IBWA Making a Splash in Las Vegas

The 2007 International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) Convention and Tabletop Trade Show, to be held Oct. 15 to 19 at the Las Vegas Hilton, will feature business and technical courses, opportunities for obtaining and maintaining certifications, supplier showcases and more.

Cher, Bette Midler and Tina Turner will even give a midweek performance—OK, impersonators of the divas—but the five-day event promises real learning, networking and enjoyment.

This year’s IBWA show is a two-for-one package. The newly renovated Las Vegas Hilton, IBWA’s special events headquarter hotel, is located next to the Las Vegas Convention Center, where PACK EXPO ’07, an event focused on the latest developments in packaging machinery, materials and containers, will be held Oct. 15 to 17. IBWA registrants receive complimentary access to PACK EXPO, which will include 1,300 exhibitors, 60 education sessions and three keynote presentations from industry experts.

“The 2007 IBWA Convention and Tabletop Trade Show has no rival when it comes to educational seminars and showcasing the services and advanced technology of the bottled water industry,” said IBWA President Joseph K. Doss. “Additionally, PACK EXPO leads the way when it comes to highlighting the state-of-the-art advances in packaging materials and machinery. By cooperating with PACK EXPO and co-locating these two top-notch events, all of our combined attendees will benefit.”


A Place to Learn

The theme for the 2007 IBWA Convention and Tabletop Trade Show is “The Bottled Water Event: A Place to Learn. “This year’s theme reflects IBWA’s continued commitment to providing convention guests with the bottled water industry’s most comprehensive educational programs, which will help them meet the challenges of today and the future,” Doss said.

The IBWA show is designed for beverage professionals across all job functions and categories. The organization encourages bottled water manufacturers, sales teams, engineers, warehouse staff members, finance department employees and everyone between to attend some of the event’s 22 targeted education sessions.

Some class offerings to consider when planning your personal IBWA itinerary:

  • Bottled Water 101 1:00-3:00 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 16. New to the industry? Looking to revitalize your business? Bob Hirst, IBWA vice president of education, science and technical relations presents a comprehensive review of industry basics.
  • Managing Performance: People are Your Most Valuable Asset 9:00-10:00 a.m., Wednesday, Oct. 17. Neil Mairs of Solutions Recruiting shares advice on increasing organizational productivity and output. Discover tangible methods for hiring the right people, enhancing motivation, measuring performance and providing feedback.
  • State Licensing: What Does Your State Require? 10:00-11:30 a.m., Wednesday, Oct. 17. What sort of distribution licensing and approval does your company need on top of basic Food and Drug Administration regulations? Laura Current of Current Technologies provides need-to-know answers.
  • Bottled Water Challenges and Opportunities in 2007 and Beyond 1:00-3:00 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 17. IBWA’s Bob Hirst leads discus- sions on ozone and bromate man- agement and the U.S. EPA’s Ground Water Rule from both regulatory and technical perspectives.
  • Advances in UV Technology: Implications for the Bottled Water Indsutry 3:00-5:00 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 17. Delve into the world of UV—how it works, dose measure- ment, the components involved in validation, etc.—under the guidance of Atlantium Technologies’ Phyllis Posey.
  • WQA – Industry Issues Report 2:00-4:00 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 18. Are you up to date on emerging contaminants? Familiar with Italy Decree 443 and the Ohio Plumbers’ license requirements? Get up to date on these topics and other point-of-use issues at this session, led by Joe Harrison of the Water Quality Association.
  • Common Spring Source Problems 9:00-10:30 a.m., Friday, Oct. 19. Explore algae, mineral precipitation, micro problems and various off-taste issues frequently linked to spring sources. Laura Current shares relevant information and outlines construction options.

The IBWA’s Code of Practice requires that every member facility have at least one Certified Plant Operator (CPO). Forbottled water industry companies and professionals looking to ful-fill this role, IBWA offers a CPO review session on Thursday, Oct. 18 and an exam on Friday, Oct. 19. Maintaining CPO certification requires holders to take an exam once every three years or accrue 18 continuing education units (CEUs) within that three-year period. For bottled water professionals looking to keep current via the CEU approach, 20.5 hours in CEUs are available through this year’s education sessions.


A Place to Get Ahead

The IBWA convention and show hosts a number of networking and special events that allow guests to explore the latest technologies, establish new industry connections, catch up with old friends and unwind after a day of classes.

The IBWA Tabletop Trade Show and Reception (5:00-10:00 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 17) provides show-goers the chance to meet with vendors who will be exhibiting their latest bottled water technologies, products and services. This year marks the debut of the tabletop show’s Supplier Showcase; many exhibitors will use a special section of the show floor to further expand on their products and services during a 15-minute presentation and demonstration. The full IBWA Trade Show will return in 2008. Until then, take advantage of the simultaneous networking, learning, socializing and enjoyment opportunities this special event has to offer.

The 2007 IBWA Chairman’s Gala (7:00-10:00 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 18) promises big laughs and fun. Cher, Bette Midler and Tina Turner impersonators will take the stage together to host a night of song, dance and comedy. Food will be served.

Hitting the links provides yet another opportunity for enjoyment and developing relationships with fellow bottled water professionals. The Drinking Water Research Foundation Golf Tournament (1:00-6:00 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 16) at the Painted Desert Golf Club will help fund vital research impacting the future of bottled water. A $195 ticket, $85 of which is tax deductible, includes transportation, greens fee and golf cart, a box lunch and the 19th Hole Reception. Transportation departs the hotel at 12:30 p.m.

Other convention events to consider when scheduling include a number of open committee meetings, the annual IBWA business meeting, a president’s report from Doss and a “passing of the gavel” ceremony honoring the 2007 and 2008 chairmen.

To register for the IBWA Conven-tion and Tabletop Trade Show, visit www.bottledwater.org/public/conv2007. The website also features a full schedule, travel information and more details regarding PACK EXPO.

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About the author

Caitlin Cunningham is associate editor for Water Quality Products. Cunningham can be reached at 847.391.1025, or by e-mail at [email protected].