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Washington DC: Springtime – ASAE

Little light-bulbs looking like electric tulips were lighting up everywhere, and “inspiration was in full bloom”, we heard, at ASAE’s springtime Expo 2014, the so-called “premier meetings industry event”.  So… this show was a series of, well… meetings about meetings.  Delegates were there to learn about… running meetings, right?  Well, yeah, up to a point.  The general sessions, learning labs and Deep Dive sessions were all well-attended, certainly.  Some of the meeting-enthusiasts in attendance, however,  preferred to work on their swings at the golf and tennis clinics, or practice bending their drinking arms on the vineyard tour.  But hey, those activities are all about interacting with your fellow human beings, just like the meetings business itself, right?  So who’s complaining?  Fore…!  That is… um… here’s mud in your eye…  #ASAE

Washington DC: American Association of Community Colleges – AACC

AACC is the American Association of Community Colleges, and this was among the largest gatherings of educational leaders, attracting over 2,000 community college presidents and senior administrators, as well as international educators, representatives of business and industry, and federal agencies.  Billed as the premier event for community college leaders, AACC’s Annual Convention offered professional development as well as the opportunity to network, share, and learn from professionals in the fields of education, business and industry and the government sector. Convention attendees included community college administrators (chancellors, presidents, vice presidents, deans, and department chairs), trustees, faculty, and business/industry representatives who work with community colleges, federal or state government representatives, and graduate students.  All in all, quite a… well… Community….

Washington DC: American Society for Training & Development – ASTD

ASTD is the American Society for Training & Development, and the conference aimed to “bring the training and development industry to life”. Various aspects of the training biz were covered for different levels of practitioner, from CEO to specialist, from dean to student. At ASTD 2014, delegates could join more than 9,000 of their learning colleagues from around the globe, to share best practices and insights. Discussion homed in on current and future trends, and how to interpret and apply them on the job to get results.  Keynote speakers included the Huffington Post Media Group’s Arianna Huffington and retired general Stan McChrystal, now heading the McChrystal Group, whose mission is to deliver “innovative leadership solutions to organizations, which help them transform and succeed in challenging and dynamic environments”.  So who gets the last word on training and instruction “challenges”, the General or the Media Lady…?  #leadership

Washington DC: American College of Cardiology – ACC

ACC is the American College of Cardiology, and its long-term purpose is to improve cardiovascular health through education, research, quality care and health policy.  This is about reducing the incidence, severity and complications of cardiovascular disease and promoting prevention, reducing disparities in health care, and improving personal and population-based cardiovascular health. More than 13,000 cardiovascular team members came together to get all of the hot clinical news from ACC.  As a for instance, a large randomized research trial showed that giving methylprednisolone to patients undergoing cardiac surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass heightened the risk of myocardial infarction.  Clinical studies looked at Aspirin’s Impact on Major Arterial and Venous Complications Events in Noncardiac Surgery Patients, and at Steroids in Cardiac Surgery, showing how wide the discipline can stretch.  No-one ever said “take two steroids and call me in the morning”…  #ACCFIT

Washington DC: Satellite

The SATELLITE 2014 Exhibition was all about technologies and solutions. The sectors this industry serves – military/government, commercial, broadcast, maritime, mobility, telecommunications, among others – continue to shape the satellite-enabled communications landscape, we were told. Ever-changing demand, new applications and degrees of profitability are all set to determine future business opportunities. The Expo featured more than 350 market-leading companies, and showcased the latest products, services and applications for satellite-enabled communications. Attendees could comparison-shop and discuss their needs with the experts.  On display were Amplifiers, Antennas, Asset Tracking, Broadcast and Satellite Services, Cable Connector Manufacturers, Comms-on-the-move, Content Security and Encryption, Data/Digital Audio Broadcasting, Interactive TV Platforms, Mobile Media, Networking Software/Hardware, Receivers and Transceivers and Transmission Services.  Now THAT’s communication…!  #SATSHOW

Washington DC: Homeland Security – AFCEA

Unsurprisingly, cybersecurity dominated the discussion at the AFCEA Homeland Security Conference in the nation’s capital. The depth, breadth and variety of topics surrounding cybersecurity and information protection in all its forms indicated the degree to which the information security mission has engaged every department and agency, at all levels of government.  Challenges still remain in information sharing and interoperability, agreed speakers and panelists.  Information security officials from various agencies voiced support for the Department of Homeland Security’s Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation (CDM) Program, which is designed to fortify computer networks across the federal government. Officials from the Homeland Security Department (DHS) stressed the need for strong partnerships.  One of those, we heard, is with FLETC, the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, which is becoming known as the “Disneyland of law enforcement” because of the facility’s extensive use of sophisticated simulation technologies.  Roll up, roll up for the ride of your lives…!  #AFCEA

Washington DC: Transportation Research Board – TRB

TRB is the Transportation Research Board, and it was established in 1920 as the National Advisory Board on Highway Research to provide a mechanism for the exchange of information and research results about highway technology.  TRB’s annual meeting program covered all transportation modes, with more than 4,500 presentations in nearly 800 sessions and workshops, addressing topics of interest to policymakers, administrators, practitioners, researchers, and representatives of government, industry, and academic institutions.  The spotlight theme for the 2014 TRB Annual Meeting was “Celebrating Our Legacy, Anticipating Our Future”. More than 30 sessions and workshops focused on this theme.  Spotlight theme sessions were supplemented by  25 sessions and workshops on each of the following critical transportation issues: performance measurement, automated driving and connected vehicles, extreme weather events, and big data.  So how big do you want your data…?