Health & Safety Association, Workplace Safety North, and Workplace Safety & Prevention Services. The gathering brought together 4,500 H&S professionals for networking, education and knowledge sharing. There’s safety in numbers… or, actually, now we come to think of it, the proverb should be re-written to read “There’s HEALTH AND safety in numbers”,  no…?

Indianapolis: FDIC

April 22-27, 2013. So when you were a kid you saw your future self standing on a fire-truck in a fireman’s helmet?  You were sturdily gripping a hose in both determined hands, or rising on a rescue ladder to reach the wailing damsel in distress on the 23rd floor of a blazing building?  If your childhood dream came true, we probably saw you in Indianapolis at FDIC.  There were new-model fire-trucks to look over, equipment aplenty… though you couldn’t automatically assume that the firefighters and the equipment were fighting on the same side, if the seminar on “Man vs. Machinery” was anything to go by…  Classroom sessions included things like Fireground Strategies: When Buildings Change the Rules of the Game; Implementing the Lessons Learned from Near Misses;  and The Future of Fire Training.  In the one titled Conducting Live Burn Training in Acquired Structures, inductees learned about the need for documented objectives, total scene control, training anomalies, proper fuel loads, and total instructor focus.  When fighting fires, don’t let your mind wander…

Houston: NRA

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…?

Chicago: Mid America Affordable Meetings

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…

Atlanta: Interwire IFE

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…!