AIHce 2017 PREVIEW
Discover the AIHce EXPerience
BY KAY BECHTOLD
It’s only a couple of calendar pages away: AIHce EXP 2017 will be held June 4–7 in Seattle, Wash. In about two months’ time, thousands of industrial hygienists and occupational and environmental health and safety professionals will pack their bags and head for the “Emerald City,” which is hosting AIHce for the first time in the conference’s 77-year history. This year’s attendees are in for a true AIHce EXPerience, which includes improvements such as a streamlined conference schedule and new features like session tracks and a closing general session.
To make the conference format more user-friendly and efficient, all education sessions are scheduled in hour-long time blocks with breaks in between.
Shorter Sessions, Closing Speaker among Changes to AIHA’s Annual Conference
DON’T MISS A MINUTEConsider arriving early to enjoy all that Seattle has to offer, from the Space Needle to the waterfront. Members of the Pacific Northwest Chapter of AIHA have shared their recommendations in an online
guide to food and fun in Seattle. Their primary advice? “Embrace the quirkiness! Bearded men throwing fish, wacky public art, and Birkenstocks are what we live for. Enjoy the diversity, try something new, and keep an open mind.”
Another good reason to get into town early is to attend the AIHce Social on the evening of Sunday, June 4. (Psst! Registration includes a free drink ticket for this event.) Start the week with colleagues and then get a good night’s sleep to prepare for the main event: AIHce’s highly rated education programming.
WHAT TO EXPECTAfter watching opening keynote speaker and all-time
Jeopardy!champion Ken Jennings present “Life in the Form of a Question” on Monday morning, perhaps the first change AIHce attendees will notice is the updated conference schedule. To make the conference format more user-friendly and efficient, all education sessions are scheduled in hour-long time blocks with breaks in between, leaving attendees plenty of time to get from one presentation to the next. The schedule for committee meetings has been reorganized as well. Members of volunteer groups and committees will no longer have to miss out on education offerings to attend their meetings. Now, committee meetings will be held in the early morning or at the end of the afternoon, freeing up more time to attend sessions during the day.
For the first time, education sessions at AIHce EXP are grouped into 12 tracks, which will help guide participants interested in specific subject areas such as emergency preparedness and response, chemical and material hazards, and regulation and public policy. Speakers were encouraged during the call for proposals to consider new ways to deliver their presentations, so the conference will have a variety of session types, including some that will more actively involve participants. Attendees will be excited to learn that the popular IGNITE session is returning to AIHce—this time to the big stage. This year’s IGNITE presentations will be held on the morning of Tuesday, June 6. With presentations like “EHS & Beer,” “What’s That Smell?” and “IH in Flight,” IGNITE promises to be an informative and fun-filled event.
Another first for the conference is the addition of a closing general session that will bring the main conference program to an end on Wednesday afternoon, June 7. The closing session is intended to get attendees thinking about all the information they’ve gleaned from previous education sessions and prepare them to head home with even more ideas to apply in their workplace. This year’s closing session will be presented by Dr. John J. Medina, a leading developmental molecular biologist whose research is focused on the genes involved in human brain development. AIHA’s Managing Director of Global Learning, Mark Milroy, describes the opening and closing keynote sessions as “bookends on learning” and adds a fun fact: both keynote speakers are locals and live in the Seattle area. Though the main AIHce programming ends on Wednesday, professional development courses (PDCs) will be offered on Thursday, June 8, as well as the weekend preceding AIHce EXP, June 3 and 4.
Everyone wants to know just how many certification maintenance (CM) credits they can earn from attending AIHce. Participants will receive credit for each education session they attend from Monday through Wednesday, but the earning potential doesn’t end there. This year, all full conference registrations include free access to AIHce On Demand through Dec. 31, 2017, so attendees can earn credit for any additional session recordings they watch long after they’ve returned home from Seattle.
Preview the ExpoMore than 250 exhibitors will showcase their products and services at AIHce EXP, making a visit to the AIHce Expo an ideal time to evaluate the latest products and technology; network with experts from the local, national, and global IH/OH community; and discuss emerging trends in protecting worker health.
Among the exhibitors are some of AIHce’s valued sponsors, including Nanozen, SiteHawk, and Maxxam, A Bureau Veritas Group Company. AIHA thanks these companies for their support in making AIHce EXP one of the most anticipated OEHS events of the year.
To see a full list of exhibitors, visit the “
Who’s Exhibiting?” page on the AIHce website. You can also
search exhibitors, preview the Expo floor plan, or plan appointments with exhibitors.
Sponsorship opportunitiesare still available.
EXPO HIGHLIGHTSThe Expo at AIHce EXP will feature a full house of exhibitors representing products and services related to environmental protection and monitoring, indoor air quality, occupational health and medical monitoring, and many more. In addition to providing opportunities to network and relax between education sessions, the Expo will again showcase what’s new and innovative in the industry at two Learning Pavilions on the Expo floor. Learning Pavilion presentations are intended to demonstrate the use of equipment or technology and teach attendees new skills or applications. The New Exhibitor Pavilion, which debuted last year, is also back by popular demand and will be located near the entrance of the exhibit hall. There, attendees will have the opportunity to meet with AIHce’s first-time exhibitors.
Veteran AIHce attendees will remember that the Expo also offers a great chance to win prizes. This year, attendees can visit participating exhibitors with their “Pathway Passport,” formerly known as the “Passport to Prizes,” to collect stamps before entering their Passport in a grand prize drawing at the AIHA booth, #1211.
The Expo Hall Networking Reception will again be held on Monday evening, allowing attendees to mingle with colleagues and exhibitors over beverages. (Don’t forget that other drink ticket!)
PARTICIPATE FROM ANYWHEREIndividuals and groups unable to attend the conference in person can participate online via AIHce Virtual EXP, which is also eligible for CM credit. Virtual EXP registration includes a multi-track session broadcast, opportunities to participate in question-and-answer sessions with presenters and the live audience, and the ability to interact with other virtual attendees via chat. Virtual attendees will also be able to watch interviews with award winners, presenters, and other special guests conducted by AIHA’s on-air hosts. And, for the first time ever, the virtual audience can experience the Expo through interviews with select exhibitors. Like registration for the full conference, registration for Virtual EXP includes post-conference access to AIHce On Demand through the end of 2017.
Separate registration fees apply for three PDCs that will also be live-streamed as part of Virtual EXP. Virtual PDC topics include Prevention through Design, information and causation for health risk assessment, and risk assessment during incident response.
KAY BECHTOLDis assistant editor of
The Synergist. She can be reached at
firstname.lastname@example.org (703) 846-0737.