By John B. Ferguson

The promising economic climate, the fly-in/drive-in convenience of the Washington, D.C./Baltimore corridor, the streamlined convention format, a huge exhibition with dozens of brand new vendors, killer education sessions, prime-time networking—all are great reasons to attend WQA’s 30th Annual Convention & Exhibition at the Baltimore Convention Center on March 16–20.

In this environment, smart operators are looking to get any edge they can to capture market share, and timing is everything. In fact, 83 percent of those WQA members surveyed said they plan to attend the event with 63 percent expecting to drive there.

Consider what’s offered—a slate of more than 40 targeted educational seminars, the premier exhibition for the point-of-use/point-of-entry (POU/POE) water treatment industry in the world, and critical peer networking at section meetings, exciting meals and social events—and you’ll see why you must attend.

Location
Baltimore is not only a great drive-in venue for the high local concentration of WQA members and non-members alike, it’s also an easy and popular fly-in venue for European visitors as well. We expect great attendance from decision-making leaders around the world.

Exhibition
Again this year, we’ve scheduled our popular seminars so they don’t compete at all with the two-day, Thursday/Friday trade show on March 18-19. You can take all the key courses you want and still have two full days to really work the show floor.

With more than 240 exhibitors (20 of them new to the show), you will find new products and show-only bargains that can make a big bottom line difference in your operation. Exhibitors in Baltimore will represent the most comprehensive array of products and services in the water industry.

There will be countless opportunities to find both strategic solutions and cutting-edge products and innovation. You’ll get hours of direct contact with exhibitors to connect you with the products and services you need, and access to trained sales staff to answer all your technical and purchasing questions.

Education
Fundamentals—Take a refresher course on a particular water treatment technology, find out how to incorporate a new technology in your business, and solve problems with existing technologies—all by taking fundamental sessions on ultraviolet, ozone, ion exchange processes and reverse osmosis.
Contaminants—Get answers to dozens of contamination-related questions by attending one of many sessions on bacteria and viruses, emerging contaminants, iron, manganese, hydrogen sulfide, tannins and others.
Strategic Business Planning—If the POU/POE industry is changing faster than you can keep up, attend the Strategic and Future Planning for Water Businesses session to hear three expert views on where our water industry is headed.
New Business Opportunities—Want to explore new business opportunities or run your operation more efficiently? Attend a seminar to find out about office coffee service, water well maintenance, backflow prevention, new filtration methods and route management strategies.
Lead Generation and Management—What can you do to generate more leads with the legal issues surrounding the “Do not call” list, fax prohibitions and anti-spam law. Attend the Generating and Managing New Leads session to get answers.
Industrial Water Treatment—Take problem-based industrial membrane and ion exchange technology learning sessions to grow your understanding of advanced water treatment.
Saturday Business Seminar—Hal Becker presents “A Winning One-Two Punch: Improving Sales and Customer Service.” If you missed the four-hour sales and customer service session at WQA’s Mid-Year Conference in Chicago, you missed a dynamite session on integrating sales and customer service for a single end result—increased sales!

About the author
John Ferguson is communications manager and executive editor for the Water Quality Association, of Lisle, Ill. He can be reached at (630) 505-0160 or email: jferguson@mail.wqa.org

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