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Chicago: International Home + Housewares Show

The International Home + Housewares Show  is the world’s premier housewares marketplace, features 2,100 exhibitors from 34 countries, and more than 20,000 buyers from over 100 countries around the world. The show was sold-out, with 2,115 exhibitors from 46 countries and an increase in total buyer attendance from US and international markets. The show also included a series of educational sessions, including keynote programs on the convergence of housewares and giftware, color trends by Lee Eiseman of the Pantone Color Institute, an overview of consumer trends by Tom Mirabile of Lifetime Brands, and former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaking at the annual Industry Breakfast.  We have to assume that, now he’s no longer running for president, the Mittster has considerably more time available for thinking about things like furniture and housewares…  #interiordesign

Chicago: LMT Lab Day Chicago

LMT Lab Day Chicago bills itself as the largest dental laboratory community gathering in America.  There were over 3,200 laboratory owners, managers and technicians attendees,  comparison shopping with over 230 exhibitors, two full days of education featuring more than 300 clinics, and access to the industry’s top 150 educators in the dental field.  It was the biggest Lab Day yet. Just over 3,500 attendees came to the industry’s busiest, most exciting event of the year, to learn at 367 educational courses, shop an energy-packed exhibit hall with 241 companies, and network and catch up with their peers.  There was more room for education and a spacious new exhibit hall that featured wider walking aisles, an attendee café and a green park-like area that featured benches where attendees could meet and recharge.  Something for everyone to “sink their teeth” into….

Chicago: American Library Association – Midwinter Meeting – ALA

Winter is for curling up by the fire with a good book, and the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting was all for that, we found.  The ALA Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference are the premier global library events each year, they told us, bringing together newsmakers, innovators, thought leaders, and influencers in the library field from all over the world. Important announcements were made, updates were shared, relevant legislation and policy were addressed, and discussions took place with a major impact on libraries, their role, and their ongoing transformation.  The show provided a dedicated area (the Networking Uncommons space) where delegates could gather in small groups to have a quick meeting, hold impromptu sessions, polish up a presentation, or just recharge batteries. There was even a “Fun With Dick and Jane” session, looking at the works of …wait for it …Jane Austen and Bladerunner’s futuristic creator, Philip K. Dick.  (Dick and Jane, geddit?)   #alamw15

Chicago: AHR – International Air-Conditioning, Heating & Refrigerating

Yes, you could probably accuse this group of “blowing hot and cold”, since AHR International is after all the Air-Conditioning, Heating & Refrigerating show.  This event broke records, with over 60,000 attendees flocking in from 140 countries (that’s hot countries as well as cold ones), and an astonishing eleven acres of exhibits from 2,000 companies, representing every segment of the HVACR industry.  Sectors catered for included air-conditioning, refrigeration, heating equipment, ventilation systems, instrumentation and controls, building automation, energy-saving and renewable energy equipment, filters, humidifiers, plumbing, tools, and the software products that make all those things hum along in tune with each other.  Awards-wise, there were 10 categories of competition: building automation, cooling, green building, heating, indoor air quality, plumbing, refrigeration, software, tools & instruments, and ventilation.  So the competition was, um, heating up?  Cool it….  #AHRExpo

Check out this “cool” video our client made about their IceBank energy storage tanks.

Chicago: Dealer Expo – Powersports

Dealer Expo is the largest trade-only expo for the powersports aftermarket industry, and Illinois Governor Pat Quinn seemed to know it when he welcomed delegates to Chicago for the expo that puts power into sports.  There were marketing workshops presented by Dealership University, interactive workshops to show retailers how to identify marketing targets, ways of integrating traditional and digital marketing, and new approaches for online marketing.  Then there were the management workshops presented by The Retail Owners Institute to show dealers, independent retailers, service shops and allied businesses how to efficiently run the numbers, challenge their assumptions and succeed.  Oh, you were after the service workshop?  That one was presented by the Motorcycle Mechanics Institute (MMI), the Official Technical School of the Conference.  This full day of intensive training was the annual technical update for service managers and technicians.  Hey, teach, you got anything to help stop me flying over the handlebars when I hit a pothole…?  #DXPO14

Chicago: American Heart Association

The American Heart Association likes to put “heart-warming” slogans around the place at their show, so we were seeing a lot of “My American Heart” and “Life Is Why” banners as we toured the show floor.  We were also aware of Big Things:  Big Science, Big Technology, and Big Networking, to name but three.  Scientific sessions like the ReSuscitation Symposium were prominent on the agenda, with sessions titled Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing Symposium. Another summit brought together faculty and participants involved in the areas of arrhythmia mechanisms, diagnosis and management, all there to participate in topics devoted to cutting edge research and therapeutic innovation. A diverse range of topics enabled clinicians, basic scientists, biomedical engineers and outcomes experts to participate.   There were show-and-tells on Late-Breaking Clinical Trials including Dual Antiplatelet Therapy (DAPT) and IMPROVE-IT.  Welcoming?  Sure, these guys are all heart….

Chicago: BAI Retail Delivery

BAI Retail Delivery was, we heard, all about “giving delegates actionable insights and inspiration that would help them reimagine the world of retail banking”. Okay, in order to reimagine the world of retail banking, you had to be able to imagine it in the first place.  No problem, this conference promised to “rewire your thinking, showcasing innovation in a myriad of ways, putting you at the forefront of what’s next”, so you could “learn what the most innovative banking organizations are doing to compete and win today”.   BAI Retail Delivery was designed to “offer fresh perspectives by immersing you in cutting-edge insights and solutions that are as practical as they are game-changing”.  Keynoters tackled topics like “Creating a Performance-Based Culture” and “The role of the Contact Center in an Omni-Channel environment to drive Revenue and Efficiency”.  Okay, have you re-imagined anything yet?  You have?  Imagine…!  #retaildelivery