You need only look at the cover of this issue to discover that this is our DistribuTECH issue. I’ve mentioned before that POWERGRID International magazine is the official publication of DistribuTECH, PennWell’s large annual T&D conference and exhibition. As the magazine’s chief editor, a big part of my job throughout the year is to help shape DistribuTECH’s conference content and work closely with the rest of the event team to make sure every detail is handled and the event is the best that it can be.
I attended DistribuTECH for the first time in 1995. The following year, I helped launch POWERGRID International (originally titled Utility Automation) magazine as its partner publication. Although I haven’t attended every DistribuTECH or continuously been a part POWERGRID International’s editorial staff since then, I do have a long history with both the event and the magazine. I’ve watched and helped DistribuTECH grow from the small event of 2,900 attendees and around 150 exhibitors in 1995 to this much larger 2016 event. We expect more than 440 exhibiting companies and 12,000-plus attendees. In addition, we’ve scheduled 448 industry experts to speak in the 77 conference sessions being offered.
I’ve worked on the event continuously for the past eight years and each of those years it has been larger than the previous year in numbers of both attendees and exhibiting companies. This year is shaping up to be another record-breaking year. I’d like to think the DistribuTECH team’s hard work is the reason for this steady growth; however, we can take only part of the credit.
New legislation, changing policies, customers’ growing expectations, technology advancements, shifting generation mix, competition and more are dramatically changing the way utilities operate and make money. The products and services featured by the exhibiting companies and the topics discussed in the conference sessions are key to ensuring the electric grid is prepared not only to meet future demands, but to become an enabler of future innovation. With a 25-year history of covering all things grid related, DistribuTECH is better positioned than any other North American industry event to provide the information that our industry wants and needs. This combined with the DistribuTECH team’s hard work is the reason the event continues to grow.
You still have time to register and make your travel arrangements to attend. I’m confident this will be the best DistribuTECH yet and won’t disappoint.
You can learn more about DistribuTECH 2016 in Senior Editor Rod Walton’s article that begins on page 22 and on the event website: www.distributech.com. I hope to see you in Orlando.