It’s that time of year again — trade show season — and the largest event in North America for trenchless professionals is NASTT’s No-Dig Show.

Trading Denver’s Blue Bear for Dallas’ Traveling Man — shown above reclining against debris salvaged from a rail tunnel in the Big D’s Deep Ellum neighborhood — NASTT’s 2016 No-Dig show takes place March 20-24 at the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center. The show last stopped in this Lonestar State hub and the Gaylord Texan, which overlooks Lake Grapevine, in 2008.

RELATED: Dallas Water Utilities Achieves Huge Water Savings through Leak Detection Program

Show activities, from gala dinners and technical sessions to short courses and chapter meetings take place at the Gaylord, which is located six miles from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

With several dining and shopping options on property, attendees don’t have to leave the Gaylord, but if you choose to venture out, the resort is within minutes of the 1.6 million-sq-ft Grapevine Mills Mall and several golf courses including Cowboys Golf Club, the only NFL-theme golf course in the country. For more off-site extracurricular adventures, visit grapevinetexasusa.com.

More than 170 exhibitors will fill the exhibit hall, displaying the latest in trenchless equipment and technology and to answer attendees’ questions. New this year is the addition of six, 50-minute long trenchless roundtable discussions, which cover a variety of topics moderated by program chair Jeff Maier or program vice chair Jennifer Glynn.

The No-Dig technical paper program brings approximately 160 peer-reviewed technical papers to be presented, focusing on a diverse range of trenchless topics, including horizontal directional drilling (HDD), 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.

The No-Dig papers are presented in a six-track schedule and are grouped mostly by subject matter so attendees can choose to attend five paper presentations at any given time.

As the show nears, here are few items to mark on your calendars..

Pre- and post-conference seminars are available to attendees at an additional cost.

• Sunday, March 20, NASTT’s Trenchless Technology Short Course-New Construction and Rehabilitation will be held.

• Slated for March 23-24, are several informative courses presented by NASTT.

The conference gets under way with its annual kick-off breakfast from 7:30 to 9:15 a.m. Monday, March 21.

• During this event, the formal presentation of the 2016 Trenchless Technology Person of the Year will be made. This year’s recipient is Lynn Osborn, P.E. — an industry professional who has helped to shape and expand the trenchless industry over the last 30 years.

RELATED: 2016 Trenchless Technology Person of the Year: Lynn Osborn, P.E.

• Following that presentation, the winners, runners up and honorable mentions for the 2015 Trenchless Technology Projects of the Year for Rehabilitation and New Installation will be formally recognized.

RELATED: Trenchless Technology Announces 2015 Projects of the Year Winners

• Rounding out the breakfast awards are NASTT’s 2015 Outstanding Papers in Rehabilitation and New Installation Awards.

Let your brain and body unwind at the most anticipated networking event of the conference, NASTT’s 15th annual Educational Fund Auction & Reception from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. March 21. The fundraising soirée — benefitting NASTT’s educational initiatives — is a themed event. For 2016, channel your inner Elvis, grab a can of Aqua Net and tease away or dust off your Dr. Martens for “Rockin’ Auction.”  NASTT wants attendees to dress as their favorite rock star past or present. As always, the event will feature the tropical vacation and 50/50 raffles.

Tuesday, March 22, NASTT will host its annual gala awards dinner. NASTT will present several awards and will induct its fifth NASTT Hall of Fame Class: Ken Foster, Martin Cherrington and Richard Thomasson.

Gas Industry Day is Wednesday, March 23, and features a full day of education and networking specifically for the gas industry.

2016 No-Dig closes with a luncheon and keynote address on March 23. This also serves as a look ahead to Washington D.C. in 2017.

To view this year’s exhibitors, follow this link.
For more information about NASTT’s 2016 No-Dig Show, visit nodigshow.com.

Mike Kezdi is associate editor of Trenchless Technology.