Packed programme

25 April 2008

Six of the world's most respected speakers entertained and enlightened large audiences at the SC&RA Annual Conference at the end of April. Several of these experts found long lines of customers lined up to buy their best-selling books after their sessions. And animated discussions about the presentations continued days later.

Additional educational opportunities abounded at more than a dozen committee meetings. Looking on as committee members made decisions on important issues affecting the industry were many other attendees, who gained an understanding of what can be accomplished when earnest experts share insights gained from years of experience.

Attendees also learned about developments in products and services by visiting the 54 display booths at the sold-out Products Fair. Exhibitors remained busy throughout the three hours of this event. What distinguished this year's Products Fair was a concern shared by a number of exhibitors, particularly equipment manufacturers: Booming business was making it harder for them to keep up with demand. This demonstrates a growing confidence in the future of the specialized carrier and rigging industry.

Helping to further brighten prospects for the industry's future was the SC&R Foundation. During the Annual Conference, the Foundation awarded seven $3,000 scholarships to students preparing for a career related to transportation or construction management. In addition, the Foundation announced it would award a $25,000 grant to conduct a study on permit uniformity as it relates to municipal requirements.

Despite SC&RA members' instincts to collaborate on such projects to further the industry, they simultaneously harbour competitive urges. The Annual Conference helped them satisfy these through friendly golf and tennis tournaments. (Attendees also took advantage of the opportunity to exercise through the noncompetitive CCO 5K Run/Walk along the beach.)

More serious, yet still congenial, competition came into play during the Job of the Year Competitions. Blue- ribbon judging panels selected the three most impressive jobs in both Rigging and Hauling Competitions. Winners earned bragging rights while the Association gained fresh new examples to showcase how member companies can safely and effectively overcome formidable challenges.

While the daytime schedule was filled with educational and recreational activities, most evenings were set aside for social functions, including:

The First Timers Reception, where SC&RA officers and staff members welcomed newcomers to the Annual Conference and provided a brief introduction to the association.

President's Reception, where SC&RA president Jerry Thomsen and wife Pam encouraged attendees to build and strengthen their professional and personal networks.

Pandora's Box Reception Dinner Dance, where revellers enjoyed fine dining, dancing, gambling with funny money, and selecting a personal box containing prizes such as $500 cash.

Closing Night Awards and Recognition Dinner, where attendees learned the winners of major SC&RA awards – and, at many tables, began discussing plans to discuss the next SC&RA Annual Conference, 10-14 April at The Westin La Cantera Resort in San Antonio, Texas.

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