IH Community is Linked In, Tweeting in Toronto

AIHce 2009 is fully underway in this "City of Creativity," and the Expo hall here in the Toronto Convention Centre is verily abuzz with occupational and environmental health and safety professionals demonstrating their wares, talking shop, and otherwise networking. While this 70th anniversary of the conference will undoubtedly be, as billed, "the largest industrial hygiene gathering of the year," no official attendance numbers have been released. It is certain, however, that the turnout is nowhere near what it was a decade ago, which was the last time AIHce convened in Canada's largest city.

With so many travel budgets slashed, the lower attendance is no surprise, of course. One of the conference planners' mantras leading up to the show was "In a down economy, quality is even more important," and with 151 technical sessions (21 more than last year) in 40 tracks, 80 Professional Development Courses, and an impressive lineup of keynote speakers, the event has quality to spare. But for those of you who, for whatever reason, are unable to experience it for yourselves, other options exist that could offer the next best thing--options that simply did not exist during AIHce 1999.

Showing farsightedness and a certain attunement with the times, AIHA and ACGIH have set up accounts on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn and are encouraging professionals to log on, tune in, and follow the action. Those who take them up on the offer will not officially add to the show's numbers but could increase the event's networking value immeasurably.

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