As you read this I am hopeful that spring has arrived and we can all begin to look ahead to the warmth of summer. As you begin making summer plans, I invite you to join ITE in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA this August 20–23, 2018 for the Joint ITE International and Midwestern/Great Lakes Districts Annual Meeting and Exhibit. After the incredible energy generated at the Joint ITE/CITE 2017 Annual Meeting and Exhibit, we’re expanding the successful joint host model by partnering with not one, but two ITE Districts. The Midwestern District and Great Lakes Districts have been working with ITE International to offer the very best technical content both regionally and internationally along with adding their local hospitality for what has become ITE’s premier immersive learning and networking experience.
Starting with Anaheim, CA, USA in 2016, and building in Toronto, Canada in 2017, ITE has transformed our Annual Meeting and Exhibit experience for members with new ideas, dynamic speakers on leading-edge topics, and even more opportunities to engage and connect with mentors, peers, and thought leaders. The positive results have been seen with our growing participation, as our meeting attendance has increased by 100 percent in the past two years! The last time Minneapolis hosted the International Meeting and Exhibit in 1996 it was the most attended of any ITE Annual Meeting and Exhibit up to that point with nearly 2,000 people—so the bar is high, but we are up for the challenge.
Attendees unfamiliar with Minneapolis will see first-hand how the Twin Cities Metro Area sets examples for livability and multimodalism, with more technical tours being offered than ever before, including a tour of the 3M world headquarters and test facilities. Our opening plenary keynote address will be given by Ken Smith, 3M corporate scientist, who will share his experience on creating and sustaining a culture of innovation. Those attending from the Midwestern District and Great Lakes Districts will experience international elements and events such as the ITE Collegiate Traffic Bowl Grand Championship, Annual Awards Luncheon, and Town Hall sessions with the International Board of Direction that will bring attendees into contact with a diverse group of leaders and members. Our technical program will showcase leading edge practices, provide case studies of how jurisdictions are leveraging new technologies, and give attendees practical advice to take home with them.
The comradery and local traditions found at a District meeting will play a large role again in this year’s joint meeting model, with the opening reception taking place at the Delta Sky360 Club at U.S. Bank Stadium—home of the Minnesota Vikings and site of this year’s Super Bowl. The Minnesota State Fair, one of the largest in the United States, will start immediately following our annual meeting.
We look forward to continuing to build on our Annual Meeting and Exhibit excitement and synergy through our partnership with the Midwestern and Great Lakes Districts. I look forward to greeting you in Minneapolis! As always, I welcome your feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org, through ITE Community, and on Twitter at @JeffPaniatiITE.
This blog post is from the Director's Message in the April 2018 issue of ITE Journal.