Well, in more ways than one, this is a first. You may have noticed that in last month’s calendar (right), we had just decided on dates and location for our Fall 2007 Building Automation Conference. However, immediately after we went to press, we received an opportunity to take a great step forward with this conference: we could co-locate our event with the BACnet Conference & Expo. So we did, and now we’re set for the same week - September 25-27 - except that we’ll be sharing ideas and experiences at the Wyndham Phoenix Hotel in downtown Phoenix.

What does this mean? It means the events will run one after another, BACnet Conference & Expo followed by our Building Automation Conference (sponsored by ES and our fellow publication,Energy & Power Management). In terms of content, both events will still do their own things, with an obvious but complementary difference in focus. The BACnet gathering will address items like what makes a good specification, the current state of BACnet and future developments, case studies, and other content aimed at both more fundamental and more advanced concerns.

We, of course, will be updating our industry-wide focus on the latest and most relevant building automation topics. Subjects will range from the currently pervasive sustainability conversation to other hot topics like wireless, GridWise, and more. With an expert array of speakers and the flexibility of multiple tracks, we’ll continue to pair professional insights with the chance for real dialogue with panelists and other attendees. For people who would’ve attended both events separately, the travel budget just caught a break. For people who would’ve attended just one event, it’s now economical to get a lot more for your trouble and time.

And for people who couldn’t quite justify making the trip to either event before, we’ve created an atmosphere - and regarding networking and conversation, dare I use a word I usually loathe, asynergy- that you can’t find anywhere else. We are excited to share such a combination of convenience and up-to-the-minute knowledge with you. This double feature will not be an every-conference happening, if it is even every year, socarpethediemby coming to Arizona to better control your own controls future.

Speaking of Up-to-the-Minute

Our website is reorganized and revved up! Current news stories culled from hundreds of publications and tailored for your interests … an easier-to-use menu … a product of the month … exclusive online content  … these are a few of the improvements, along with stalwarts like our own industry news and archives.

One of my favorite new features on the homepage is the mystery pullquotes, which you’ll see in a shaded box with a question mark. These are picked from our most compelling passages from the current issue, but with no attribution. See what catches your attention, and then click through to get the story and context behind the quote.

Harboring Excitement

Baltimore – it’s not just the name of a Randy Newman song and the crabcake capital of the world. If you’ve ever wondered if you’re getting the most from your commissioning and TAB service - or perhaps if youknowyou haven’t been – then Baltimore is also the place to be July 18, when Howard McKew and his colleagues present our “Need To Know: Owners & Commissioning TAB Seminar” at the Baltimore Hyatt Regency.

Similar to the efficiencies we’re enjoying with BACnet in Phoenix, this summer’s seminar in Baltimore comes right on the heels of the annual gathering of APPA, who also is an endorser of our event. It’s a must for anyone who wants to get a better grip on this process, your investment in it, and your expectations of it. At one day, it’s a worthwhile getaway. Hope to see you there, and attendees will take home their own custom RFP’s that can be valuable in soliciting commissioning and balancing help for future projects. After all, we’re nothing if not practical.ES