February 26-28, 2013. The AFCEA Homeland Security Conference tells us it’s about “Working together and keeping the nation safe”. The show offers an opportunity to engage with key Government and Industry leaders on critical Homeland Security matters. These included Cybersecurity Critical Infrastructure Protection, Biometrics/Identity Management, Information and Intelligence Sharing, Emergency Management, Mobile Communications, plus Training, Modeling and Simulation. All too often, we heard, cyber and physical protection are considered separately, when really they go hand-in-hand. The conference opened with a half-day of conversation about hackers, terrorists and natural disasters, and addressed concerns involving both physical infrastructure and the cyber environment for all kinds of attacks, be they physical, virtual or even natural in origin. So now we have to worry about hurricanes hacking into our computer networks…?
February 18-23, 2013. The AAFS is the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, a multi-disciplinary professional organization that provides leadership to advance forensic science and its application to the legal system. The AAFS consists of eleven sections representing a wide range of forensic specialties, and the annual scientific meeting gathers those professionals who present the most current information, research, and updates in this expanding field. The objectives of the Academy are to promote professionalism, integrity, competency and education, to foster research and improve practice. The annual scientific meeting fields over 800 scientific papers, breakfast seminars, workshops, and other special events. A highlight of the meeting was the AAFS Student Academy, an educational community outreach program for high school students, at which local students from area high schools learned from hands-on experience with experts. Hey, who stole my Sherlock Holmes magnifying glass…?
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’….
Sept. 9-12, 2012. This show is targeted to practicing otolaryngologists, i.e. head and neck surgeons, and their associates, researchers in otolaryngology, and senior academic professors. The annual meeting of OTO Expo is “the world’s largest gathering of otolaryngologists.” The expo provides an opportunity for thousands of academy members, non-member physicians, allied health professionals, administrators and exhibiting companies to catch up on developments. This one drew more than 6,000 medical experts and professionals from around the world, and featured instruction courses, mini-seminars, scientific oral presentations, honorary guest lectures, and numerous scientific instruction sessions. Audiology got to be a big agenda topic — but to hear about that you had to be listening…
Aug. 4-8, 2012. This thing is an education. According to the American Accounting Association, the purpose of this event was to “sow the seeds of innovation”. This theme focused on the need for greater innovation in accounting scholarship. The hope was to engage members in a conversation about how better to enhance the accounting discipline as a whole in terms of intellectual vitality. While much of the format for the 2012 meeting remained unchanged from earlier AAA annual meetings, it was expected that an important component would focus on new developments in related fields, as well as new means for educating students taking accountancy. The aspiration for the 2012 AAA Annual Meeting was to provide a resource for members to gain new knowledge and develop their long-term scholarly interests. Seeds sown, then…
June 16-22, 2012. NASFT is better known as The Fancy Food Show, and it’s billed as North America’s largest Specialty Food & Beverage Event. Visitors could discover 180,000 specialty foods and beverages from 2,400 exhibitors spanning 80 countries or more, learn from industry experts with 20 + educational seminars, tastings and tours, and find this Summer’s most innovative food products at the annual “sofi” Awards Ceremony. At the Chef Demo Theater, culinary masters and chefs demonstrated fun, flavorful recipes, cooking techniques and culinary ideas whipped up to inspire. Exhibits whetted appetites with products such as confections, cheese, coffee, snacks, spices, ethnic, natural, organic and more. Did you realize that total sales of specialty foods in 2011 were $75.14 billion, with $59.74 billion in retail sales? If lawmakers here in Washington get to hear that, they might put a stop to people eating all that stuff, on the basis that America could then pay off its debt surplus in a decade or two…
Apr. 2-4, 2012. FOSE claims to be the largest and most comprehensive government information technology event in the country, covering topics like cybersecurity, mobile government, defense innovations, records and information management, and Cloud & Virtualization. Cloud computing activity is rapidly changing IT architectures in government and industry, we heard, and is being used to support data center consolidation and other cost sharing initiatives. On one hand, there are significant concerns with controls over data, security, and reliability. On the other hand, government could get faster benefit from technology via cloud computing services. This conference looked at the latest issues facing the federal government. We kind of suspected that government had “its head in the clouds…”.