Washington, D.C., is home to the movers and shakers of the political sphere and more importantly serves as a virtual history book of the United States through its monuments, museums and other places of reverence.
The movers and shakers of the trenchless industry will gather just outside of Washington, D.C., March 27-31, just as the cherry blossoms start their annual bloom, for the annual No-Dig Conference and Exhibition.

Sponsored by the North American Society for 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. This year, the conference is paying homage to its history, marking 20 years of trenchless solutions.

2010 was a good year for the trenchless industry and this year’s conference hopes to capitalize on that momentum with a strong No-Dig Show. In 2011, more than 140 exhibitors will fill the 73,000-sq ft exhibit hall, displaying the latest in trenchless equipment and technology and be on hand to answer attendees’ question.  
The No-Dig technical paper program is also an important part of the show’s success and stature. 2011 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.

Pre- and post conference seminars are also on the schedule for attendees at an additional cost. On Sunday, March 27, NASTT’s Trenchless Technology Short Course-New Construction and Rehabilitation 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.

On March 30-April 2, 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; Pipeline Assessment and Certification Program and Lateral and Manhole Assessment 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, March 28. During this event, the formal presentation of the 2011 Trenchless Technology Person of the Year will be made (which will be announced in the March issue of Trenchless Technology). Also, the 2010 Outstanding Papers in Rehabilitation and New Installation Awards will be announced. Entertainment for this event will be comedian Greg Schwem, whose performance provides an entertaining look at today’s corporate environment and the latest tools used to conduct business.

Also on March 28, NASTT will hold its 10th 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 2002, this auction has raised more than $356,000. 

eBay has been added to the auction process this year, giving attendees the chance to bid on items worth $5,000 or more. The eBay auction will be carried over to the first two days of the No-Dig Show (Sunday and Monday) and will be closed out as the onsite live auction is started.

On Tuesday, March 29, 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 2010 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, March 30. Here, attendees can enjoy lunch, entertainment and say good-bye to their fellow trenchless professionals before heading home. This year, this networking event will be paired with NASTT’s Municipal & Utility Achievement Awards, which recognize exceptional achievement among American and Canadian municipalities and public utilities that have made significant contributions to the development and growth of the trenchless industry. In 2011, the innovative product awards have been re-named in the memory of longtime NASTT member Joseph L. Abbott Jr., who passed away in late 2010.

At a nominal cost, you can take a moonlight tour of the nation’s capitol, taking advantage of the Monuments by Moonlight Tour on March 27. The tour includes stops at the National Mall, the Lincoln Memorial, the Korean War Memorial and the Vietnam Memorial and more.

Sharon M. Bueno is managing editor of Trenchless Technology.

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