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Columbus: Ohio School Boards Association (OSBA)

Nov. 11-14, 2012. The Ohio School Boards Association (OSBA) has been “serving Ohio public schools since 1955”, we heard.  Informational seminars examined creative solutions and proactive approaches to a broad spectrum of public educational challenges.  Show highlights included the Student Achievement Fair, with 100 booths displaying innovative student programs, as well as top student entertainment groups from each of OSBA’s five regions; and the Trade Show itself, offering more than 700 exhibits of the latest in education-related goods and services; and numerous opportunities to share ideas with school leaders from across Ohio.  Oh, you say the show’s over now?  Ok, all together:  “Hello world, goodbye Columbus…”

Pittsburgh: DUG East

Nov. 13-15, 2012. This is one of those shows that plays guessing games with its target constituency.  Okay, see if you can figure out what these folks do.  DUG East is about “developing unconventionals”.  This trade show and conference for the “unconventional resources industry” has grown in leaps and bounds, each year steadily drawing more attendees and exhibitors to an ever-expanding showfloor.  This year the hot gossip was about “unleashing the Utica” and “monetizing the Marcellus”.  Still baffled?  Okay, here’s a clue quote: “Producers are moving rigs into the liquids-rich-gas Marcellus and Utica windows, while midstream gatherers, processors and marketers are working on yet another phase of Appalachian-resource monetization: more NGLs—plus… oil”.  Ohhhhh… this is the energy business they’re talking about…!  We nominate DUG East as a worthy contender for this year’s Bafflegab Award for incomprehensibly obscure corporate jargon….

Chicago: Seed Expo

Dec. 4-6, 2012. Seed Expo is purportedly the largest seed industry trade show in the country.  And it’s run by ASTA, the American Seed Trade Association.  Membership consists of more than 700 companies involved in production and distribution, plant breeding and related industries. “From Alfalfa to Zucchini and all the agronomic crops in between, the American Seed Trade Association and their partner seed associations are charged with representing the interests and concerns of the seed industry, here at home and around the globe”……… we were reliably informed. “Wherever there is a need for perspective and experience involving seed, ASTA and your state and/or regional seed association are there”.  Well, you plant a seed, and in due course…..

San Francisco: American Geophysical Union (AGU)

Dec. 3-7, 2012. AGU is the American Geophysical Union.  (Geophysical union?  It sounds like the world giving itself a giant bear-hug…).  But seriously, AGU is a nonprofit corporation chartered under the laws of the District of Columbia, and it is “dedicated to the furtherance of the geophysical sciences through the individual efforts of its members and in cooperation with other national and international scientific organizations”.  AGU, we heard,  “can secure a position as a leader, collaborator, and sought-after partner for scientific innovation, rigor and interdisciplinary focus on global issues.”  The number one objective supporting this goal is, apparently,  to… “Transform the future of AGU’s scientific publishing in an evolving marketplace.”  Okaaayyy…. Ya still want that hug?

Washington DC: Ecobuild

Dec. 5-6, 2012. Ecobuild America, we heard, is all about Sustainable High Performance and Technology Solutions for the Built Environment.  What does that entail, exactly?  Well, building performance and energy efficiency, for starters.  Then there are all those Green and Sustainability issues, a key part of the Federal Design and Construction Outlook, which was a big enough deal to deserve its own mini-conference within the main event.  Delegates could sit in on sessions like High Performance in Building Enclosures – A Practical Guide for High Performance Building Enclosure Design and Construction.  Or they could hear about Energy Master Plans – The Path to Financial Success and Energy Independence.  Then again, maybe their thing was Sustainable Design for Mission-Critical Facilities.  How were delegates looking?  Actually, pretty ‘built’….

Grand Rapids: GL Fruit Veg Farm Expo

Dec. 4-6, 2012. Over 4,000 people from 42 states and six Canadian provinces registered for the Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable & Farm Market Expo (which cohabits with the Michigan Greenhouse Growers’ Expo — since you ask).  This is the show for Fruit and Vegetable Growers, Farm Marketers and Greenhouse Operators.  Some of the types of companies that were exhibiting included seed, nurseries & packaging companies, chemical & fertilizer companies, equipment providers, processing equipment, lending and leasing, insurance, and investment companies… as well as Greenhouse-related products. Sessions that delegates could opt to attend included… Bakery Ideas for the Future, “Cheese-making 101 for Farm Marketers”, a seminar on the “Fan, Like and Follow” World of Social Media, and Taking Customer Service to New Heights.   Oh, and, yeah:  the pre-show ( you had to sign up early!) Farm Market Bus Tour visited six top farm market and agri-tourism locations in southwest Michigan.  An opportunity to “veg out” before the main event, maybe…?

New York City: GNYDM

Nov. 25-28. Smile!  GNYDM is the Greater New York Dental Meeting — what else?  Delegates were showing off their pearly whites at one of the largest Dental Congresses in the world, with well over 50,000 healthcare professionals looking over 1500 technical exhibits, and demonstrating the newest technology for the dental profession. There was a choice of full-day seminars, half-day seminars, essays, hands-on workshops, glass-enclosed and Live Patient Demonstration Area.  Booth teams were there in force to demonstrate and teach visitors about new products and technology from around the world. They could  touch, use and compare the newest materials and technology in dentistry today.  Everyone said they attended the speeches to learn something;  but actually they were just checking out the speakers’ caps and bridgework…