Dec. 3-5, 2012. Why would you call a conference the “Mid-Year Clinical Meeting” when it takes place in December? Better than 20,000 attendees at this meeting of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) seemed not to be much bothered by the apparent logical contradiction, in spite of (or perhaps because of) this apparently being “the largest gathering of pharmacists in the world”. (Really?) A forecast session presented key findings and recommendations from a new trends report from the Center for Health-System Pharmacy Leadership, and a panel of trend-watchers offered an assessment of health-system pharmacy, commenting on strategies that pharmacy departments could consider to improve their effectiveness. Oh and, this being Vegas, they also held a poker tournament….
Nov. 14-17, 2012. DEMA is the Divers Equipment & Marketing Association. Manufacturers, exhibitors and experts were on hand for new product demonstrations and to allow attendees to test out the latest diving and scuba product innovations. The IRC, or Image Resource Center, featured seminars on all aspects of underwater photography and videography and how diving course providers can use them to get potential customers involved with diving — and keep them active once they get themselves certified. Some interesting facts came to the surface at the show. For instance, sinking retired vessels and turning them into man-made reefs is apparently a proven way to increase diver acquisition and retention in the US and internationally. Kind of gives you a sinking feeling, though…
Nov. 7-9, 2012. To give it its full title, this was the National Workers’ Compensation and Disability Conference and Expo, and after two decades and more it remains the industry’s leading training event. Economic realities, we were told, have forced many high-level executives to take on workers’ comp responsibilities for their organizations. CFOs, general counsels and risk professionals with purchasing authority are suddenly finding themselves tasked with overseeing a system that they may understand only peripherally. The program was designed to provide those high-level professionals a core understanding of workers’ compensation and the tools needed to design, price and manage a successful workers’ compensation program. By way of entertainment, magician Craig Karges took mystification to a whole new level to prove that nothing is impossible — tables floated, minds were read and metal got bent out of shape…
Nov. 5-9, 2012. The SEG is the Society of Exploration Geophysicists, and their annual meeting claims to be the world’s largest oil, energy and mineral exposition, showcasing cutting-edge technology for use in exploration and associated industries. SEG is the premier venue for energy exploration buffs to meet and discuss new geophysical technologies and their uses, as well as to make the acquaintance of new and innovative geophysical products and services. Apparently the Technical Program Committee had to sort through 1,500 expanded abstracts to select the 576 oral papers, 189 posters and 152 e-posters that were made available to delegates and students. Students, we heard, “are the future and lifeblood of geophysics”. So they needed to put plenty of “energy” into studying up on all those papers….
Oct. 7, 2012. The National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) is an international trade association representing more than 2,200 retail and 1,600 supplier members. Member companies do business in nearly 50 countries worldwide, with the majority of members based in the United States. The U.S. convenience store industry, with more than 148,000 stores across the country, posted nearly $700 billion in total sales last year, of which over 70% were motor fuels sales. 47 of the top 50 convenience stores in the United States are members of NACS, but the majority of its members are small, independent operators — 70% of its total membership is comprised of companies that operate 10 stores or less. Indeed, out of the 148,000-plus convenience stores in the United States, 63% are apparently owned and operated by someone who only has one outlet. So who was minding the store…?