Last week, I was lucky enough to attend the Association of Energy Engineer’s (AEE) annual World Energy Engineering Congress (WEEC) in Washington, D.C. The event is aimed at “end users and energy professional in all areas of the energy field,” and every year, it draws an international crowd anxious to keep abreast of all that’s new in all areas of energy efficiency, reliability, and the latest in renewable and energy management technologies. In addition to a well-stocked exhibit hall, the WEEC also hosted a multi-track conference agenda with seminars on a variety of energy efficiency related topics. (To review the 2010 agenda, click here.) The conference seminar topics ranged from: LEED certification; building commissioning and high-performance facilities; to federal, state, and local initiatives and programs; to the latest in renewable energy and green building.
Some highlights from the event:
1. The GreenStreet expo showcase, copresented by the US EPA's ENERGY STAR, that allowed attendees to access firsthand knowledge on the latest in green building and sustainable, environmentally friendly energy technologies. It’s now available for both new design and retrofit projects.
2. A results presentation of the Association of Energy Engineers’ (AEE) survey on Green Jobs and Energy Industry Market Trends. (For more information, go here.)
3. An announcement from the DOE, introducing the federal government’s new Superior Energy Performance Program certification—accredited by American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the US Council for Energy Efficient Manufacturing (US CEEM).
For me, one of the benefits of attending these events is the opportunity to walk the exhibit hall floor and talk with attendees, exhibitors, and our readers. These conversations are always enlightening and are a great way for me to keep abreast of breaking energy related news, projects, and technologies.
So what do you think? With tight budgets and travel costs rising, are events like the WEEC your agenda for next year? What conventions, conferences, and symposiums have you attended in the past, and which proved to be the most helpful and enlightening? Are there any topics or protocols that you’d like to see covered that are currently not part of any regular conference agenda? And do you think the enthusiasm and good will generated at these types of events ultimately translates into real action once attendees have checked out of their hotels and headed home with their heads full of new ideas and their hearts full of renewed resolve?