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Ft. Lauderdale: International Marina & Boatyard Conference – IMBC

IMBC is the International Marina & Boatyard Conference, and it’s apparently the nation’s leading marina and boatyard gabfest.  IMBC is geared specifically toward marina and boatyard owners, operators and managers, as well as dockmasters, harbormasters, boat builders and repairers, and boating industry consultants. This is where dedicated marine professionals gather to exchange information, talk about the future of the industry, explore new methods and techniques, receive updates on revised standards and established rules, and discover new products.  There were presentations of industry awards, including Certified Marina Manager and Certified Marina Operator Awards.  The exhibit hall floated over 140 booths, and delegates could sign on for a field trip to marinas and boatyards near the location of the show.  Does that float your boat…?

Atlantic City: Atlantic City Pool & Spa Expo – NESPA

NESPA is the Northeast Pool & Spa Expo, bringing together industry buyers and sellers since 1982. The Pool & Spa Show is a four-day conference and exhibit event where the pool and spa industry meets and splashes about.  The show connects over 400 exhibitors and more than 11,000 attendees each year.  Spa and pool professionals from all over the country and the world attend to see all the latest pool & spa trends, cutting-edge design & product technology, and to attend 60 educational seminars and counting.  There were more than 1,000 booths, filling over 100,000 square feet of exhibit space and providing attendees with access to the latest product and service innovations.   With technical training courses and business seminars, the education schedule offers a variety of courses designed to build business, expand skills and enhance knowledge.  Not a bad venue, if you wanted to “make a splash”…

Sacramento: Unified Wine & Grape Symposium

UWGS2014_show recap

1 & 2: show floor 3: Falconer saves grape loss
4: recycled corks 5: wine tasting 6: Ohio has wine

The Unified Wine & Grape Symposium claims to be the largest wine and grape industry show in North America, with over 700 booths and 28 large vineyard and winery machine areas.  The whole thing is presented by the American Society for Enology (look it up) and Viticulture (look that up, too, while you’re at it).  At the end of the day, when all that learning and networking and deal-making are done, what do Enologists and Viticulteurs do to relax and unwind?  A nice glass of wine somewhere, maybe?  Advice from the Symposium’s organizers:  “Once you find a spot, don’t forget to make a reservation. The week of the Unified Symposium is one of the busiest of the year in Sacramento. Long waits at restaurants and bars are the norm. A little planning and a reservation can help you get the fun started that much sooner”.  Everyone seated now?  Ladies, gentlemen… we raise our glasses…  #Unified2014

Atlanta: IPPE – International Production & Processing Expo

IPPE is the International Production & Processing Expo.  So who’d’a thunk it was all about …poultry?  Ah, y’see International Poultry Expo, International Feed Expo and International Meat Expo integrated their tradeshows last year, under the IPPE name, bringing  together more than 1,100 exhibitors and over 25,000 attendees in Atlanta.  Did you know there’s an East-West divide in terms of the type of chicken meat people favor?  The dark meat from chicken legs and thighs is the part of the bird most favored by consumers in Asia.  White chicken meat is more to the taste of Western palates, and American and European shoppers will happily pay up to four times the price per kilo for lean breast meat relative to ‘chicken drumsticks’ and the like.  As a result, the West sends chicken legs (and feet — don’t ask) over to China, but imports white chicken meat from all over Asia.  Yeah, we thought that would get you clucking… #IPPE, #IPPEexpo

Los Angeles: Americas Lodging Investment Summit – ALIS

ALIS is the Americas Lodging Investment Summit, the meet that claims to be the leading and largest hotel investment conference in the world. Nearly 2,600 top industry leaders attended ALIS in January 2014. Who was there?  Well, Investors, Owners, Lenders, Developers, Hotel Chain/Management Company Executives, Investment Bankers, Vacation Ownership Executives, Financial Advisors, Real Estate & Financial Intermediaries, Builders, Consultants, Lawyers, Architects &  Designers, Government Tourism Officials, and Media.  Oh, and Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson, who headed the list of keynoters.  Sessions included Hotel Investments 101 – From Acronyms to Zoning;  the Outlook for the Economy:   and a panel session entitled WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE, WHY DO THEY MATTER TO INVESTORS AND WHAT’S NEXT?  Mystified?  Go ask ALIS, when she’s ten feet small….  #alisconference

Nashville: National Association of Truck Stop Operators – NATSO

NATSO is the National Association of Truck Stop Operators, and it is the only national trade association representing the travel plaza and truckstop industry. It stands up for more than 1,230 travel plazas and truckstops nationwide, owned by over 200 corporate entities. NATSO has been representing travel plaza and truckstop owners and operators for over 50 years, and pursues a mission to advance the interests of truckstop and travel plaza members.  Who was there?  Well, travel plaza and truckstop owners, operators, managers, buyers and staff who wanted to increase their industry knowledge, gain business intelligence and see new products — the latest product drivers and business solutions to streamline truckstop operations.  Hot topics included Alternative Fuels, Hot Beverage Trends, Motorcoach and Group Travel Trends…  Overall, NATSO shabby…!   #natsoshow

Miami Beach: National Association of TV Program Executives – NATPE

NATPE2014_hispanic_marketing_panel_charlie

Hispanic Marketing Panel with Charlie

NATPE2014_Cisneros_media_booth

Cisneros Media Booth at NATPE2014

NATPE is the National Association of Television Program Executives , best known for its annual Market & Conference, which is the big American programming market serving the worldwide television community, as well as being one of the top new media and technology conferences. The market is recognized worldwide as one of the key media events. Amongst those in attendance were media buyers, broadcast and cable networks and channels looking to acquire programming, program distribution companies, financiers, advertisers, technology companies, and content producers.  NATPE, we heard, “breaks free from the barriers separating traditional and digital media”, being uniquely positioned to connect the entire video content ecosystem, and creating the environment to network, exchange ideas and get deals done.  Over 5,000 top media execs were on hand, which is 22% more than the previous year.  They must have seen it advertised on TV or something…  #NATPE2014

Did we mention there were parties? Roku On the floor networking party & at the Fountainbleu After Hours

NATPE2014_Ruku_meetup_cocktail_hour

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