Fall Conference Season in Full Swing

The calendar is full of big meetings from early September to mid-December, including VPPPA, NSC, A+A, the IFMA World Workplace 2011, and NFPA's Fire & Life Safety Conference.

OSHA's Dr. David Michaels and Capt. Al Haynes, who became famous when he and three others successfully crash-landed United Airlines Flight 232, a DC-10, in Sioux City, Iowa, on July 19, 1989, were the big names in a strong lineup of speakers at the 27th Annual National VPPPA Conference, which took place Aug. 28-Sept. 1 in New Orleans.

The meeting opened this year's busy fall conference season with a bang, but bigger events are not far behind. Important domestic and international meetings taking place later this year include these:

  • The Motivation Show: Oct. 4-6, Chicago
  • A+A 2011: Oct. 18-21, Dusseldorf, Germany
  • IFMA World Workplace 2011: Oct. 26-28, Phoenix
  • 2011 National Safety Congress & Expo: Oct. 30-Nov. 4, Philadelphia
  • 2011 National Ergonomics Conference and Exposition: Nov. 29-Dec. 2, Las Vegas
  • 6th Annual Industrial Fire, Safety & Security: Nov. 30-Dec. 1, San Antonio
  • NFPA Fire & Life Safety Conference: Dec. 12-14, Orlando

Live demonstrations such as this one were offered frequently by numerous exhibitors during A+A 2005. (Messe Dusseldorf photo)A+A's organizers say the world's largest trade fair for safety and security has been growing steadily in attendance and is likely to continue that trend this year. More than 1,500 exhibitors and some 55,000 attendees are expected to participate in this 32nd International Congress on Occupational Health and Safety, which is organized by the German Federal Association for Occupational Safety and Health (Basi).

The NECE ergonomics conference also looks strong, both in its attendance and its educational schedule. And the Safety Congress is set to attract a bigger crowd than last year's event in San Diego, which drew more than 12,000 attendees. Debbie Riedner, the National Safety Council's communications manager, said exhibitor and attendee participation by August was more than 15 percent ahead of the pace from the same time a year earlier. The event's theme is "... the Pursuit of Continuous Improvement."

NFPA's December conference will offer more than 60 educational sessions in four targeted tracks: Building & Life Safety, Detection & Alarm, Suppression, and Codes & Standards.

The International Facility Management Association's World Workplace will take place at the Phoenix Convention Center and will feature more than 60 educational sessions, along with keynote presentations by environmental academic and author Bjørn Lomborg and motivational speaker and entrepreneur Christopher Gardner. Some 250 exhibitors will participate, including AlliedBarton, Bissell, IBM, KBR, Kraft Foods, Lowe's, Staples, Steelcase, Toshiba, the U.S. State Department, and the General Services Administration. The expo will be open Oct. 26 and 27. "We're looking forward to again participating in the World Workplace expo and talking about how IBM's Smarter Buildings solutions are able to help organizations save in the areas of energy, operations, and space," said Dave Bartlett, IBM vice president of Industry Solutions. "Visitors to the expo will get to learn how we're able to give clients greater intelligence and control of their buildings and of the physical world."

Sustainability Central is a portion of the expo floor reserved for companies offering environmentally friendly products and services. A sustainability booth will be staffed by representatives from organizations offering sustainable building rating systems; attendees can ask the experts from the Building Owners and Managers Association International, Green Globes, IFMA, the Society of Environmentally Responsible Facilities, and the U.S. Green Building Council about LEED and other rating systems and methods of certifying and scoring a building's environmental impact.

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