Emerson Exchange rookie? Yeah, that was me this year! I had heard of Emerson Exchange, but when I was invited to attend, I didn’t exactly know how to prepare. What would I do differently? Here are my 5 take-a-ways from my first Emerson Exchange:
The exhibit hall was both very well organized and busy. I wanted to see as much as I possibly could, but due to other obligations, I only had one night available to see everything. The hall was open three hours each night, and time flew by as I visited different exhibits and engaged with the subject matter experts at their booths. The Augmented Reality booth in the wireless Plantweb area was cool to see and a great use of new technology. It was a great opportunity to chat with the wireless team and get a better understanding of how their products see asset health, process values, and diagnostics among other things. Although I didn’t get to see everything, those three hours were engaging and left me excited for Exchange next year!
The amount of new technology and best practices shared this year was incredible! A tremendous amount of knowledge was exchanged. Customers were eager to ask the subject matter experts in person their more difficult questions and the experts seemed equally as eager to share their knowledge and provide answers. What I found especially interesting was how customers and experts were bouncing new ideas and concepts off each other. This event truly is a peer to peer driven exchange of knowledge!
I was able to easily browse through the schedule of events, see sessions I wanted to attend, and even pre-register for trainings and presentations. The app then added all those sessions to My Agenda so I could easily see where I was headed next. I also used the app to schedule my presentations and trainings.
The app provided maps of the conference center, a floor plan of the exhibition hall, and served as an overall guide to the event in case I had questions. An especially valuable feature for me was the ability to locate meals, as they moved depending on the day, and all the learning made me hungry! Having all the information I needed on my phone allowed me to focus on the experience, not the logistics.
A feature I found especially impressive was the networking section. Once a user opted into this feature, they could view an attendees’ company name, email address, and message them directly. The app also provided a shortcut for attendees to log in to their social media accounts, such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, to update their followers on what was happening minute by minute at the event. Attendees could share content they enjoyed, check news on the event, watch videos, and join or follow along with conversations on the Emerson Exchange 365 Community. It really was a useful tool when navigating such a large event!
The networking events this year included the music jam and casino night. The music jam provided an excellent opportunity to break up a busy week and spend some time letting loose. Customers, impact partners and Emerson employees had the opportunity to relax and interact outside of a work environment. It also provided an outlet for musicians (attendees) to display their talents in front of a packed crowd, which is always a good time! I truly enjoyed this event, it provided me an opportunity to get to know customers, impact partners, and my fellow employees on a more personal basis.
Casino night was a personal favorite of mine! I LOVE CRAPS!! So, this event was perfect for me. I had an opportunity to teach people to play a game I enjoy which allowed me an outlet to interact with customers, impact partners, and co-workers while adding that element of fun and competition! It’s one thing to meet and talk with people over drinks in the exhibit hall but it is entirely another to be able to bond outside of work, which I believe strengthens relationships. Another aspect of the Casino Night was the photo booths, which were FANTASTIC! One of them had fun props and the other showed our gravity defying prowess (I might have gotten back in line a few times for this one!).
I had the opportunity to present twice throughout the week, in addition to helping with training. I was also able to attend a few other presentations and trainings as well. Two of my personal favorites were Emerson’s Location Awareness presentation and DP Flow Innovation - Solves Space Constraints, Reduces Project Rework and Decreases Cost presentation.
The Location Awareness presentation introduced a new technology for Emerson to the automation world. Amanda Alexander (Emerson) discussed the affordable awareness system allows the user to monitor employees throughout the plant environment while utilizing their wireless network and Emerson’s gateways to connect to their system. One of the coolest things about this system is that it has a fall button, so if someone gets hurt they can push it and emergency responders can be dispatched. She did a great job of fielding questions, which she had a lot of, and explaining the technology.
The DP Flow Innovation presentation was a collaboration with Wood Engineering. Together they discussed the challenges of piping layout, limited straight run and space, while also trying to get an accurate DP Flow measurement, all on an offshore wellhead platform. It was great to see an EPC and Emerson work together to provide solutions for a customer. This presentation provided insight into the details and intricacies EPC’s must go through to ensure their customers are satisfied. It was an exceptional presentation put on by three excellent speakers.
With all the things happening within the event, I would say to not enjoy oneself is nearly impossible. There was a little bit of everything for everybody and provided the opportunity to be as social and shake as many hands you wanted. Although, with that many people, hand sanitizer is required. San Antonio provided an amazing backdrop with the beautiful Riverwalk, local restaurants with amazing cuisines, and night life. It allowed for socializing outside of work and provided an opportunity to get to know one another in a stress-free environment. It couldn’t have been a better location for such an amazing event!
Sometimes you make lifelong friends in the most obscure places and for me it was Emerson Exchange, San Antonio 2018. I wouldn’t have had the same experience if it wasn’t for Steve Tooley, Jordan Kohnen and Kristin Steiner and I am eternally grateful. It’s amazing how fast you get to know people when they are going through the same exact things as you. They literally made this article possible as they are the most intense (read best) editors/critics I know. I can’t wait for Emerson Exchange 2019 next year in wonderful Nashville, Tennessee, September 23rd – 27th. I hope to see you all there!!!
In reply to Lydia Miller:
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