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Thread: CGA Conference...

  1. #1
    Mke
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    Default CGA Conference...

    So, How many of you guys are going to this?

    I was trying to put a budget together to go to this and it amazes me on the price of the event. $825 for the conference (does not include the workshops). How does our industry have a conference and not make it a little bit more affordable for the average locator?

    You can pay $75 for the expo ticket, but you are not allowed to attend any conference sessions.


    It's great to see that most of the contract locating companies will be well represented at the event considering its at a 4 star hotel and there is a golf trip and a phoenix suns game involved.

    Other then a tan, do these representatives bring anything back from events like this or is it just a large back patting session?


    I have an Idea. Next year this conference should be on the East coast. Lets pool some money together and host one of the conference sessions. We will call it something genaric to get the attendence like.... "Contract locating and how it has improved the industry".

    Then for the next hour and a half we rail on the current policies that have hand cuffed not only the locator, but the industry and we can finish up by suggesting policy changes that will improve morale and production.


    I have noticed that the upitty ups of contract locating don't like people speaking ill of their company so they are bound to stay and defend their policies

    mke

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    Senior Member UULC's Avatar
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    Default Re: CGA Conference...

    It will be on the east coast. PM me and I will send you the CEO of the event info. I have always paid my own way but have been helped out by Infrastructure Resources. They are the fols that put out the Damage magazine I always post.

    I do like that Idea though and I am sure I could get it set up for 2015 if we could have a group of Damage Prevention Professionals to do Q & A.
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    Default Re: CGA Conference...

    Sign me up! :-)

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    Default Re: CGA Conference...

    There are resorts, nightspots, hotels, restaurants that cater to the upper class wealthy, celebrities. Part of their draw for the clientele they wish to attract is they charge high prices that keep riff raff like us out.

    If CGA used a less expensive venue and lowered prices they would attract more people. The greater volume of people would increase the profit margin to pay for the event. They could collect as much gross amount or more than before.

    Equally most locate companies have no interest in locators going there. How many offer days off for this that does not come from the locators own leave time? No paying for hotel room or travel expenses. They could offer staying on the clock, per diem, drive the company vehicle there or other travel expenses, but does anybody see this for locators? Sure for management but not locators.

    If locators were wanted at these events changes to make this possible would have happened a long time ago.

    I would like to go but it is a 35 hour drive, 2400 miles each way. which is two days of 16 hour driving and 240 gallons of fuel. Four days minimum just in travel time and 480 gallons of gas. . Unless I flew which would be a minimum of about $500.00 plus rental car unless I stayed at some hotel walking distance from the conference center at $215 plus taxes a night. . Add cab fare for at least from airport to hotel. So lets see, if fly and stay ate the hotels within the block: about $670 for hotel, $500 for airfare (not including parking personal vehicle in parking) $875 for conference for $2,045 plus I use up my personal leave time. Add to this the cost of work shops, maybe $75 for expo ticket, restaurant cost for breakfast, lunch and dinner, cab fare to and from airport and various miscellaneous costs.

    Going? Not on my salary.


    Quote Originally Posted by Mke View Post
    So, How many of you guys are going to this?

    I was trying to put a budget together to go to this and it amazes me on the price of the event. $825 for the conference (does not include the workshops). How does our industry have a conference and not make it a little bit more affordable for the average locator?

    You can pay $75 for the expo ticket, but you are not allowed to attend any conference sessions.


    It's great to see that most of the contract locating companies will be well represented at the event considering its at a 4 star hotel and there is a golf trip and a phoenix suns game involved.

    Other then a tan, do these representatives bring anything back from events like this or is it just a large back patting session?


    I have an Idea. Next year this conference should be on the East coast. Lets pool some money together and host one of the conference sessions. We will call it something genaric to get the attendence like.... "Contract locating and how it has improved the industry".

    Then for the next hour and a half we rail on the current policies that have hand cuffed not only the locator, but the industry and we can finish up by suggesting policy changes that will improve morale and production.


    I have noticed that the upitty ups of contract locating don't like people speaking ill of their company so they are bound to stay and defend their policies

    mke

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    Senior Member UULC's Avatar
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    Default Re: CGA Conference...

    I received this from Scott Landes CEO of Infrastructure Resources regarding some of the concerns some have about the Damage Prevention Convention.
    If you would like to write an article for the Damage Prevention Magazine you can email him @ Scott Landes slandes@RhinoMarkers.com




    Better late than never. Thanks for sending me this. Here are some answers and info related to the comments:

    I sure understand the frustration with feeling like the event is not designed with the locator in mind, and that the industry doesn’t care about them. Here is some perspective from our view:

    The primary purpose of the annual conference is to better educate management level people from all stakeholder groups. I believe that the changes that impact the locator on the street need to start at the top level of management. They need to understand how vital a role the locator plays in this process and that getting a “cheap” locate may actually cost them tons of money in damages and get someone hurt. Management people are inundated with conferences they can go to, and the harsh reality is that more will choose our conference if it is in a nice location. We could cut costs and hold it in Des Moines, but my guess is attendance would drop by 50% and then we would not educate as many people.

    Change happens slowly, but between the Damage Prevention Professional magazine and the conference we are making progress. Last year the conference attendee survey results said…

    98.1% of surveyed attendees said they will be able to implement change based on what they learned at the conference.

    Everywhere we hold the conference the host hotels are selected because attendees tell us every year that proximity to the meetings is critical, not because they are fancy. In each city there are plenty of lower priced hotels available to attendees, but these days no hotels are cheap.

    The cost to put on conference is very expensive and some of the costs are virtually impossible to cut. As an example breakfast normally cost between $40-$50 a person with all the mandatory taxes and gratuity. You have no choice because every major facility that can hold our event has catering services that you must use. You can see how they get expensive fast.

    We do address many locator issues, in fact it is the number one topic. We would always welcome ideas and sessions with locators presenting. We would also be happy to host a roundtable discussion or forum as is described.

    In an effort to get locators and field technicians educated we do offer free admission to the expo and sessions put on by the local One Call Center on Thursday. We do this for the exact reasons he describes.

    From my view I see many people in the industry trying hard to do what is being asked. One way they do this is with all the Regional CGA shows that are popping up all over the country. Also, many One Call Centers hold meetings and events all around their states to try and reach out to all stakeholders.

    We would also welcome articles by locators who want to bring up issues for discussion.


    Scott Landes
    Last edited by UULC; March 3rd, 2014 at 11:41 AM.

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    Senior Member yahoo's Avatar
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    Default Re: CGA Conference...

    not me !
    wise men talk because they have something to say and fools because they have to say something....plato

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    Mke
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    Default Re: CGA Conference...

    So let me get this right.... Its expensive because it has to be. And these conferences are tuned to management who (as surveyed) will be able to bring back and implement changes based on what they seen at the conference...

    I think this is a cookie cutter reply. No offense to Scott. I understand he has a job to do with this conference and has to react accordingly. It's nice that we are allowed free access to the expo on one of the three days its there. You still can't attend any of the Conference specific meetings or any of the workshops. But you get to come in and look at all the equipment and get flyers.

    I will give him this much... It is very expensive to get a crap load of people and vendors under one roof. Management can afford the costs for themselves, they however can't afford it for the locators. I think they should have a discounted rate for the ground troops. Your painted boots will be your coupon. they will take an extra 5% off of admission if you come in with your tattered vest.

    mke

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    Default Re: CGA Conference...

    MKE in my opinion we would just be looked down on as the unwashed bastard stepchild.
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    Mke
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    Default Re: CGA Conference...

    Thats my point. I'm kind of tired of being an integral part of on industry, but at the same time being the most disposable part of the industry. Management seems to be able to keep flowing as management, but when crap hits the fan, we are the ones that take the hit.

    I would like to see an honest strive from the coordinators of this event to involve locators and actually attempt to better the industry. More then "how to's" on damage investigation.

    I would like to see locators who are trusted to open enclosures to verify conduits or god forbid ring clamp a primary.

    Just saying.

    mke

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    Default Re: CGA Conference...

    I attended the event a few years ago in Florida. I was able to get my Company to cover some of the costs associated with the show but since I wanted to go I took care of the majority of the costs. I used some vacation time that I had. All in all the Conf was a good event but I understand what Scott is saying. this show did not have hotels at the convention hall which meant rental car or cabs to and from. Having the Rooms at the same place as the Convention is obviously easy for all.
    The exhibit hall was cool but the vendors were geared to selling devices or supplies to our bosses.....obviously. The Conference itself had classes that i attended and they had good information to provide to all (Exec, Utility, One Call & Technician) . I can say that I have seen how Scott would be correct in saying that Execs attend and come back with info that they believe can help improve process and efficiency. Let's be honest...any business that we would own we would attempt to do the same, learn from our partners in the process and try and improve our business, some moves made are right and some are wrong. We may not like all the moves but at the end of the day it is not our business. Yes, we help build the business by doing quality work but at the end of the day we do not own the company.

    An additional problem that i see is when utilities see the changes happening to the Industry at these shows and still steer toward lowest price when bids are submitted. With all the info that is provided at shows like the CGA you would hope the group that needs us the most (Utility) would recognize how important our role is in the Grand Scheme of things.

    As Technicians, we need to attend shows like this and work with our Execs as well as utility partners. After i attended that show I saw that my opinion was asked from my boss a few times relating to what was said at the conference and how I interpreted something. If we want to be recognized as an important part of the process (which we all are) then we need to be involved no matter what the cost of the show and handle ourselves with class when doing attending. I want my Bosses to recognize that I am important part of the process.

    I do see how it can be perceived that the conf are for entertainment value only but I did see people from my company and other companies talking to potential customers at the show. I can see they were trying to get work and at the end of the day that should be all we care about, no matter what company we work for. the more contracts that Locate Companies get the more opportunities for us as Technicians or a chance to move up the ladder or put extra money in our checks.

    I have thought about this for a few years....Why not have a Presentation put together by Technicians and see how that is perceived....Maybe Mr. Landes can help us put something together for next years CGA.
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    Default Re: CGA Conference...

    Hey NY some good thoughts and a little different perspective. I think the Locate Rodeo would be a great place to get techs together but they choose to run it right in the middle of dig season. There is no way my boss is letting me go anywhere in the busy season. I would love to go to a rodeo, even pay my own way. We could roll some conference time in with it.

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    Senior Member UULC's Avatar
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    Default Re: CGA Conference...

    I have provided Mr. Landes with your concern. I am hoping someone who has Great Professional writing skills and we as a forum could come up with "Our View" article in the Damage Prevention Magazine. We could come out with an article each 1/4. This should come from anyone who want to provide from looking from our eyes out to the world.
    Locator in NY and yahoo like this.

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    Mke
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    Default Re: CGA Conference...

    Quote Originally Posted by UULC View Post
    I have provided Mr. Landes with your concern. I am hoping someone who has Great Professional writing skills and we as a forum could come up with "Our View" article in the Damage Prevention Magazine. We could come out with an article each 1/4. This should come from anyone who want to provide from looking from our eyes out to the world.
    All right UULC... Time to start a sticky thread titled "Our View" and see what ideas the board has. Hopefully it doesn't result in a company bashing thread.

    mke

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    Senior Member UULC's Avatar
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    Default Re: CGA Conference...

    How do I start one?

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    Mke
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    Default Re: CGA Conference...

    You can Clarify with the Steve or one of the other mods. But you just start a thread normally. I'm not sure if the sticky option is there or you have to get one of the moderators to lable it sticky.

    This just keeps the topic at the top of the particular forum you post it in so everyone can see it when they go to that board.

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