By Karen R. Smith, WC&P Executive Editor
I want to personally thank each and every person at WQA Aquatech 2005 for making it a spectacular event for all of us at WC&P! Speaking with dealers, distributors, manufacturers and consultants from across the country and around the world was an incredible experience. If you filled out a subscription card at our booth we welcome you to your first issue right now—read on!
The joint effort between WQA and RAI brought approximately 5,000 professionals together at the Las Vegas Convention Center to view products and services at 331 exhibitor booths. The “Water Opportunity Show” lived up to its name. In fact, I witnessed a random meeting of an inventor from the American Midwest who found a European sales representative and a Chinese manufacturer—all by asking a question aloud about inert gases. The rest will, no doubt, be history—and hopefully, success in the marketplace. We join every attendee in thanking the tireless staff of the WQA, each of whom worked throughout the event to make it an unqualified success on every level. Thank you all!
Criticisms? Only a couple: The lack of food on the exhibition floor—or anywhere near it; same for the lack of beverages, particularly water! The Nevada air had many seeking a refreshing glass of H2O to rehydrate, but aside from those WC&P distributed (a supply quickly exhausted by the thirsty!) along with water offered by a couple of other exhibitors, there was nary a drop to be had. As a spry gentleman in a wheelchair noted on his odometer, it was a 6/10th of a mile walk from the hotel’s lobby and restaurants to the exhibit hall. Small issues, however, in an otherwise perfectly executed event.
At the WQA Board meeting, more success. With new recruitment techniques, 40 members had joined during convention week, and wqa.org has become a consumer tool when seeking water professionals. Questions remain, notably how to reconcile the disparity between U.S. and international dues structures and how to continue to morph from a dealer group to a diversified water industry association. Overall, there was endorsement of finding ways to work with government regulators while guarding against additional regulations where possible. The second half of the meeting consisted of a proposal by the French water association (UAE) that the two bodies work together through the French magazine, Aqualogie, a lobbying publication aimed at French government ministers. No conclusion was reached on that item during the public portion of the meeting, but from our vantage point it seems ill-considered given the average WQA member’s lack of use for that avenue of exposure.
Here at our offices, unprecedented successes of a different sort. We are a finalist for WPA Magazine of the Year (see box on page 8). We are pleased to announce our new cooperative venture with The Wall Street Transcripts conference series to bring their programs to South America. The rapid changes occurring in the water market of many countries there—led by Brazil and Ecuador—have created a need for products, services and financing like never before. Investment opportunities abound as well. Our sister publication, Agua Latinoamérica, has been the number one news source in that region for the past five years. We will keep you apprised of opportunities and events in the southern hemisphere, both in Agua Latinoamérica and in these pages.
Starting right now, we will also keep you abreast of the booming Indian water industry firsthand, as we have partnered with EverythingAboutWater, India’s premier voice in the water industry. Watch for more changes in the months to come; we have other exciting new alliances still in the works. WC&P is now a global water publication like no other.
None in our industry can provide the international reach we possess through our multiple alliances. Wherever your business takes you, we are there to help you excel. Advertising dollars spent here appear worldwide. Editorial submissions contributed here influence decision makers around the world. The combination of expansive and expanding international reach with the policies of integrity and excellence that have been our hallmark for nearly half a century is matched by no other media.