Welcoming us to the 10th Annual Emerson Exchange was Greg Stephens, chairman of the Emerson Global Users Exchange, to give it its whole and rightful title. Stephens said that attendance would run over 2579 (might get as high as 2700) which is ten times the attendance (250) at the first Emerson Exchange in 1998.
He talked about this third year of the PlantWeb Feedback tool, and asked for more feedback, and he annouced that there would be a PlantWeb Excellence Award for the person "who squeezed the orange and got every drop out of it."
He also talked about the motto of this year's exchange, "Where Ideas Become Solutions."
"Not every idea becomes a solution," he noted, showing a picture of burlap boxer shorts. "Burlap boxer shorts never really caught on."
He suggested some ways to quantify the value of the Exchange experience for those who need to show their management what the value of a week's attendance here could be:
Speaker quotes: $50 -$100 each
Contacts: $100-500 each
Actions: $50 - $300 each
Answers: $100 - $500 each
Ideas: $100 - $1000 each
Solutions: $500+ each
Add them all up, he said, and you will get more than your money's worth for the price of admission.
Stephens did the obligatory safety and logistics talk and then turned the meeting over to John Berra.