Day one of Automation Fair 2013 was full of impromptu meetings with old acquaintances, and learning details of new and soon to be released automation products.
NOTE: Information about the 1769-AENTR has been moved to this post here.
Day One begins:
As we walked into the convention center we encountered a huge line of show attendee's waiting to pick up their Automation Fair show badges. However, our “Horizon Solutions” group of 140 attendees had all received our badges the night before due to the expertise of Horizon's marketing department. So thankfully we were able bypass the long registration and badge pickup line and proceed directly to the show floor (thanks Chuck and Emily!)
Note: In the picture on the right you can see the registration and badge pick-up area later in the day after the initial opening crowd had passed through.
Hands-on Lab Registration:
An improvement over years past, modern Automation Fair lab registration can be done online prior to the actual event. To do so is a three step process of registering for the show, choosing hands-on labs, and later confirming your choices.
But for those who miss the early bird sign-ups prior to Automation Fair, onsite registration is also available. When the show doors open between 6:30 and 7am, computer kiosks are made available for attendees to register for any openings in the hands-on sessions. Seats in these sessions are first come first serve, so the earlier you arrive the more likely you'll get an open spot.
Below you can see my snapshots of this years Hands-on Registration area. From left to right: Registration instructions, large display showing current class availability, and registration kiosk / laptop:
Lunch at Automation Fair always amazes me. This year I watched for nearly an hour as hundreds of people poured into the gigantic lunch area to eat. The efficiency of the whole operation is really quite good, as is the food served.
Below you can see a panoramic of the lunch room I took well after the lunch crowd had dissipated:
This years show floor seemed larger than last year. Not everyone thought so, but I wasn't alone in this observation. All the major vendors were present, along with dozens of minor ones.
Below is a panoramic I took on the floor during the after lunch slowdown as many where attending the afternoon hands-on labs and technical sessions: