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Mississauga: CMTS

October 3, 2013. Mississauga, since you ask, is in Ontario, Canada, and this show was billed as “Canada’s national manufacturing event”.  CMTS stands for the Canadian Manufacturing Technology Show.  Thousands of manufacturing professionals rely on this biennial event to assess potential suppliers big and small.  Over 500 companies in manufacturing were represented, giving attending professionals an extensive reach and allowing them to find solutions to improve and enhance their operations.   From engineers to C-level decision makers, exhibiting companies counted on CMTS to showcase the latest technologies and solutions in the machine tool, tooling, metal forming and fabricating, automation, design engineering and plant management segments.  A key participant was APMA, the Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association.  APMA has working agreements with counterpart organizations in Brazil, Europe, India, Japan, Mexico, China and the United States.  All of which helped put Mississaugaon the map…

Chicago: Cloud Partners

Sept. 11-13, 2013. The Cloud, we heard, is getting bigger.  The market is set to grow from $12 billion in 2012 to over $35 billion in 2014, so this was a seminal year for the business.  The event attracted more than 2,500 IT and telecom executives to Chicago, to explore the opportunities for technology channels in delivering business value to their customers with cloud-based solutions.  Cloud Partners, which replaced Channel Partners’ 15-year-old fall conference and expo, drew record attendance for the information services company, exceeding fall 2012 attendance by nearly 30 percent. Significantly, nearly 60 percent of participants were new, or had never attended a Channel Partners event in the past. And, Cloud Partners’ participants represented the range of telecom and IT vendors and partners – from carriers and hardware/software vendors to cloud providers and MSPs to VARs and agents and even “born in the cloud” partners.  Being born in the cloud means the stork has less far to fly to deliver the baby…

Fayetteville: North Carolina Defense and Economic Development Trade Show

August 8, 2013. Visitors to the North Carolina Defense and Economic Development Trade Show had the opportunity to build relationships with senior representatives from a Congressional delegation, the Department of Defense, other federal agencies and numerous defense contracting firms, including North Carolina small businesses.  The event included a traditional trade show, static displays and demonstrations of military equipment, informal networking opportunities, structured teaming sessions and government procurement workshops for both prospective and current federal contractors.  Who was there?  Well, companies such as BAE Systems, Carl Zeiss Industrial Metrology, General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products, General Dynamics Information Technology, Johnson Controls Federal Systems, LORD Corporation, Remington Arms Company, Sierra Nevada Corporation, and many more.  Selected major prime contractors conducted open sessions to present their business practices and requirements.  Can THOSE guys play defense…!

Asheville: NCHEA

August 20-23, 2013. NCHEA is the North Carolina Healthcare Engineers Association. Wait, is healthcare something you can “engineer”?  Seems it can be.  Healthcare is changing daily, we heard, and  must accept the challenges each day brings. As the healthcare field continues to transition and overcome the opportunities brought on by the new millennium, the Association “continues to dedicate itself to meeting the needs of its members by advancing the field of healthcare facilities management, promoting the purposes of the state and national organizations, and maintaining an efficient and effective organization”.  Delegates could identify their organization’s strengths and weaknesses through benchmarking collaboratives that compared each company against other providers.  They could also reduce liability risks by keeping staff informed of important issues and pending legislation that impact the environment of care, not to mention learning  about new, cost-effective products and services for meeting diverse needs.  Engineer that!

Edmonton: WCW

Sept. 17-20, 2013. WCW stands for Western Canada Water, and spirit-dampening issues were on their minds.  “Beyond the value of the water itself”, we heard, “is the value provided by water professionals, whose daily work ensures that consumers receive high-quality water and wastewater services. In many communities there has been a need to convince municipal councils that the individuals responsible for operating the water and wastewater systems should be valued as professionals and should be paid as such. The advent of mandatory operator certification and the shortage caused by the retirement of baby boomers has contributed to significant operator salary increases. There is often competition between communities when they try to hire a qualified, experienced replacement after a water/sewer operation position becomes vacant. There is always someone willing to provide a service for less, but what is the quality of that low-cost product or service? Value is more important than cost”.  Who knew that water in Canada was all about brain drains…?

Chicago: REIA

August 15, 2013. Around Chicago there are new high rise office buildings sprouting up and many more planned for development.  Simultaneously, existing office inventory is actively trading hands and being recapitalized, while obsolete loft building product and other commercial property inventory is being redeveloped into unique office product to fill demand across various industries.  Enter REIA, the Real Estate Investment Association, and it’s there for “networking, information-sharing and resources for private real estate investors, lenders and developers”, we heard.  Apparently REIA is comprised of “a unique mix of some of the brightest, most visionary real estate investment entrepreneurs and professionals in the Chicagoland real estate industry”. The formation of REIA was originally driven by a desire to address the interests and needs of all real estate investors, regardless of the form of ownership.  All together now: “My… kind… of town, Chicago is…”

Chicago: AOSSM #AOSSM2013

July 11-14, 2013. AOSSM is the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine.  The banners over the reception desk portrayed a comely young practitioner of Women’s Soccer, who looked healthy enough that she probably never had a medical-related day off in her life.  But sport, we heard, can be a danger to your health and wellbeing, and this is the branch of the healthcare industry that picks up the pieces when things go wrong.  What kind of things?  Well, “Can Bracing Affect Altered Gait Patterns in Femoroacetabular Impingement?”, for a start.  Then there was the session on “Understanding the Pincer: The Importance of Reference Plane Orientation on Acetabular Rim Evaluation”.  “Arthroscopic Hip Revision Surgery for Residual FAI: Surgical Outcomes” was a must-catch, not forgetting wise words from the Association of Femoral Neck Stress Fractures with Femoral Acetabular Impingement.  When you think about it, running onto a sport field begins to sound insanely risky…