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Los Angeles: POC

Sept. 3-5, 2013. POC stands for the Pacific Oil Conference, so it was no surprise that the event kicked off in sporting fashion with golf at the Dwight D. Eisenhower golf course.  The second day began with a prayer breakfast. In addition to golf and prayer, there were several options for seminars and workshops for anyone interested in attending.  The Trade Show offered an opportunity to visit  vendors in the industry, who were sharing new marking approaches, equipment and ideas to suit delegates’ needs.  For their part, exhibitors were able to interface with qualified buyers from the fuel distribution and c-store industries, increase awareness of their products and services, and boost their brand image.  The Pacific Oil Conference added up to three streamlined days of networking and learning, providing a tangible yield of information, strategies, and business-strengthening connections that could make an immediate and lasting impact on bottom-line success.  Typical sign-off?  Oil be seeing you…

Chicago: APSA

August 29 – September 1, 2013. Civics?  What is that exactly?  Well, civics, we learned, is the study of the workings of the national and local government, especially as the subject of a secondary school course suited as training for citizenship. The American Political Science Association, or APSA, is the leading professional organization for the study of political science, and serves more than 15,000 members in over 80 countries. With a range of programs and services for individuals, departments and institutions, APSA brings together political scientists from all fields of inquiry, regions, and occupational endeavors within and outside academe in order to expand awareness and understanding of politics.  More than 1,000 panels, meetings and receptions were held over the course of the conference, creating opportunities for networking, learning and engagement in the profession.

Orlando: NIGP

August 25-29, 2013. NIGP is the Institute for Public Procurement, and it’s dedicated to  “recognition and esteem for the government procurement profession and its dedicated practitioners”.  With over 2,600 member agencies representing over 16,000 professionals across the United States, Canada and countries outside of North America, the Institute is international in its reach.  NIGP’s Annual Forum was the largest North American educational conference exclusively for individuals in public procurement disciplines.  This was a once a year opportunity to engage in professional development and network with those in public procurement and the supplier community.  The products exposition provided  opportunities to discover the latest products and services available to the government, from a vast array of suppliers.  The educational component of the conference covered the latest hot topics, best practices, resources and skills to help improve job performance and provide professional development. So don’t just stand there, procure something…!

San Diego: SPIE Optics + Photonics

August 25-29, 2013. SPIE is the international society for optics and photonics, and it’s the largest international, multidisciplinary optical sciences and technology event in North America.  The expo was particularly focused on the growth areas of Nano-Science, Solar Energy, Photonic Devices and Optical Engineering/Applications.  Nano-Science buffs could get the latest research on metamaterials, plasmonics, carbon nanotubes, spintronics, nanoimaging, nano thin films, nanomaterials, nanobiosensing, and more.  Solar energy enthusiasts could hear the latest research in thin film solar technology, concentrators, reliability, solar hydrogen, next-generation cell technology, laser materials processing, organic photovoltaics, and other topics besides.  Just on organic photonics, there were sessions on Optical Processes in Organic Materials and Nanostructures, Liquid Crystals, Organic Photovoltaics…  SPIE was shedding both heat AND light….

Portland: Far West

August 22-24, 2013. The FarWest Trade Show was all about the nursery and retail garden center industry. Whether you’re a retailer, grower, landscape professional, wholesale buyer of plants or horticultural services, or a supplier, you could find a host of new ideas to increase efficiency, sales and profitability.  FarWest Trade Show presenter Suzi McCoy of Garden Media Group presented her report on 2014 Garden Trends. Titled “Finding Balance in the Garden,” the report highlighted global and market trends, including the rise of the stay-at-home dad, single women homeowners and digital detox camps. It also gave an overview of lawn and garden market stats to see what segments are growing and where.  The three-day event had 15 percent more people coming through the gate than in 2012. Apparently everything in the garden is coming up roses…

Las Vegas: FTE

September 4-6 2013. FTE?  It stands for Future Travel Experience, and it’s a global affair.  This independent global forum for the travel industry focused on the end-to-end travel process from the passenger point of view – from the moment of booking through to the collection of baggage at the arrival destination – and assessed how every aspect of the passenger experience on the ground can be improved. Hosted by McCarran International Airport, one of the most progressive airport authorities in the world, the event delivered a learning and networking platform through workshops, conferences, airport tours, social events, an awards ceremony and a full exhibition program.  Said program was neatly divided into an “On The Ground” section (focused on the latest passenger-facing tech) and an “Up In The Air” section (looking in detail at The Passenger Experience).  Watch out, apparently there’s a new beast up there called the “Me-Centric Passenger”….

Washington DC: ACA

August 9-14, 2013. ACA is the American Correctional Association.  ACA’s annual summer Congress of Correction international convention attracts corrections officials from the county, state and federal levels, as well as from probation, parole and community corrections agencies.  The Association works to shape public policy on correctional issues.  It represents a growing team of dedicated corrections professionals. Its Professional Development Department offers a full range of educational and training opportunities for adult correctional and juvenile justice staff. Its Government & Public Affairs Department, in partnership with the Legislative Affairs Committee, develops the Association’s position on public policy issues and represents the Association before the United States Congress, federal executive agencies, state and local governments, advocacy and interest groups, the media, and the general public.  It’s about getting corrections… well, correct…