First Industrial Crane & Hoist Conference a Marked Success

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When embarking on a new adventure, its success and reception is often a crapshoot. One way to ensure that it prevails—or at least a way to avoid disaster—is to organize well and plan ahead. This is exactly what my team and I have been working toward for the last year as we planned for the first-ever Industrial Crane & Hoist Conference, which was held last week in Houston, Texas, alongside the Crane & Hoist Conference for mobile crane operators and owners and the Reach Expo 2010 exhibition. Speaking with the presenters, exhibitors, and attendees at the conference and in the days following, I was overjoyed (and relieved) that the majority of those who attended said the conference was educational, informative, and worthwhile.

My company's goal in launching an industrial crane conference was to provide an independent forum for overhead crane owners, technicians, and operators to discuss the nuances of this industry. Many of the presentations were geared toward making this happen, including Peter Cooke from Columbus McKinnon's Commonly Asked Questions and Answers about Hoists and Cranes, Richard Warriner of Ace World Companies's Inspections Techniques for Technicians; and Gantrex's Tom Berringer's Comparisons of AIST and CMAA Standards for Crane Bumpers. Panel discussions on the Qualifications of Inspectors and Operator Training and Certification also brought forth some debate. Additionally, case studies presented by Bruce Power and Han-Tek showed attendees real-world applications using overhead cranes and gantries.

"The conference was informative, interactive, fun, and a great opportunity to reunite with old friends and even make some new ones," Pete Richards with Bruce Power told me after the conference. "We got some very positive feedback from our presentation on Aging and Obsolescence of Crane Parts and Equipment."

An attendee from a manufacturing facility mentioned to me at the conference that he was taking information he learned back to his facility to further develop an in-house safety training program. Another attendee I spoke with during the event said he was able to network and gather new ideas from these face-to-face opportunities.

The list of attendees was notable, as ICHC, CRC, and Reach Expo drew 370 attendees from 180 organizations. They hailed from more than 30 states and six countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Nigeria, Columbia, and Brazil. Companies at the event included Shell Oil, Gamesa Wind, Sikorsky Aircraft, and Syncrude Oil, to name a few.

Additionally, Hal Vandiver, executive vice president of the Material Handling Industry of America, attended the event as a VIP, and after the conference, it was clear to everyone why he was designated as such. Maximum Capacity Media, publisher of Industrial Lift and Hoist, announced that it would be co-locating the Industrial Crane & Hoist Conference with ProMat 2011 in Chicago next March. ProMat is the premiere material-handling and logistics event in North and South America, and it brings together manufacturers, consultants, third-party logistics providers, publishers, and systems integrators to demonstrate their equipment, systems, and services to thousands of manufacturing, warehousing and distribution professionals from more than 100 countries around the globe.

In 2011, the Industrial Crane & Hoist Conference and ProMat will be the must-attend event for your facility to discuss, learn, and network. Look to IndustrialLiftandHoist.com for more details on the upcoming events.