As the spring 2014 conference season rolls around, several themes appear to be high on the agenda for some noteworthy industry events. There is the discussion of a recovering world economy and how it could affect scrap commodities markets, and there is also the knowledge that many of the recycling industry’s members and suppliers have nonetheless continued to work tirelessly over the past year to expand opportunities and serve colleagues.
Both of these themes should be evident at three recycling industry events, all to be held in the U.S. this year, that traditionally attract some of the biggest crowds. The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries Inc. (ISRI), the Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) and the combined team of Penton’s Waste Industry Group and the National Waste & Recycling Association are gearing up for their hallmark gatherings: ISRI’s Convention & Exposition, the World Recycling Convention and WasteExpo, respectively.
A look at the schedule for each of these meetings indicates that attendees will gain industry knowledge, enriching their minds and businesses.
Las Vegas Awaits
The ISRI Convention & Exposition returns this year to Las Vegas, a city that has hosted the event five times over the last decade.
The convention will be held 6-10 April 2014. ISRI Convention Chair Stephen Moss, vice president of the nonferrous metals broker Stanton A. Moss Inc., based in Bryn Mawr, Pa., in the U.S., says the ISRI 2014 Convention & Exposition is likely to post near-record attendance numbers.
On that point, Chuck Carr, vice president of member services for ISRI, says it’s possible that attendance could top ISRI’s 2012 record of more than 6,400 attendees.
“ISRI attendance is always strong in Las Vegas,” observes Carr. “We’ll be prepared for a big crowd somewhere just above or below our record.”
Carr explains that the event’s status as a must-attend annual industry gathering is a function of both the size of the exhibition and the quality and quantity of its workshops. It is also drawing a wider international audience.
“The addition of simultaneous translation in a select number of our workshops is apparently increasing participation from Spanish-, Portuguese- and Mandarin-speaking populations, based on the increase in attendance we have seen,” Carr points out.
Attendees can expect more exhibit hall space in 2014: More than 300 exhibiting companies will set up shop on an ISRI-in-Vegas record of 362,000 net square feet.
The convention kicks off Sunday, 6 April, with governance meetings for ISRI members. The Gala Opening of the exhibit hall is scheduled for Monday evening. Activities run through Thursday, 10 April, all taking place at the Mandalay Bay Resort.
The agenda promises two high-profile speakers: Tuesday’s General Session brings a keynote speech delivered by Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple Computer and an icon of Silicon Valley, while attendees will be treated to an appearance by former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who delivers the closing keynote address as ISRI’s Distinguished Speaker, Thursday.
Workshops begin Monday, 7 April, with the two-part electronics recycling training and strategy primer. The next three days of the event bring close to 50 additional workshops and Commodity Spotlight presentations, analyzing a wide range of technical, business, operational and trading topics.
Facilitating networking opportunities continues to be a main driver of many of the schedule’s offerings, and Moss says year after year it’s the quality of the show’s networking opportunities that keeps attendees coming back.
“It’s not whether or not your company should come to ISRI,” observes Moss, “it’s how many people from your company need to attend.”
The Consumer’s Night Reception, set for Wednesday, 9 April, at 6 p.m., is designed to bring a special focus to the consuming sector of the recycling industry, Moss explains. “Its purpose is to put the focus on them and create a networking event where attendees can find the various companies that consume different commodities,” he says.
After more than three days of what can be an insightful and information-packed schedule, ISRI’s tradition is to reward attendees with a memorable and fun Closing Event.
“This year’s event will be a beach party, outside on the Mandalay Bay Beach, with food, music and entertainment,” says Moss. “It’s something ISRI has never done before, but we’re excited to create something that will hopefully be memorable for the attendees and fun.”
Moss, who completes his two-year term as conference chair this year, says planning the 2014 ISRI Convention & Exposition has been a rewarding experience. “We do our best to try to please everyone who attends the convention, providing networking venues, wonderful food, entertainment and knowledge,” he says.
Updated information on the conference is available online at www.isriconvention.org.
Miami beckons BIR
The BIR brings its 2014 World Recycling Convention & Exhibition to the States this year, having selected Miami, Fla., as an ideal locale to highlight the Latin American market. The event is set for 1-4 June 2014 and takes place at the opulent Fontainebleau Hotel on Miami Beach. Not to be overlooked is BIR’s intention to attract recycling industry decision-makers from the growing South American markets to its annual spring meeting.
The event kicks off with a series of special committee meetings. Plenary session meetings focusing on commodities markets and international trade commence Monday, 2 June, beginning with the Textiles Division, and continue through Wednesday, 4 June, concluding with the Plastics Division session. The other well-attended sessions that are part of this series include Tyres, E-Scrap, Non-Ferrous Metals, International Trade Council, Stainless Steel & Special Alloys, International Environment Council, Paper, Ferrous and the Shredder Committee.
BIR’s recently named Executive Director Alexandre Delacoux, who took the post in September of 2013, says the association is always interested in engaging professionals and encouraging business in emerging markets around the wold.
“The BIR conventions are the meeting places for the business people in the recycling industry and all the commodities that we represent,” says Delacoux. “As such, they constitute a very visible place for all those who need to buy or sell any of these commodities,” he adds.
Delacoux says he expects anywhere from 700 to 1,000 attendees. The spring convention of the BIR, in contrast to its autumn roundtables meeting traditionally held in late October, is traditionally the larger of the two conferences because it is where and when BIR’s general assembly meetings take place. However, Delacoux notes that in recent years these two events have become more similar in scale and scope.
New for BIR’s annual event this year, says Delacoux, is the addition of a Textile Summit, organised by the BIR’s Textile Division in partnership with U.S. groups the Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association (SMART) and the Council for Textile Recycling (CTR). The summit is to be held 2 June, following the BIR’s Textile Division meeting.
“It’s the first time that we are voluntarily pushing the Textile Division into taking up a full day,” says Delacoux. “It should be quite interesting for anyone looking at the recycled textile industry.”
While much of the BIR World Recycling Convention agenda, including its Keynote Session speaker, has not been publicized as of press time, says Delacoux, attendees can expect to hear about the efforts of BIR’s network of some 40-plus federations from around the world.
Attendees also will learn about the most recent efforts of the BIR secretariat: “How we are working, the efficiency of our help desk, the services we render to our members,” Delacoux explains.
What is arguably the BIR event’s most anticipated offering is the traditional welcome reception held on the opening night of the conference. In recent years this Welcome Evening typically has taken place at a different venue than the host hotel; however, at the 2014 World Recycling Convention, the party will take place on site at the Fontainebleau Gardens and Poolscape. Registered delegates, guests and spouses are invited to the BIR’s “Fiesta Latina,” which features exceptional food and colorful entertainment, according to the association.
Delacoux says that while the evening’s entertainment will remain a surprise until the last moment, it likely will deliver a decidedly Latin American vibe. “The receptions are usually the personification of the place we are in,” Delacoux hints.
He says he hopes that visitors to the BIR World Recycling Convention will ultimately be able to build business and acquire valuable industry information that will keep them busy once they return home. “I hope they will go back with a good vision of where the international business conditions currently are and are possibly developing in the future,” Delacoux adds.
Updated information on the BIR World Recycling Convention can be found at www.bir.org/conventionwebsite/miami2014/home.
WasteExpo meets in Atlanta
WasteExpo’s website asks “Who’s ready for more?” The question will be answered 28 April-1 May at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta.
According the event’s website, WasteExpo 2014 brings together all the players in the waste, recycling, organics and sustainability industries. In 2014, the exhibit hall experience will have more to offer attendees, with new pavilions, show floor tours and a presentation theater, according to show organizers.
The event is designed to attract an international audience of waste management companies, equipment suppliers and professionals from the public and private sectors, with 11,000 people expected to attend.
More than 550 exhibitors will showcase equipment and services available to the waste and recycling industry, such as collection trucks, containers, software, grinding and shredding equipment and single-stream recycling systems.
Organizers Penton’s Waste Industry Group and the National Waste & Recycling Association recently signed a new five-year agreement they say will expand educational opportunities at the event. Last year, the conference organizers also added a composting/organics track, a construction and demolition (C&D) workshop, a matchmaking program, and an investor summit.
For more information, visit www.wasteexpo.com.