Attendees Discover Challenges,
Opportunities at AIHce 2009
BY MELISSA HURLEY ALVES, BROOKE MORRIS, AND ED RUTKOWSKI
Nearly 4,800 attendees from around the world converged on Toronto, Ontario, May 30 through June 4, for the 70th annual American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition (AIHce). Cosponsored by AIHA and ACGIH®, AIHce 2009 was held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and surrounding hotels. AIHce 2009 featured the largest technical program and most diverse
array of educational choices in the event's history.
Attendees were able to find each other quickly in the compact
layout of the Convention Centre. Hallways brimmed with attendees
clustering in conversations and networking.
Robust social networking opportunities allowed attendees to
continue dialogue on Facebook and Twitter even after the conference ended. And for the first time ever, select PDCs have post-AIHce blogs.
Receptions were filled with attendees enjoying one another's
company. A particularly enthusiastic crowd was present at the
Student and Early Career Professionals event, and a larger than
usual crowd attended the International Reception.
Visits to exhibitors from the AIHA Board of Directors generated
an enthusiastic response from companies who, while noting that
attendance was somewhat lower than recent conferences, found
that the presence of qualified buyers more than made their presence worthwhile.
“There is no doubt AIHce 2009 was impacted by the economy,
as most shows are right now,” said then AIHA President Lindsay
E. Booher, CIH, CSP. “However, the feedback that we have already
received from our attendees and exhibitors at this year’s AIHce
indicates that it was a grand slam for the profession.”
In addition to the professional development courses held over
the weekend, the conference featured technical sessions on a va-
riety of issues of interest to OEHS professionals, an exposition of
the latest OEHS products and services, special sessions on emerg-
ing topics, and career and employment services.
The conference program kicked off on Monday, June 1, with an
opening address by Peter H. Diamandis, MD. Diamandis is the
chairman and CEO of the X PRIZE Foundation, an organization
that promotes competition as a way to solve technological chal-