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San Diego: National Association of Realtors – NARAnnual

NAR is the National Association of Realtors, and this expo is supposed to host the largest trade show floor in real estate, with 400 exhibitors eager to show off their innovations and ideas. Solutions showcased at the expo included tech tools, real estate software, internet advertising, mobile devices and applications, mortgage and financial services, home protection and warranties, professional development and training, franchises and referral services, office products, “Green” innovations and real estate properties and developer referral programs. A newly designed space featured commercial technology presentations, deal-making networking tables and a property pitch session – all designed to increase every opportunity to find and generate new business in real estate. Delegates could even meet football legend Emmitt Smith, if they tipped up at the NAR booth. Got your NAR pass? No need for a Hail Mary pass, then…. #narannual

San Diego: IPC APEX EXPO

IPC, we hear, is “the Association connecting electronics industries”. For more than a half-century, IPC has been guiding the electronic interconnection industry through dramatic changes. A global trade association dedicated to the competitive and financial success of its more than 3,500 member companies, IPC represents all facets of the industry including design, printed board manufacturing, and electronics assembly and test. So how are those industries doing these days? As of December, sales growth was flat in the electronics manufacturing services (EMS) segment of the North American electronics industry, but slight declines were seen in bare printed circuit board (PCB) and semiconductor sales, and in US new orders for electronics products. Semiconductor sales seem to have plateaued after a strong run-up in the second half of 2014. New orders for electronic products tend to lead sales by about one month.   But some trends indicate greater demand than supply, someone figured out, and that fact may be a precursor of strengthening sales growth in the PCB industry in 2015. Oh my, these consumers are just SO DEMANDING…   #IPCAPEXEXPO

Long Beach: Los Angeles Travel & Adventure Show

The Los Angeles Travel & Adventure Show was the promised land for tens of thousands of travel enthusiasts, all ready to be inspired by the sights, sounds and cultures of faraway destinations from across the globe, as the nation’s largest consumer travel show returned to the Long Beach Convention Center.  Named one of Southern California’s top trade shows by BizBash, the event featured hundreds of exhibiting companies and countries representing some of the world’s most sought-after destinations, tour offerings  and travel experiences. The Los Angeles Travel & Adventure Show promised a weekend of discovery and inspiration to help travelers “dream it, plan it and book it”.  Event attendees were able to shop exclusive travel deals, attend travel seminars on three educational stages and meet prominent travel experts.  There were celebrity travel personalities aplenty. Speakers included The Amazing Race host, Phil Keoghan; travel icon and television personality Peter Greenberg; Travel Channel hosts Samantha Brown and Josh Gates; and award-winning television personality and author Rick Steves.  You want the book?  Or you want TO book?  #travel

Anaheim: North American Association of Food Equipment Mfg. – NAFEM

NAFEM is the North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturing, a trade association of 500+ foodservice equipment and supplies manufacturers providing products for food preparation, cooking, storage and table service.  Over 60 years and more, NAFEM has established itself as a foodservice industry leader, equipping members to succeed with a variety of products and services, representing the industry in Washington and supporting programs and organizations that move the industry forward. NAFEM offers educational opportunities to ensure that the next generation of young professionals is prepared for the foodservice industry’s future direction,  staying on the cutting edge of current trends and emerging issues to provide the industry with leadership and expertise.  The organizers have been moving ahead to develop messaging around “Why the foodservice industry?” Interesting question… though most people here would’ve said “What’s not to like?”

San Francisco: Photonics West & BiOS – SPIE

SPIE Photonics West & BiOS?  The BiOS part stands for Biomedical Optics Conference, and this was the #1 laser and photonics conference, fielding 20,000 attendees, two exhibitions, 1,250 exhibiting companies, and 4,700 papers.  Course subjects ranged from core fundamentals in optical & optomechanical design and engineering to intermediate and advanced topics across a wide spectrum of optics and photonics technology.  SPIE provides educational resources to introduce the fascinating and rapidly expanding fields of optics and photonics into the classroom.  Attendees could build on research and theory from the technical conferences with application-focused training, and learn from instructors with deep knowledge and real-world experience in their respective fields.  The Hands-On Optics program brought science education enrichment to thousands of underrepresented middle school students in more than ten states, including female and minority students, who typically have not been the beneficiaries of science and engineering resources and investments.  Optics-wise, a new way of — um — looking at things…  #SPIE

San Francisco: NBAA Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference

The NBAA is the National Business Aviation Association, and their Schedulers’ & Dispatchers’ Conference theme was “Take the Lead.” Keynote speaker Betty Shotton, CEO of LiftOff Leadership, invited delegates to “step up to the launchpad” and prepare to take the lead. Shotten conducted conference participants on a journey into the possibilities and obstacles that face careers in aviation, as individuals and as team members — a change of scenery, new horizons, elevated perspectives for contemplating the roles of character and  choices in career development.   NBAA noted that most organizations using business aircraft are small and mid-size companies, but also include universities, governments and charitable organizations. The show looked at the industry’s record on safety, security and environmental stewardship. It also reported on the thousands of air ambulance and mercy flights flown by business aircraft each year, as well as the hundreds of relief missions flown in response to natural disasters. Okay, everyone check their parachutes and first-aid kits, please…

San Diego: DistribuTECH

The DistribuTECH Power Transmission Conference was electric…  at least it was electricity distribution that occupied most delegates’ attention.  Discussion strands included metering, grid communications, smart grid operation, big data and analytics, distributed energy resources and renewables, substation integration and automation, water utility technology, geospatial and mobile solutions, customer strategies, and defending the grid. Each year, the editors at POWERGRID International magazine (the official publication of DistribuTECH Conference and Exhibition) announce  the magazine’s Projects of the Year during the Electric Light  and Power / POWERGRID International Awards Dinner.  DistribuTECH is apparently the largest U.S. event that covers the utility industry from end-to-end, with 10,000 attendees and more than 480 exhibitors. The 2015 show in San Diego turned out
to be the largest ever. Powerful stuff….