The most significant change the NASF has made to SUR/FIN 2010 is the show schedule. In past years, conference events, special programs and social activities were held independently, in different locations. NASF has addressed this issue by carefully coordinating major events so that all participants involved can maximize their time during SUR/FIN. Following are the particulars:
- Conference tracks will kick off Monday, June 14, running from 2 p.m.–5p.m., with a conference reception taking place immediately afterwards. According to SUR/FIN management, this will encourage exhibitor personnel to mingle with attendees and co-exhibitors.
- On Tuesday, June 15, conference tracks will run from 8 a.m.–5 p.m., with a break between 11 a.m.–2 p.m. Meanwhile, exhibits will open at 10 a.m. and run through 6 p.m.
- On Wednesday—the third day of SUR/FIN—conference tracks will run from 8 a.m.–5 p.m., with a three-hour break between 11 a.m.– 2 p.m. This should encourage brisk traffic across the exhibit floor, which will be open initially from 10 a.m.–2 p.m. and then again between 6 p.m.–9 p.m.
- The popular “Industry Night” event (free of charge for 2010) will take place on the SUR/FIN show floor as opposed to a remote location, thereby keeping attendees nestled in one location.
- Lastly, a special guest speaker (TBD) will deliver the keynote address between 5 p.m.– 6 p.m. Note: This event will also take place on the SUR/FIN floor in front of a captive audience of attendees.
Others changes to the SUR/FIN 2010 activity schedule include plant tours of local companies. For example, SUR/FIN attendees will have the opportunity to visit the Grand Rapids offices of Alticor, which provides manufacturing and logistics services and business opportunities, as well as various products in more than 80 countries and territories worldwide. Alticor operates: Amway, one of the world’s leading direct selling enterprises; Access Business Group LLC, a manufacturer and distributor of quality products worldwide for Amway and contract customers; and Alticor Corporate Enterprises, a holding company for the corporation’s non-direct selling companies.
“SUR/FIN attendees can learn a lot from a tour like this, from an operations standpoint, although Alticor is not in the finishing business,” said Eric Olander, chairman of the SUR/FIN 2010 Steering Committee. To his point, Amway and its affiliates help more than 3 million people own and operate direct-selling businesses. Alticor businesses had combined sales of $8.2 billion in the markets it owns and manages for its fiscal year ending Dec. 31, 2008., and it owns or manages manufacturing and distribution facilities throughout the world, including manufacturing facilities in the USA and China; organically certified farms for growing food supplements in the U.S.A., Mexico and Brazil; and distribution facilities in North America, Europe and the Far East.
The new components to SUR/FIN don’t stop there. Also on tap is a timely and informative presentation from executives of the United States Council for Automotive Research, or USCAR, an organization whose goal is to further strengthen the technology base of the U.S. auto industry through cooperative research and development. USCAR is governed by the three-member USCAR Council, whose membership includes the R&D vice presidents from each of the U.S. automakers. In that same vein, there will also be participation from the Center for Automotive Research, or CAR, a non-profit organization focused on a wide variety of important trends and changes related to the automobile industry and society at the international, federal, state and local levels. CAR conducts industry research, develops new methodologies, forecasts industry trends, advises on public policy, and sponsors multi-stakeholder communication forums.
Another noteworthy enhancement to SUR/FIN 2010 is the incorporation of a Department of Defense, or DOD, component to the educational conference. Christian Richter, founder and president of The Policy Group—NASF’s government relations arm—is working closely with the DOD on issues such as guidelines for Pentagon depots and finishing for defense applications. These issues are particularly critical as the U.S. Military is increasingly seeking alternatives to chrome and cadmium in finishing specifications, as well as more environmentally friendly cleaning and maintenance procedures relative to worker exposure.
“It’s going to be a great conference,” Richter said. “A little different, but great.”
Reserve your booth space for SUR/FIN 2010 today by contacting Cheryl Clark, director of events, NASF. You may also view a video of Grand Rapids that contains a personal message from Eric Olander, SUR/FIN 2010 chairman.