Publisher’s Message – Virtual vs. Live Events

Bernie Krzys


This is a transition year as we move out of the COVID pandemic crisis. Live events are happening again. However, the virtual event approach hangs on. In some cases, that may be the new norm. I favor live events because of the in-person networking opportunities, maintaining and establishing new friendships, and interaction during educational sessions. While virtual events promote these features, it’s difficult to beat an in-person event.

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The balance of 2021 will be a blend of virtual vs. live as follows:

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  • ASCE’s Utility Engineering and Surveying Institute Pipelines Conference will be virtual, Aug 3-6. Lots of technical papers so virtual works.

  • Water Finance Conference will be virtual Aug. 10, 12, 17, ands 19. Again, good papers and virtual is a reasonable option for now.

  • Breakthroughs in Tunneling Short Course, Sept. 13-15 at the University of Denver in Colorado. Solid interest in this live event.

  • WEFTEC to be held live Oct. 16-20 McCormack Place in Chicago. A very big show, so live is important.

  • No-Dig North takes place live Nov. 8-10, in downtown Vancouver, BC. Lots of interest from Canadians as they are great supporters of live events. At this time, the U.S./Canadian border remains closed but this should not affect the success of this in-person conference.

  • Pipeline Leadership Conference is set for a live event Nov. 17-18 in The Woodlands (Houston), Texas. Considering the challenges facing the oil and gas and energy pipelines markets, it’s important that this event returns to an in-person event.

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2021 Horizontal Directional Guide (HDD) Guide

Select HDD-related readers will find our annual HDD Guide polybagged with our August issue of Trenchless Technology. This is a treasure trove of specifications covering HDD rigs and vacuum excavation systems; plus, an innovation update and much more. HDD continues to have solid growth, with more and more opportunities to use HDD. If you did not receive the print version HDD Guide, it can be downloaded at:

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The growth of HDD is confirmed by the excellent in-person attendance at this year’s HDD Academy held in May at Arizona State University.

Also, as we continue to mark HDD’s 50th anniversary in 2021, give a listen to the Trenchless Technology Podcast, hosted by Trenchless Technology managing editor Sharon Bueno. The three-part HDD at 50 Podcast series has garnered tremendous interest. The Podcast can also be downloaded at: Likewise, Sharon’s April cover story — “HDD at 50” — is a great read and look back at the HDD industry.

So what about that U.S. infrastructure bill? At press time, the bill is still being negotiated. Water and wastewater funding is included but how much? Let’s keep hoping bipartisanship finally happens and the bill is passed.

Bernard P. Krzys