More than 20,000 attend 89th annual conference and exhibition
An impressive turnout of 20,113 registrants and 1,006 exhibitors using 301,900 net square feet of space puts WEFTEC 2016 within the top five largest and best-attended events in the conference’s 89-year history. The Water Environment Federation’s (WEF) 89th annual technical exhibition and conference was held Sept. 24-28 at the New Orleans Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, La.
WEFTEC has long been the springboard for new and innovative products, ideas, and initiatives, and WEFTEC 2016 was no exception. Notable highlights included the installation of green infrastructure on the grounds of New Orleans City Hall during the ninth annual Community Service Project; exciting discussions and knowledge exchange during the Great Water Cities session, Women in Water breakfast, as well as countless workshops, technical sessions, and networking events; the fifth annual Innovation Showcase, which included the return of the popular Sustainable Beer Smackdown, the Operator Ingenuity Contest, and the unveiling of the Water Reuse Roadmap Primer; the recognition of sixty-one Utility of the Future Today recipients for exceptional performance in sustainable water management and operations; and much more.
The world’s largest annual water quality conference was also the launch pad for the ongoing #mywaterlegacy social media campaign, designed to highlight and promote the tradition of working in the water sector, the importance of mentorship and membership, and the essential work of water professionals. “Those of us who have made water our chosen profession have also chosen to work together to create a solid foundation for the future — a future that’s built on clean and safe water,” 2015-16 WEF President Paul Bowen said as he introduced the campaign during the well-attended Opening General Session. “As water professionals, we are uniquely positioned to make a positive, lasting impact on this magnificent world we share. It’s something to be inspired by and immensely proud of.”
“The success of this year’s conference reflects WEFTEC’s decades-long tradition of innovation, education, and dedication,” said WEF Executive Director Eileen O’Neill. “From programming to attendance, WEFTEC 2016 was another outstanding chapter in WEFTEC’s history.”
Planning for next year’s event in Chicago, which will commemorate WEFTEC’s 90th anniversary, is already underway. More than 850 companies have reserved nearly 300,000 net square feet of space at McCormick Place and the 2017 Call for Abstracts will open on Friday, October 21. Submissions will be accepted through December 1, 2016.
WEFTEC 2017 will be held Sept. 30–Oct. 1, 2017 at McCormick Place in Chicago, Ill. Registration and housing will open in spring 2017.