• President's Corner

    September 1, 2016

  • When is the last time you attended the Virginia Engineers Conference (VEC)?  You may remember from a previous edition of the President’s Corner that my first opportunity with ACEC was on the Virginia Engineers Conference planning committee.  After each conference, I came away with the sense that the return on that investment was extraordinary.  

    Over the past few years I have not been as active on that committee and I have missed two of the last three conferences. I made the same excuse many of you have made. “I really can’t afford two days out of the office. Plus we are getting our pdh's via webinars and in-house presentations that are far more cost effective.”

    The other day, I sat through a 90 minute webinar listening to a faceless voice walk me through 90 minutes of bulleted slides. The webinar cost $199, we had eight people attend and at the end, I left wondering if each person got $25 worth of learning value? What was Schnabel's return on investment? 

    At the VEC the presentations are live; you can interact with others and ask the presenter questions. The learning experience is far more productive, and you sit in a room with other people that you don’t go to work with every day. While the cost per pdh may be slightly higher ($41/pdh if you consider the $500 registration fee) than the webinar example I gave above, the value one gets from face to face training and interaction with your engineering peers, far exceeds the costs associated with attending the VEC.

    This year’s VEC is at a new venue in downtown Portsmouth. Portsmouth is a neat little city with several quaint eateries within walking distance of the hotel/conference center.  You can take advantage of the dinner cruise aboard the Spirit of Norfolk and tour one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World, the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel.  I will be there this year and Schnabel will be a sponsor, as we have for the past several years.  I look forward to seeing you there, and seeing your firm’s name associated with such a valuable event.



  • Written By:

    Paul E. Diggs
    ACEC/VA President

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