By Thad Plumley
I celebrated my 20th anniversary at the National Ground Water Association this spring and December would have marked the 19th time I travelled to our annual convention and trade show.
When you hit numbers like that, the big events start taking on the look of a family reunion complete with handshakes, hugs, and jokes you’ve been waiting to tell for a year.
I’m going to miss that. But that doesn’t mean we still can’t be together.
This is the first time ever that Groundwater Week 2020 will be a virtual event. And while we can say catching up about each other’s lives is another victim of the COVID-19 coronavirus, we can still take part in an event with education, an exhibit hall, and more.
In other words, we can still have an annual convention and trade show.
Groundwater Week 2020 on December 8-11 is going to be different; that’s for sure. If some of you have a shows-attended number that makes me look like an amateur, I promise you this will be one that stands out even for you.
The entire event will be held on a virtual platform. Educational sessions will take place so you can get the continuing education points that so many of you need. And like in Las Vegas, all the learning sessions will still wrap up with questions from attendees to speakers.
Is your favorite part of the show the exhibit hall? NGWA has you covered. You can still gain the product and tools knowledge you want from our industry’s manufacturers and suppliers in the show’s virtual exhibit hall. Each exhibitor has their own page in the virtual hall complete with a mix of text, images, videos, white papers, and more so you know all about their latest technology.
If you see something that sparks a needed discussion, you can interact with the exhibitors via a private-message options, a public message board, or even old-fashioned email to the exhibitor staff listed.
Like always, Groundwater Week has a variety of excellent speakers lined up, including a keynote with a timely title. Kevin McGinnis of Cotey Chemical Corp. is going to discuss “Establishing Social Distancing Between Contamination and Drinking Water Systems.”
Awards will be handed out once again to some of the brightest industry professionals, incredible volunteers, and most well-done projects in our field.
Starting to sound familiar? Starting to sound like Groundwater Week to you? That’s because it is—just in a new format.
We may not be able to shake hands and joke over dinner this December, but we can still learn from each other and interact with each other.
This year has been like no other—so let’s wrap it up with a unique Groundwater Week. It will certainly be something to discuss when we finally see each other once again.
Click here to register for Groundwater Week 2020 by November 6 to take advantage of early bird rates.
Thad Plumley is the editor of WWJ and director of information products at the National Ground Water Association. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or (800) 551-7379, ext. 1594.