Can you believe it’s the end of the first quarter of 2009 already?
I must be having too much fun (again), because time has really been flying.
It’s already been two and a half weeks since the end of the WTUI conference. Once again, it was a great conference. Attendance did not look to be down due to the economy – which I took as a good sign.
There was increased interest in the LMS100 – with enough people to create their own break-out group for more detailed discussions. This year’s discussions revolved mostly around construction and startup issues, but with the increasing numbers of operating units and operating hours, next year’s issues could be very interesting indeed.
The exhibit hall seemed to have grown by at least 30% – but I think most of that was in floor space. The hallways were very large, which made the numbers of people wandering through look more sparse. And, while it appeared to be slow in the hall (at least from an exhibitor’s perspective), I was able to collect just as many new contacts this year as in years past – so “THANK YOU” to everyone who stopped by to chat.
The evening entertainment was, once again, superb. On vendor night, there were three great hospitality events to attend:
* IHI hosted a Sake & Sushi gathering at a local restaurant, and I was surprised at the number of people who wanted to partake of raw fish in the California desert. It was a fun evening, including a traditional Sake barrel opening ceremony.
* Air New Zealand (ANZ) kept their hospitality suite on site and cozy. The roast lamb with mango jelly was nearly as superb as the company. Those Kiwis are some fun people!
* Aviation Power & Marine (AP&M) once again had the late night concert venue. This year’s group: The Guess Who. There were two original members present – the bass player and the drummer. The rest sure looked and sounded the part! Great fun, food and lots of Guinness (it was St. Patrick’s Day, after all).
I shouldn’t forget to mention golf and tennis. Once again the golf event was the larger of the two (try ~400 participants versus 11…). But I think the tennis players have more fun. For one, the golf tournament was on a course that must have been under the local wind turbines – from what I heard, the course was positioned to catch all the largest gusts going through the valley. The tennis tournament, on the other hand, was within walking distance to the hotel, in 75 degree sunshine. Beverages provided. What a great way to get to know your fellow gas turbine professionals. WTUI posted a picture of all the “tennis pros” at the event.
If you missed this year’s WTUI – be sure to check back here, or at their website: www.wtui.com, so you don’t miss the next one. It will probably take place in March or early April 2010. Next year’s location has not been announced yet, but it’s always somewhere with lots of sunshine in the US Southwest. Hope to see you there – if not before!