February 2003: Volume 45, Number 2
One for the Money, Two for the Trade Show—Looking for Dates on the World Wide Web
by Ronald Y. Pérez, WC&P Managing Editor
Whether it’s a newspaper or a magazine, everyone has their favorite section. At WC&P, we’ve never conducted a scientific study on what portion of the magazine garners the most attention. As a member of the editorial team, you can be certain I hear from authors or other interested parties (companies, PR firms, water treatment professionals, etc.) when they feel a news item, article or other submission was misrepresented or omitted. But that goes with the territory, and it’s good to know people care about our content.
An area where we reach out diligently to find items is the “Upcoming Events” department located near the front of each issue. Sure, some sponsors will send us notice about their show, but oftentimes we must find overlooked conferences or expos so we can offer you the most comprehensive listing in the industry. While the WQA and other sites (seeFYI) are always reliable sources, we’ve chosen a few here that could supplement anyone’s search for places to go and people to see in the water treatment business.
Found under the broader name of Conference Alerts, the home page can take you to conferences ranging from the social sciences and humanities to medicine. If you were wondering, the water category is located under "interdisciplinary." The above URL address will take you straight to where you need to be. I see that the site was updated last about a week before my visit so I assume it’s being closely monitored. Next, I notice it begins with January 2003 and extends out to November 2004, which is nearly two years and a good time period for an effective trade show listing.
Under each month/year designation, the start date is given for each show. More importantly, the name of the show is typed in blue and equipped with a link for more information. Upon clicking on a link, you’re sent to a very basic contact page that provides a website and email address. Some sites will send you directly to the show organizer’s website. This works just as well. It also allows the show sponsor to make any changes or additions to the listing. This is a free service, if any organizer is interested.
Clearly, this listing is international and doesn’t overlook too many shows. I found a few incomplete listings as to contact information. But that can be just as much the fault (if not more) of the organizer than the website proprietor. Overall, the visitor gets a rather eclectic mix of trade shows, which is expected under the very extensive term of "water." Just scanning over February/March 2003, I find conferences on topics such as aquatic sciences, flood forecasting and electromagnetic waves. To be fair, most of the shows would relate well to the point-of-use/point-of-entry industry.
Introduced last year as an "extra" in Website of the Month, this site has been letting people know where to go for seminars—a staple of any trade show—since 1981. And you can bet they also list trade shows galore. By their count, over 360,000 seminars and conferences are listed here within various categories including finance and accounting and communications to organization development and energy and environment. Plus, this site is a partner with www. tsnn.com, a valuable site we have reviewed in this space (see February 2002).
For those seeking water treatment trade shows, which I would imagine includes 99 percent of us, navigating through the site can be a little awkward. Allow me to save you some time. (Judging from the site’s home page, I also think the designers see the same conundrum since they have placed a search button near the top). Your best option is to enter "water" or "water treatment" in the search box and let the site provide 37 different events (at least in this case).
Of course, once you get to the list of events, don’t forget your comb because you will be sifting a lot here unless you are actually seeking shows regarding water flooding and "sales and tax use." Huh? I am not sure how that listing came up. Then again, with the recent accounting and auditing debacles, perhaps this isn’t so far-fetched. Some of the more apropos events include water treatment for injection and production, pharmaceutical water systems and water system design.
In a way, both of these sites run their calendar listings much like we do. WC&P relies on our readers/visitors to provide us with information so we can post it in our publications/websites. Depending on what you want out of a trade show, both of these sites can prove to be valuable.
Making the grade with the trade
Biggest plus for this site—no need to register for email or website address contact information. The search function located near the bottom of the home page is a way to cut through the fat. Still, a good idea might be for the site to ask more detailed questions from the organizers of the events to make the site more user friendly.
This site may prove to be more fruitful for those seeking trade shows to attend. After all, a conference title can be misleading and often not very descriptive. If you are looking to get educated on a particular topic, this will take you to topics being discussed. Then again, if you are looking to only visit booths, this site may not serve your purpose.
FYI: For more trade
For a few trade show sites, a little more peripheral but possibly just as useful, these three sites may be able to uncover that hard-to-find show.