2020 ITE Annual Meeting and Exhibition, Reimagined

By Mr. Jeffrey Paniati P.E posted 5 days ago

  
As the COVID-19 pandemic started to unfold, it quickly became clear that we would not have the ability to safely gather together for the 2020 ITE Annual Meeting and Exhibition in New Orleans, LA, USA. As you can imagine, this was very disappointing for both the ITE staff and the wonderful group of volunteers on the Local Arrangements Committee (LAC) supporting us.

Planning for the Annual Meeting starts almost as soon as the prior year’s meeting concludes. By February, we had already assembled an outstanding technical program. Once we knew we could not meet in person, we monitored what other associations were doing and thought through a number of alternatives. Our goal was to bring as much content to as many people for the lowest price possible.

We decided to spread the technical part of the program over the first two weeks in August, staying away from Mondays and Fridays to minimize interference with business and family time. We set the time of the sessions to fall within the business day on both the east and west coasts. We got creative with the structure of our poster sessions and  integrated the workshops into the program, making adjustments to explore COVID-19 and its impacts. We put together a great slate of social events including morning yoga and meditation classes, a cooking class with Cacciatore Mike and Luigi Dan, and District-sponsored happy hours.

An online Exhibitor Showcase is available to all attendees, ITE members, and other transportation professionals at no charge (individuals will still need to sign up to participate)
from August 4 to 20. You can take advantage of this opportunity to learn about the latest products and services, especially important now as organizations navigate the changes
brought out by COVID-19. We created full-, weekly-, and daily-registrations at a low price. All sessions recordings can be accessed through the end of October, providing the opportunity to earn up to 67 PDHs. Public agencies sending five or more staff receive special discounted pricing. To encourage broad participation in our Council and Committee meetings, we moved them to the third week in August. There are no registration requirements or fees for these meetings—see page 15 for more details on how to participate.

While it will not be the same as being together, we hope it is the next best thing. We are excited about the opportunity to reach members that could not come to New Orleans,
giving them a sense of what an ITE Annual Meeting and Exhibition is like. I want to recognize all of the hard work and creativity from the ITE staff. Pivoting from an in-person
to a virtual meeting while adjusting to working remotely was not an easy task. Also, a big thanks to the Southern District, our LAC Co-Chairs Diane Hammonds, P.E., PTOE (M)
and Alison Catarella-Michel, P.E., PTP, PTOE, RSP1 (F), and all of the LAC members for their support—we will see you in New Orleans in 2022! And a shout-out to our sponsors
and exhibitors—particularly our title sponsors—Econolite, Kimley-Horn, and Miovision— thanks to all of you who have stayed with us through the transition to an online meeting.
Your support is instrumental to ITE’s success. I encourage you all to check out what this year’s event has to offer, and hope to “see” many of you during the meeting. As always, you can reach me at jpaniati@ite.org or on Twitter, @JPaniatiITE.
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