Ergonomics experts and practitioners came together in New York City last week to share ideas, successes, failures and innovations at the 2nd Annual Eastern Ergonomics Conference and Exposition.
Dynamic keynote speaker Alan Hedge from Cornell University got the crowd going Wednesday morning with his timeline look at ergonomics. Attendees laughed heartily at his interpretation of 18th century text that notes prolonged static postures can ‘pain the loins’ and ‘scratching’ is a suitable form of both movement and microbreaks.
After the keynote address, the exhibit hall opened with more than twice the number of exhibitors showcasing their products or services compared to last year. Exhibitors were pleased with the turnout. “At the end of business Thursday, nearly every exhibitor had already renewed space for next year,” said Walter Charnizon, President of Continental Exhibitions, Inc., producer of the show.
In addition to increasing exhibitors, attendance increased 74% over last year. “This growth,” says Charnizon, “is a reflection of both the growing acceptance and recognition that ergonomics provides opportunities for businesses of all kinds. In this economy every untapped resource is critical”.
When asked about the location, Charnizon replied, “One thing we’ve learned at this show is that New York City presents access to a marketplace that the ergonomics industry is happy to meet. As always, the show strives to bring extraordinary networking opportunities, and planned time for people to interact, put names to faces, swap [business] cards and swap stories. We want attendees to come to this show and build the kind of relationships that are critical for their professional development and their company’s ergonomic progress.”
For the upcoming years, the show wants to expand sessions and exhibitors to include more industrial applications, expanded office products, a laboratory track and more advanced programs and workshops.
“We have spent a lot of time building the case for ergonomics: that injuries cost money, that productivity can be improved. Management already knows this. We want to offer more solutions. We hope that this grows to become a focal point for the industry,” says Charnizon.
The National Ergonomics Conference and Exposition, also produced by Continental Exhibitions, will take place December 8-11, 2003 in Las Vegas, Nevada.