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New Orleans: International Workboat Show –

At the International WorkBoat Show, over 1,000 marine product and service suppliers exhibited their watery wares. The conference had strands on Business Management (“Explore the various challenges and opportunities that come with running a maritime business); Safety (“For most marine operations, maintaining a safe workplace is a top priority and an ongoing challenge, requiring updates on current standards, best practices, and new maritime safety solutions”; Technical (“The marine industry is a constantly evolving technological environment, showing how the latest innovations can bring efficiency and enhance quality from the corporate office to the vessel engine room”); plus Legal and Regulatory (“Understand marine law, current rules and regulatory trends, and learn the status of key pending legislation so you can plan ahead to keep your business in compliance”). Remember, the Sea is a harsh mistress, and seafarers must obey her laws…. #wbmr15 #workboatshow

New Orleans: International Roofing Expo – IRE – NRCA

IRE – NRCA?  Well, the IRE part is the International Roofing Expo, and the ‘R’ in NRCA is also about roofing.  Show records were broken, with 465 companies occupying 1,178 booths and filling a biggest-ever space of nearly 120,000 square feet.  In that space was a wide range of multi-dimensional manufacturers, distributors and representatives of all sizes displaying  products, services, technologies and innovations in roofing materials and related products.  Specifically geared towards those involved in the development, management and direction of the commercial and residential roofing industry, the conference tackled topics at the forefront of the industry wish-list and worry-list… topics such as Workplace Safety, Leadership and Management, Green Building,  Legal, Human Resources, Money Matters, plus Sales and Service.  Roll in Technical, and the multi-track educational program included 44 sessions in all, at which the leading industry experts presented the newest information and best practices.  And all “under one roof”!  (Roof, geddit?)   #RoofingExpo

New Orleans: Cloud Partners – Fall Conference & Expo

The Cloud Partners Fall Conference & Expo played host to more than 2,500 agents, VARs, MSPs, consultants and suppliers in the IT industry, all of them looking for the business equivalent of Cloud Nine.  Cloud Partners hosted a variety of educational sessions covering topics from choosing cloud suppliers to building a cloud practice. There was a range of VIP and invitation-only events, sponsor and vendor presentations, Lunch-and-Learns, demos and  activities on the show floor.  As keynoter Sue Barsamian of Hewlett-Packard put it, “The higher cloud changes everything about the way technology is designed, delivered, consumed, and analyzed from the device all the way to the data center, and it completely changes the way IT is valued.”  Thirsty, fun-loving delegates had that to think about as they headed for the Big Easy’s French Quarter, and the bars of Bourbon Street.  Hey, bartender, this rum punch looks kind of… well… cloudy…

New Orleans: APCO International Conference & Expo – Assn of Public-Safety Communications Officials

APCO International is pitched as the largest Public Safety Communications Conference & Expo in North America.   If you are a supervisor, manager, director, telecommunicator, dispatcher, engineer or technician, 9-1-1 coordinator or police or fire chief, you needed to be there.  With more than 5,000 exhibitors and attendees, this forum focuses on public safety products, technologies and equipment.  Industry companies were there to exhibit a wide range of products such as mobile safety products, communications services and gizmos, health way products, wireless, software, antennas and much besides.  APCO International hosts a number of events and conferences throughout the year designed to provide members and public safety communications professionals with cutting edge educational experiences, effective networking opportunities and showcases of the industry’s latest and greatest products and services.  Feeling safe now?  #APCO2014

New Orleans: Louisiana Foodservice Expo – LRA

The Louisiana Foodservice and Hospitality Expo in New Orleans claims to be the premier foodservice event for the Gulf Coast.  It’s mounted by the LRA, the Louisiana Restaurant Association, which invites companies to exhibit their products and services to an audience of thousands of restaurant owners and operators.  Visitors could learn the basics of a successful restaurant brand/concept, analyzing regional markets and growth patterns, understanding how design reinforces a food or restaurant brand and improves the customer experience, plus  restaurant prototype standards and scalability.  Who was there?  Well, restaurant owners, managers, buyers, hotel food and beverage directors, for sure.  Chefs from across the country battled it out to be crowned King or Queen of American Seafood in The Great American Seafood Cook-Off. Appetizing!  #LRAEXPO14

New Orleans: National School Boards Association – Annual – NSBA

NSBA is the National School Boards Association, a not-for-profit organization representing state associations of school boards across the United States. NSBA achieves its mission by representing the school board perspective in working with federal government agencies and national organizations that impact education.  It also provides vital information and services to state associations of school boards nationwide.  Over 5,000 board members, superintendents and education leaders from across the country and beyond were there to gain valuable knowledge and information in five key areas — leadership, advocacy, technology & learning, urban school issues, and school law.  This, we heard, was a national event that brought together education leaders at a time when domestic policies and global trends are combining to shape the future of students.  Guru journalist and writer Thomas L. Friedman was there to kick off proceedings, and remind delegates that, as his book title has it, “The World Is Flat”.  Wait:  educators have been trying to shake off Flat-Earthism for 500 years…  #education

New Orleans: National Automobile Dealers Association – NADA

The NADA story (it stands for National Automobile Dealers Association) began almost 100 years ago when 30 auto dealers traveled to the nation’s capital to convince Congress not to impose a luxury tax on the automobile. They successfully argued that the automobile is a necessity of American life, not a luxury. From that experience was born the National Automobile Dealers Association. Today, NADA represents nearly 16,000 new-car and new-truck dealerships with 32,500 franchises, both domestic and international.  A full conference program included remarks from keynoters like Steve Forbes, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of Forbes Media, and The Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton, 67th Secretary of State of the United States, US Senator (NY), from 2001 to 2009, and former First Lady of the United States.  Now THERE are a couple of people who know about cars being a necessity, not a luxury…  #NADA2014