Have you ever packed a semi? Thanks to the military, I have and it isn’t easy. It requires a lot of planning to get it right. You have a finite amount of space and a specific cargo. It is like putting together a 3D puzzle. If you get it wrong, you may have to hire an extra truck or the cargo gets damaged in transit.
So when you are walking the floor at the T&D Expo look around. From small to large, these vendors have devoted a lot of time to what you see. I have been talking to some of the folks responsible for transportation. They have been planning for the Orlando Expo since the doors closed in New Orleans! Their exhibits were designed and had to be assembled back home. If it passes inspection, it has to be broken down, boxed, and loaded into semis. Some of the larger exhibits require a fleet of trucks. One vendor told me they normally use around fifteen 18-wheelers. That is mind boggling.
I have been attending the PES T&D Expo since 1986 and over the years I have learn several things that have made life easier. so I thought I’d pass some tips along over the next few weeks as we prepare for the big event. They may help, they may not - all I know is they help me.
My first tip is pack light so you have room to bring home all the books, brochures, handouts, and samples you will find on the exhibit floor and in the educational portions of the conference. It seems I pickup all manner of data and information that I have never seen anywhere else. I remember one year a vendor had books they authored that were being handed out if you asked the right questions about the product.
The point is, you never know what you will run into and you want to be able to bring it back to the office. So make sure there is room in your bag for the goodies. I have a collapsible canvas bag I can fill and check as baggage if needed.
I realized I was behind in planning when I received my official invitation for the 2012 PES T&D Expo. The mailman brought me a stack of mail one day and this old school postcard fell out on the floor and I realized I hadn’t made reservations for the hotel, airlines, and all the other things needed to be done, but the card stopped me short.
Most importantly, there are events, vendors, and just plain fun this year’s Expo to plan for. I know “icksnay” on the fun aspect.
You are probably thinking, “How do I go to the boss and get permission to go to an event that has fun too?” Well I had those problems too - that is until I started my own company. Now I work twice as hard, but I don’t have to worry about the boss and I take opportunities for fun where I find them. When I worked at a utility it wasn’t unusual to put in 60 hour plus weeks, so why not have a little fun with work.
The main reason I want to go to the T&D Expo is to learn, but I have found learning is improved with a little relaxation (fun) added. So tell your boss you need to learn more about the smart grid technologies and the fun is going to help you retain what you learn.
Can you believe that two years have gone by since the 2010 PES Expo? It seems like yesterday, but the time has flown by and here we are 2012 and a little over a month until we meet in Orlando! Sun, surf, and salt air - at least that is what Florida represented to me as a kid growing up in the Sunshine State. But today it represents a whole lot more. It is a chance to catch up with old friends, make news ones, and most importantly - get educated on the latest technologies for the grid.