It’s less than a week until the 34th Annual International Maintenance Conference (IMC) and I am so excited. What’s not to love about a week networking with and learning from the brightest leaders in reliability and asset management? Last year was my first year to attend the conference and based on that experience I am eager for December 9 to arrive.
This industry conference has cracked the code for an incredible event. Somehow IMC perfectly blends leading-edge, high-impact educational sessions with raving fan attendees who ALMOST seem more interested in seeing friends from previous years than attending the sessions. They’ve supported each other through certification, new jobs, roles or companies, and seem invested in the success of their peers. Each anticipates catching up on the last 12 months but at the same time seems ready to learn. This dedicated week seems like just the reset these professionals need to prepare for the next calendar year.
I must admit that my first IMC was a bit intimidating. I felt a little like I was crashing a 20th high school reunion, as everyone milling around the registration desk seemed to know each other. Armed with my name badge with my speaker’s ribbon and my first-time attendee ribbon, there was no way to blend in. Yet at every session I attended, every meal that I ate, someone would introduce themselves to me and invite me into their conversations. I’m a small-town girl from Texas and this hospitality went a long way with me. It also helped me engage with thought leaders and directors of reliability who are leading teams at the world’s best run companies.
Hearing similar maintenance and reliability challenges across verticals and industries makes these professionals and practitioners (including me) feel as if we are all in this together. Perhaps that is the secret to their success – IMC seeks to make the best companies even better, shares best practices across the board, and welcomes and educates newcomers from the second the lanyards land around their necks.
Another possibility that makes the conference such a success is that this is an event where you work hard AND play hard. The venue is new, but Marco Island, FL is not be a bad place to be in December. There are many activities planned throughout the week and each year there is a rather enthusiastic karaoke night where old and new performers (experience – not age) sing. You might be singing on stage one night, gambling another, and presenting in a session the next!
This year’s sessions should not disappoint – I see familiar customers and partners on the agenda. AspenTech is proud to have three presentations throughout the week: First on Monday, December 9, Michael Strobel (he was a first-timer with me last year) is presenting “Balancing Competing Priorities to Maximize Productivity and Minimize Risk,” in the Risk Management/Decision Making Forum. Stacey Jones will share “Turn Emotional Debates into Quantitative Decisions with System Reliability Modeling” on Wednesday, December 11 and I will present the same day on “Turning Acceleration into Profit” in the Women in Reliability and Asset Management (WIRAM) program – truly an honor. At AspenTech we provide solutions to support better, more agile decision-making to unlock higher levels of performance – optimizing your assets to run safer, greener, longer and faster.
IMC promotes a sense of community and professional rigor and embraces the latest thinking and technologies to address maintenance and reliability holistically. Regardless of what exactly makes the IMC conference such a success, you can see that those of us who have attended once tend to flock to Florida in December. I am officially a raving fan who will count myself as one of the regulars and will definitely help welcome the newcomers! If you’re attending IMC, stop by Booth #308 and see us!