Elevator U Conference 2012

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Last week I attended the 2012 Elevator U conference, an annual elevator show for university facility directors. Also in attendance – many other facility guys from various big-campus settings such as the Smithsonian and larger hospitals. This year, the conference was held at Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI (go spartans).

I like this conference for a few reasons… It’s laid back, the attendees are eager to hear about the elevator industry outside the campuses, and, lastly, the receptions are a lot more fun. Don’t get me wrong – I love a room full of elevator consultants and a chocolate fountain as much as the next guy. But having a mini beer-chugging contest at an open bar with a university elevator mechanic – now that’s fun stuff (I won, by the way).

You also learn a lot about vertical transportation in a school campus setting (which is fairly important since about a third of our consulting work comes from universities). Students trying to bypass door locks so they can have a drunken car top ride, kicking in hoistway doors while roughhousing, and third-party contractors jumping out door interlocks during modernizations were a few topics this year. We also talked light bulbs, maintenance control programs, incidents, electronic door restrictors, and suspension ropes (which was surprisingly more interesting than one would imagine). I got to speak on a panel (a first for me) during the maintenance control program talk and share my experiences as an inspector and software developer with the MCP and maintenance record data. More on that here.

My friend Doug Witham, VP of Sales and Marketing at G.A.L., was also at Elevator U this year. He reminded me I still had a little space on the internet – and it was in dire need of an update. He’s got his own blog rolling at dougatgal.wordpress.com. I suggest you check it out.

Fun fact: The Elevator U logo was created by one of my best friends, Cody (non-elevator industry muggle), after the organization name change from “The Vertical Transportation Conference for Colleges and Universities” (VTCCU) to Elevator U. I also admin the elevatoru.org domain name (although I forget I have it in my stack from time to time – thank God for autorenew).

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