Mountains of Education & Fun Highlight ESCA Gathering

HIL ANDERSON, SENIOR EDITOR
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Vail, Colo. – A record crowd went up the hill to Vail, Colorado, during the last full week of June to catch up with friends and colleagues at the annual ESCA Summer Education Conference.

The center of the skiing universe was jumping despite the sunny summer heat wave as ESCA (Exhibition Services & Contractors Association) convened at the Sebastian Vail June 25-28 for a full slate of educational and networking sessions. Attendance grew from 195 last year to more than 220 this year, including 24 new ESCA members.

“With a new record attendance of 233 members, suppliers and industry speakers, this year would have to be considered our best Summer Educational Conference to date,” said ESCA Executive Director Larry Arnaudet. “The educational programming was stellar and the available activities in-and-around Vail are second to none.”

The educational program stretched over all three days and covered a comprehensive range of topics and issues that are faced by trade show organizers, supplier partners and venue managers. Along with inspiring keynoters, such as Ross Shafer and Shannon Cassidy, there were industry-specific updates and discussions, including a session on interacting with the media featuring Trade Show Executive’s Danica Tormohlen, and a discussion about what the up-and-coming generation of industry executives sees as important future priorities.

Another panel representing the views of show organizers emphasized the need for convention centers to maintain a robust and low-priced technology infrastructure to handle the demand from customers who are looking to add virtual reality gear to their arsenal of mobile devices, laptops and lead-capture equipment.

The ESCA team also made sure that opportunities for face-to-face networking and community building were plentiful. Golf and other outdoor activities gave attendees a chance to soak up the sunshine and breath in the Rocky Mountain air. The business conversations and relaxing camaraderie spilled over into the evening receptions.

“The golf tournament attracted 84 players, the whitewater rafting was enjoyed by 110 attendees despite the cold water, and the fishing tournament was maxed out as well,” Arnaudet said.

ESCA moves from the Rockies to the equally scenic Pacific Coast next year when the Summer Education Conference takes place at the famed La Costa Spa & Golf Resort near San Diego on June 24-27.

Reach Larry Arnaudet at (214) 876-6521 or larry@esca.org