Mark those calendars for the trenchless event of the year: The 2010No-Dig Conference and Exhibition will be held May 2-7 at the SchaumburgRenaissance Hotel and Convention Center, located just outside Chicago.

Sponsored by the North American Society of Trenchless Technology (NASTT), this annual event draws trenchless professionals from around the globe to the largest conference and tradeshow in North America dedicated solely to the promotion of trenchless technology. Through exhibits, educational seminars and fun networking events, the No-Dig Show is a must-attend event for the trenchless professional.

In 2010, more than 100 exhibitors will fill the 66,000-sq ft exhibit hall, displaying the latest in trenchless equipment and technology and will be on hand to answer attendees’ questions. The 2009 International No-Dig Show held in Toronto — and co-sponsored by NASTT — attracted a record 1,900 attendees and 124 exhibitors, with 38 countries represented.

Marking its 20th anniversary at the show, NASTT is commemorating the occasion with special events. Among them are the presentation of the first-ever Michael E. Argent Memorial Scholarships, in honor of one of NASTT’s founding members, and the new Trent Ralston Award for Young Trenchless Achievement, which recognizes a young professional who has shown commitment to the trenchless industry through volunteerism, leadership and career accomplishments. Ralston, an industry icon and NASTT leader, and Argent both passed away in 2009.

“Anniversaries are meant to be special events and as NASTT prepares to celebrate 20 years of industry service, the list of people to thank grows ever longer. Reflecting upon our longevity is more about acknowledgement of two decades of contributions by countless individuals, municipalities, universities and corporations. Together, we have fashioned an educational society that is both relevant and respected,” said NASTT executive director Michael Willmets.

Along with the jam-packed exhibit hall, the No-Dig technical paper program is also an important part of the show’s success and stature — and has become the heart and soul of the conference. 2010 brings 140-peer-reviewed technical papers to be presented, focusing on a diverse range of trenchless topics, including horizontal directional drilling, cured-in-place pipe (CIPP), microtunneling, inspection, case histories, asset management, pipe jacking and ramming, water and sewer rehabilitation, project planning, inspection and trenchless research.

Attendees can choose among what peer-reviewed paper presentations they want to see. The papers are evaluated based on relevance, usefulness and non-commercialism. The No-Dig papers are presented in a five-track schedule and are grouped mostly by subject matter so attendees can choose to attend five paper presentations at any given time.

Pre- and post-conference seminars are also on the schedule for attendees at an additional cost. On Sunday, May 2, NASTT’s Introduction to Trenchless Technology Short Course will be held. The course is ideally suited for both newcomers to the industry and for anyone who is interested in seeking a refresher course on trenchless technology methods. The course covers new installation and rehabilitation methods.

On May 5 and 6, several informative courses are slated, presented by NASTT and NASSCO. From NASTT: Cured-in-Place Pipe Good Practices Course; Laterals Rehabilitation & Replacement Good Practices Course; HDD Consortium Horizontal Directional Drilling Good Practices Guidelines Course; Pipe Bursting Good Practices Course; and New Installation Methods Good Practices. From NASSCO: PACP Trainer Recertification; PACP Trainer Upgrade; and Pipeline Assessment and Certification Program.

Although the No-Dig show is the conduit to promote and advance the trenchless marketplace through education and exhibits, there’s also the social aspect of the conference that fosters networking opportunities for attendees, as well as just some fun and good times.

The conference gets under way with its annual Kick-off Breakfast on Monday, May 3. During this event, the formal presentation of the 2010 Trenchless Technology Person of the Year will be made to Keith Hanks. Also, the 2009 Outstanding Papers in Rehabilitation and New Installation Awards will be announced. Entertainment for this event will be comedian Tim Cavanagh, whose performance focuses on how laughter is the cure for what ails you.

Also on May 3, NASTT will hold its ninth annual Educational Fund Auction & Reception. This annual event is the perfect opportunity for attendees to mingle and relax, as well as bid on items for an excellent cause — the Educational Fund, which supports student chapters, target research, training modules and other student activities. Past items for bid have included trips, electronics, Major League Baseball tickets, NASCAR events, as well as jewelry and trenchless products. Since 2001, this auction has raised more than $312,000.

On Tuesday, May 4, NASTT will host its annual Gala Awards Dinner. During this popular event, the trenchless community gathers for a night of fun, food and dancing to live entertainment. At this event, the winners, runners up and honorable mentions for the 2009 Trenchless Technology Projects of the Year for Rehabilitation and New Installation will be formally recognized.

To close out the 2010 No-Dig event is the annual Closing Luncheon and Keynote Address on Wednesday, May 5. Here, attendees can enjoy lunch, entertainment and say good-bye to their fellow trenchless professionals before heading home.

For more information about the 2010 No-Dig Show, visit www.nodigshow.com or contact Benjamin Media, which handles the show’s management, at (330) 467-7588.

Sharon M. Bueno is managing editor of Trenchless Technology.

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