2017 Annual Training Conference: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

David Corelli, Vibration Institute President

Summer 2017

 

The Good

The Vibration Institute successfully completed our 41st consecutive Annual Training Conference in June at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Rochester, New York. The conference included many excellent short courses and papers, including a Basic Machinery Vibrations course, certification exams, and good weather for the event. We had a record number of exhibitors and sponsors this year helping to make the event and receptions better for all. I’d like to thank all 15 of our sponsors for their support, with special thanks to our two Champion sponsors: CTC and IMI Sensors, which each provided major support for one of our two evening receptions, including free drinks! The support of our vendors makes it possible to host a world-class event.

We had so many great presentations, it is impossible to talk about them all in such a short article. I would like to mention that our pre-conference short courses on Rotor Dynamics for Users, Basic ODS, Rotor Modeling, and Impact Testing were well attended and received positive feedback. Our keynote address by Dr. Chris Kuehl on our current economic condition was incredibly well received. Dr. Kuehl was not only well informed on the topic but also an excellent presenter with a great sense of humor that kept everyone laughing. The diverse program, including balancing, gearbox analysis, resonance testing, modal analysis, pump analysis, piping vibration, and other topics, had something that appealed to just about everyone in attendance.

The Bad

While the conference was a huge success with happy vendors and attendance at the record level of 2016, we had anticipated an even higher turnout than experienced. We had hoped for a big increase from our 2016 numbers, as we have a very large number of members in the New York region. To entice the 400-plus certified vibration analysts and VI members in a three-hour driving radius of the hotel, we offered free exhibition passes this year. Unfortunately, only a couple dozen took advantage of it.

To me, the most concerning reason for non-attendance is that many employers indicated in their feedback that they did not feel it was in their best interest to let vibration analysts out for a few hours to attend. It is a mystery to me how educated supervisors cannot see the benefits of professional development. Fortunately, there was a lot of excitement at the conference over next year’s location and time frame,  since we will be scheduling for July instead of June. Also, we are working on some very exciting changes to the conference that should appeal to our community as a whole. More will be released about this as the details are finalized.

The Ugly

The Hyatt Regency was supposed to be entirely renovated by the time we held our conference. To our dismay, it wasn’t even close. Those who attended know the problems we had with accessibility, noise, rooms not being finished, and the general disorder in the hotel. I’d like to personally thank those that attended the conference and endured the problems with tolerance and a sense of humor. Fortunately, the high quality of the program and exhibits made up for the inconveniences of the construction. Our 2018 conference in New Orleans will also be held at a Hyatt Regency; however, we have been assured that their hotel renovation is already complete! In recognition of the construction issues, the Hyatt Regency Rochester has donated $10,000 to our scholarship fund.

Final Note: Dr. Eshleman and the Program Committee are currently working on the technical program for next year’s conference. If you have any suggestions on the technical content, please contact the Institute with your suggestions. And, as always, thank you for your support of the Vibration Institute.

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