On behalf of the 2015 Emerson Exchange Board of Directors, allow me to welcome you to the Mile High City, where we've come this year to "Elevate Your Expertise." Since last year's conference in Orlando, your Board has been hard at work to ensure that we continue to elevate the Exchange experience, too—advancing a "for users by users" agenda that fosters optimal learning and sharing among this community of industry leaders.
We received a record number of nearly 1,300 responses to last year's feedback survey, and appreciate your taking time to tell us how we can make the conference better for everyone. We distilled the 116 pages of raw data into five strategic focus areas of improvement.
First, we're striving to better align room assignments and session schedules with interest levels so that we can ensure seating for all, as well as minimize direct conflict among presentations of broadest interest to the community. While we've attempted to anticipate interest levels in advance where possible, we'll also be monitoring the personalized agendas you create online and in the Exchange app to head off potential overloads and dynamically reassign rooms to address overcapacity issues.
Second, you told us through your feedback that you wanted more networking and collaboration opportunities throughout the week, and we've addressed this request in several ways. More extensive networking lounge areas have been added to common areas to facilitate extemporaneous one-on-one and group discussions. Our new mobile app allows attendees to identify and message other attendees in order to enhance information exchange and facilitate face-to-face conversations. Thursday evening's "Taste of Colorado" event eliminates the need for bus transportation and provides a networking-friendly environment.
Third, an improved event app was high on your priority list, so we evaluated the market leaders and chose a new platform provider that is both more intuitive and brings new features and functionality to bear. It synchs with the MyExchange web-based conference session scheduler; attendees can use both tools to plan and dynamically manage their Exchange experience throughout the week. Attendees can message one another from within the app, further enhancing networking and collaboration. Plus, "real-time" session surveys and instant feedback are now available.
Friday's "Meet the Experts" sessions are consistently rated those of highest value to attendees, and our fourth strategic priority was to further develop and refine the content and focus of these popular sessions. In response to our request, Emerson recruited a range of subject matter experts (SMEs) to lead the content development effort for these sessions. We adjusted the Meet the Experts session schedule so that attendees could easily access at least two of these sessions.
Our final strategic priority was to make it easier to identify Emerson SMEs and their areas of expertise. As a result, you'll notice many Emerson personnel this week are wearing stickers that indicate their ability to answer technical questions in the Emerson umbrella technology categories of Solve & Support, Measure & Analyze, Operate & Manage, and Final Control & Regulate.
Thank you all for your feedback, and we hope you'll notice the improvements we've implemented.
The presentations committee reviewed hundreds of abstract submissions and painstakingly selected some 315 workshop sessions that represent the full breadth and depth of the Emerson Process Management user experience. On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank all of you who submitted abstracts for this year's Exchange; we regret we were unable to include more of them in the conference. Even if your abstract was not selected this year, please remember that your contributions are the very essence of the Emerson Exchange experience and we encourage you to submit again for a future conference.
Session schedules have been arranged to afford the maximum number of opportunities to learn and share. We have something for everyone—from plant and operations managers to instrument and maintenance technicians to process and controls engineers. In addition to the 315 workshop sessions, there are a record 20 complementary educational services courses (complete with CEU credits), an expanded line-up of eight Industry Forums, 13 Product Roadmap sessions, 11 short courses, six Technology Roundtables, and 12 Meet the Experts sessions. Not to mention a football field of Technology Exhibits, Thursday night's "Taste of Colorado" networking event, and Tuesday night's Music Jam at the Hard Rock Cafe.
The Emerson Global Users Exchange is intended to provide a full week of ready access to all the process improvement and optimization information you could hope for—all in one place, all at one time. We hope you take advantage of all that Exchange has to offer.
A more detailed overview of all there is to experience follows.
Conference Workshops & Short Courses
326 workshops and short courses are scheduled throughout the week on a wide range of engaging subjects. These are an excellent opportunity to learn best practices, see what your colleagues and peers are achieving with automation, and generate new ideas for use on your job at your facility.
Monday's Industry Forums will provide insight into what your peers, other suppliers, and customers are doing to navigate through and compete in uncertain economic times.
Product & Service Roadmaps
Product Roadmap sessions, running Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, provide detailed information on products, services, and enhancements that Emerson will release in the coming months, along with insights into the strategy and technology guiding future solutions.
Technology Roundtables presented on Tuesday and Wednesday provide the opportunity to keep up with the latest advancements in automation technology. Learn how industry leaders are applying the latest technologies for bottom-line results.
Courses presented by Emerson's Educational Services staff on Wednesday and Thursday focus on many of the most prevalent industry technologies and products. Continuing Education Units will be awarded to course attendees.
Meet the Experts
Round out your conference on Friday morning with practical working sessions focused on prevalent issues your operations face and the solutions you can apply. Meet, learn from, and consult with the experts behind the technology in one of several sessions.
This year's Exhibit Hall will encompass more than a football-field-sized area. Visit with subject matter experts and experience live, hands-on demonstrations of Emerson's PlantWeb architecture, as well as the full range of Emerson Process Management technologies and complementary vendor solutions.