AWWA's Ace Returns to Toronto

This year’s AWWA Annual Conference and Exposition (ACE07) will take place in Toronto, Ontario from June 24-28, 2007. Named “The World’s Water Event” by the AWWA, the conference will feature professional programs, workshops, networking activities, an exposition and technical tours. Water professionals from every segment of the industry are guaranteed to find something interesting, informative and beneficial.

Last year’s attendance reached 12,452 and is expected to grow in 2007.
“We’re expecting between 12,000 and 14,000 attendees. We currently have more people registered than at the same time last year,” said Jack Hoffbuhr, AWWA executive director.

Workshops and Professional Programs
ACE07’s Professional Programs promise to be interactive and in-depth, covering topics that are vital to the water industry. The conference will have 17 different tracks, or categories, of programs.
“The ACE professional program offers something for everyone, with topics including legislative and regulatory issues, public affairs and communications issues, managing water resources, new technologies and emerging issues,” said Hoffbuhr.
Each program offers sessions for various dates and times, for a total of 98 sessions at the convention. Four of the tracks offer continuing education credits (CEUs) to participants as well.
For the first time, AWWA will provide 90% of all speaker presentations in their final format. Approximately 10 weeks after the conference, AWWA will mail the conference proceedings on CD to all registered conference attendees.
ACE07 is also offering 14 workshops ranging on topics from sustainable infrastructure to building the workforce of tomorrow. All of the workshops charge a fee that differs for members and non-members.
You may view the most current information on these workshops and programs at www.awwa.org/ace07.

The exposition
More than 500 companies and organizations will exhibit their products, technology and services at this year’s ACE07. Visitors will benefit from walking around and talking to vendors who can offer something that will help your business or organization. You can “test-drive” products and buy them on the spot, or ask a vendor your specific product questions.
In addition, a reception for attendees on Sunday evening will allow all participants to meet and greet, view the exhibits and see new products and services. Complimentary drink tickets and hors d’oeuvres will be available.
The ACE07 New Product Technology Showcase will take place outside of the exhibit hall. AWWA volunteers use a specific set of criteria to choose the exhibitors that will showcase their products.
Hoffbuhr said the company must be an AWWA organization member and that the committee takes into account the technology’s impact on the industry—e.g. if the product saves money and is easy to maintain—and whether the product is commercially available or if it’s still under development.
Attendees will be able to vote for their favorite new product or technology. These specific products and technologies will be available for viewing any time the show is open.

Facility tours
The ACE07 Facility Tours, where participants will be able to walk around technical facilities in the Toronto area, will take place June 26 and 27. These tours are popular and fill up quickly, so be sure to register early. You can choose between seven different facilities, with the John Street Pumping Station being the only walking tour available. Registration fees vary from $35 to $75. Tour lengths range from two to six hours.

Activities and events
Some highlights of this year’s activity schedule are the World Cup of Drilling & Tapping, where you can see the different methodologies for tapping in a very competitive setting; the Meter Madness competition; and the gavel-passing celebration, where incoming President Nilaksh Kothari will be honored.
There will be a number of events for young professionals at this year’s conference. Students, young professionals and newcomers to the industry should attend the career fair, a recent addition to the ACE, on June 26.
Additional events include a number of speakers that have been lined up for ACE07.
On June 25, Justin Trudeau, a prominent political figure running for Canadian Parliament, will address attendees regarding his views for the future of Canada. The June 26th Plenary Session will feature Bob McDonald, CBC Radio’s host of “Quirks and Quarks,” an award-winning science program with a popular following in Canada. Finally, Archie Manning will speak at the Water Industry Luncheon, a conference favorite, on June 26.
If you’re a public official in the water/wastewater industry, there will be a new, expanded program tailored to fit your needs. This program will include a Summit Workshop, a Public Officials reception, a Public Officials breakfast and caucus and two sessions, all providing a platform where public officials can learn about policy and network with other like-minded professionals.

Toronto
Toronto, the capital of Ontario and Canada’s largest city, is a bustling city on the northern border of Lake Ontario. The city offers great attractions such as the Harbourfront, the CN Tower, the Hockey Hall of Fame, the campus of the University of Toronto, and many museums, ethnic restaurants, a world-class zoo and multiple art galleries. ACE07 attendees will have plenty to do outside of convention hours.
“There’s a real sense of excitement about gathering in Toronto this year. From the very beginning of AWWA, Canadian water professionals have been major contributors to the intellectual capital of the association,” Hoffbuhr said.

Clare Pierson is associate editor for Water & Wastes Digest. She can be reached at 847/391-1012, or by e-mail at cpierson@sgcmail.com.

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