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Atlanta: Fresh Summit 2015

Fresh Summit is the event where produce and floral industry leaders from around the world converge to share ideas, breakthroughs and inspiration. No other single conference in the produce industry, we heard, helps create global connections, cultivate industry talent, or find practical solutions to complex science and technology issues. Florally-minded delegates could explore a floral pavilion double its size from previous years, and ensure they were on the cutting-edge of tomorrow’s trends. With more than 18,000 people participating, Fresh Summit enabled eager horticulturalists to anticipate change, identify emerging trends and profit from new opportunities, since PMA’s connections reach across the supply chain and around the world, attracting the best of today’s decision-makers, and tomorrow’s game changers. It’s a flower-power thing…. #freshproduce
We had the privilege of meeting some great folks like the ones at Sun-Rich Fresh Fruit – where they demo’d how they capture that fresh fruit flavor we find at our grocery stores!

Atlanta: CAMEX – National Association of College Stores

CAMEX hosted the National Association of College Stores, or NACS, which is the professional trade association representing the $10 billion collegiate retailing industry. Led by a dedicated group of elected volunteers, NACS serves as the industry’s leading resource and advocate. NACS ensures the health and vitality of higher education retailers through education and research, the provision of critical programs and services, and the development of strategic partnerships that enable members to better serve their customers.  NACS education and professional development opportunities deal with the full spectrum of college store operations, including management, textbooks and course materials, merchandising, financial record-keeping, and more.  Under the broad association umbrella,  Campus Computer Resellers Alliance (CCRA) is a special interest group within NACS that was developed to meet the special needs of computer product resellers that sell principally to students.  Teacher Be Like…. retail it.  #collegestores

Atlanta: IPPE – International Production & Processing Expo

IPPE is the International Production & Processing Expo, which sounds kind of non-specific, but actually has a lot to do with meat.  And chicken.  See, International Poultry Expo, International Feed Expo and International Meat Expo all integrated their tradeshows in 2013, under the umbrella name (do chickens carry umbrellas?) of International Production & Processing Expo. The 2015 IPPE pulled together more than 1,100 exhibitors and over 25,000 attendees in Atlanta.  With significant increases in food production needed over the next few decades to support a growing population, we heard, agricultural industries need to learn to communicate more specifically and unambiguously with stakeholders, customers, and others about their sustainability programs, or so thought Dr. Marty Matlock, executive director of the University of Arkansas Office for Sustainability.  So, wait, are chickens about sustainability… or sustenance?  Tricky one, that…  #IPPEexpo

Atlanta: Medtrade Connect

Medtrade Connect is the largest Home Medical Equipment Expo and Conference in the US. Connecting the HME industry for 35 years, Medtrade featured an expo floor filled with the leading home medical equipment manufacturers and their DME products. Thousands of durable medical equipment companies come to Medtrade to find everything from the basics to the latest innovations in mobility, respiratory, sleep, rehab, and aids to daily living.  Medtrade provided attendees and exhibitors with opportunities to build business relationships, with hundreds of HME manufacturers and thousands of HME providers homing in on Atlanta for the largest annual sourcing opportunity in durable medical equipment.
HME industry leaders presented the latest updates and provided educational offerings to help providers find and leverage new opportunities. The Medtrade conference program was loaded with insights into the changing legislative and regulatory environment.  Only connect, as they say….  #MedtradeMonday

Atlanta: American Society for Industrial Security – ASIS

ASIS is the American Society for Industrial Security.  On the heels of recent “lackluster” ASIS shows in Philadelphia and Chicago, prospective delegates in the lead-up to this year’s event had speculated, we heard, that Atlanta would prove no better. However, frowns were turned to miles of smiles as aisles were packed with more than 20,000 show-goers. Many exhibit booths looked like Apple stores on the day of a new iPhone release, it was said.  ASIS used to be almost exclusively aimed at security end-users themselves, i.e. security directors and managers, facility managers, security personnel and CSOs.  This year the show encompassed the wider breadth of the security spectrum, snagging commercial security systems integrators, consultants and other disciplines in the field. ASIS is about reinforcing product launches, previewing what’s around the corner for the coming year, strengthening business relationships and taking in training and education sessions.  Ten-Four, the perimeter is secure…  #ASIS14

Atlanta: International Woodworking Fair – IWF

IWF is the International Woodworking Fair, and it’s the trade show where furniture manufacturing, cabinetry, architectural millwork, material processing, design, technology, decorative hardware and other related industry professionals from all over the globe come to find products they didn’t know existed that could help their company succeed. Delegates from the small shop types to the large plant-industry buyers seem to know that the International Woodworking Fair is the place to source products, discover new ideas and learn from those who have already troubleshot the solutions to thorny problems.  It was all there, from raw materials, supplies and finishing accessories to woodworking and material processing machinery hardware. Visitors could also see the newest products, trends and solutions for wood, plastic and other material processing industries.  Basically, if you could… you wood…  #IWF14

Atlanta: ISTE – International Society for Technology in Education – NECC

ISTE is the International Society for Technology in Education, and the conference took as its theme the idea of “connected learning, connected world”.  ISTE 2014 featured sessions in several different formats to accommodate a variety of learning styles. Professional learning sessions focused on the development of leaders and training in leadership among teachers.  There were further sessions focusing on the technology, resources and policies necessary to build the infrastructure for effective teaching, learning and administration, plus original research papers investigating the use of technology to enhance education.  Among keynoters was the comely actress and activist Ashley Judd, who, we heard, has visited grassroots programs around the world carrying a message of empowerment and equality to heads of state, donors, the private sector and the media. Unlike a certain ex-president, Ms. Judd did NOT ask “Is our children learning?”… #ISTE2014