Pre Con

Water Environment Federation Annual Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC) 2015

In September, WEF — whose members work in water-processing technology and safety — will bring nearly 25,000 attendees to the Windy City — where WEFTEC is held every other year.


Sept. 26–30, 2015
McCormick Place


“This is our 88th show, and the exhibit floor has grown quite a bit in the last 10 years or so,” said Sacha Carey, WEF’s director of exhibition sales and operations. “We’re in a growth industry, and that’s definitely reflected in our event.”


Swelling attendance at the last few annual meetings means space is at a premium for WEFTEC 2015. “We’ve already moved everything that we could out of the exhibit hall and into other areas to have more salable booth space,” Carey said, “but we’re crunched on meeting rooms, too, because we use so many rooms for our technical sessions and committee meetings. It’s a good problem to have.” WEF is currently considering taking over another exhibit hall at McCormick Place for WEFTEC 2017.


Not only will WEFTEC offer free Wi-Fi this year, the meeting’s organizers managed to secure a sponsor to cover about 90 percent of the cost. They’re also stepping up their session-tracking technology. “This will be the first year we’re instituting RFID on the show floor,” said Stephanie D. Jones, CMP, WEF’s director of conference operations.

“We’ve had people scan badges on the way in, but we’ve never scanned on the way out. We’ll be able to get an accurate picture of how long attendees are staying on the floor.”

Attendees will also have more opportunities to network: For the first time ever, WEFTEC will feature a member reception and a “huddle room” that can be reserved for private meetings.

Convene’s Pre-Con/Post-Con series asks meeting planners about their challenges and how they intend to address them (Pre-Con), and then circles back around after the meeting has occurred (Post-Con) to see how well they worked out.

Kate Mulcrone

Kate Mulcrone is digital editor of Convene.