A Few Key Ingredients Made the 2011 APWA Congress & Expo a Success

Over 6,000 public and private sector public works professionals were expected at the aptly dubbed American Public Works Association (APWA) “Best Show in Public Works.” The APWA 2011 International Public Works Congress & Exposition ran September 18-21st at Denver’s Colorado Convention Center and featured the latest innovations in public works through education sessions on technology, applications, leadership, sustainability, and management of infrastructure.

According to APWA Executive Director Peter B. King, the 2011 Congress & Expo was all about innovation, motivation and elevation. The show not only supplied the latest information on new technologies and innovations, but also featured an array of educational speakers, sessions on social media, sustainability, emergency planning and response, funding, software, international projects, and new ways to manage and think about the various aspects of the public works industry.

The APWA followed the lead of its members, stepping up efforts to make an even greener “Best Show in Public Works” event than it had in previous years. Efforts included electronic registration, printing on FSC certified paper, printing smaller Congress Previews and Programs, education sessions on green and sustainability issues, electronic speaker files, exercising a green procurement strategy, educating exhibitors with tips on implementing waste reduction, energy and water conservation, and clean air practices.

Keynote Speaker General Michael Hayden, a retired United States Air Force Four-Star General and former Director of the CIA, opened the Congress & Expo and spoke to “Crisis Management in Complex Organizations,” which proved apropos and timely in the wake of Hurricane Irene. Steven Berlin-Johnson, the best-selling author of seven books, Social Critic and Technologist spoke on the intersection of science, technology, and personal experience on “Creativity and the Brain—Where Do Great Ideas Come From?” and Gregg Steinberg closed the speaker portion of the conference late Wednesday morning. Steinberg, Sports Psychologist and Professor of Human Performance, spoke on “Full Throttle: How to Supercharge Your Energy and Performance at Work,” which dealt with work performance.

In addition to the over 150 education sessions at the conference, interviews with speakers took place during exhibit hours, while conference participants explored an exposition floor of over 90,000 square feet. Attendees left Denver this September with a wealth of fresh ideas on ways to elevate public works and infrastructure in their communities, all courtesy of the APWA 2011 International Public Works Congress & Exposition.

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