Greetings, fellow NY Met colleagues!
I’d like to encourage you at this time to plan your trip to Houston for this year’s SNAME Annual Meeting (AM) and Expo November 16 – 18. If you’ve never attended an Annual Meeting, or haven’t been to one in a few years, I especially hope that you’ll give attendance at this year’s AM your thoughtful consideration. The last two AMs have seen record attendance well in excess of 1,000 registered delegates – and with very good reason based on my own experience of these events.
The ongoing economic challenges to the maritime industry have clearly encouraged us to recognize the value of enhancing existing business relationships and building our networks. Further, our industry is encountering regulatory changes as never before to which we need to respond timely and intelligently to keep our customers compliant. Finally, we face technological advances in mechanical, electrical, electronic, software and information systems of which we need continually to keep abreast in order to optimize our competitiveness in managing our operations, designing, testing, building and delivering our products and services to the market. All of these objectives can be met at one place in three days at this year’s AM in Houston.
Moreover, the SNAME AM is probably the most effective, broadly scoped and cost-competitive conference, networking and learning opportunity compared with many other maritime industry conferences and symposia. Where many of us attend conferences focused on naval engineering, offshore industry, commercial shipping, small craft, yacht design, etc., the SNAME AM offers technical content and open discussion forums for all of these specialties – and more. Most of the technical presentations are eligible for continuing education credit. Additional education credit opportunities are available through the one-day courses – such as the Shipbuilding course I’m taking – offered Wednesday, November 16. Compared with events that do not offer such credit – and are often priced close to $2,000 or more, the value of your AM attendance becomes even more apparent.
We’ve often nurtured our best business relationships, even done our most focused and creative thinking, while engaging pleasurable pursuits with each other. The SNAME AM Annual Golf Outing has long been such an event where attendees have become so engaged. This year’s Golf Outing, scheduled for Tuesday, November 15, upholds this tradition. Also, for the third year running, the Annual SNAME Regatta and Post-Regatta Banquet, to be held Saturday, November 19 at the Houston Yacht Club, will likewise provide an additional opportunity and outlet to all sailing enthusiasts. If you think business and pleasure don’t mix, the AM will surely challenge your thesis.
By now, I hope I’ve demonstrated our SNAME AM to be worth your while. Now – I move on to a few tips:
1. SNAME members get the best pricing options – and can secure a $100 discount via Early Bird rates ($200 for members under age 32 or over 65) – but the Early Bird rates end Friday, September 30 – so register NOW to save.
2. Book your travel at this time. Yes – NOW. I was advised back in July that travel costs to Houston can escalate rapidly and dramatically as booking time approaches closer to the travel date. I thankfully secured a convenient and reasonably priced flight from Newark – but even now the major travel sites are showing some rather costly roundtrip flight alternatives, so make plans earlier rather than later. Don’t forget that this year’s AM time window is the week right before the travel-intensive Thanksgiving holiday.
3. The AM Conference hotel (the Hyatt Regency Houston this year) regularly sells out of its room block – and I expect this year to be no different. You don’t want to be hunting for a hotel or dealing with traffic, parking, etc. when you can be right where the AM action is at the Hyatt. Nor are you likely to find anything like our $140 special Conference pricing per room within the downtown Houston area.
4. Don’t forget that your registration gives you access to the 2011 Annual Meeting eGroup, as well as to review the AM technical presentations available on the 2011 Annual Meeting site, to ensure you are fully informed of the topic matters and prepared to engage in the thoughtful interchange characteristic of SNAME and our AM.
5. The Annual President’s Luncheon, on Friday, November 18, is a separate registration item this year (at a nominal $10 cost). This was done to allow an accurate count of interested people to ensure adequate accommodation. So, you need to check that box on your registration if you want to attend the President’s Luncheon.
6. The Annual Banquet became a separate registration item several years ago – so, if you haven’t attended in a number of years and want to go to the Banquet, be sure to check that off, too.
You can register online at www.sname.org, right on the home page, at the 2011 Annual Meeting site via the Menu bar, by mail or FAX using the registration materials provided with your last issue of (mt), or by contacting Alana Anderson, Director of Events at SNAME Headquarters at 201-499-5066 or by E-mail at Alana@SNAME.org.
Let’s make it a date!