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Conference & Stage Expo
For the Record

USITT Vice President Joe Aldridge, right, cuts the official USITT gaff tape to let the assembled multitude go down the escalator and into the 2008 Stage Expo. The 9:30 a.m. opening drew quite a crowd to the record-breaking Stage Expo.

Photo/Tom Thatcher.


USITT's 2008 Conference a
Texas-Size Success

Barbara E.R. Lucas
Sightlines Editor

With higher paid attendance than ever before, USITT's 2008 Annual Conference & Stage Expo was a record-setting and innovative event which drew thousands to the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas.

In looking back at a week filled with Professional Development Workshops, special regional events, and a galaxy of industry stars, Joe Aldridge, Vice-President for Conferences said "each year we attempt to present sessions for the whole range of people who are our audience. Feedback from our Houston efforts has been extremely positive."

The Houston event was also a sold-out success -- and USITT had to turn away companies who wished to be part of Stage Expo, the largest in the 48 year history of the organization.

"We obviously were providing the atmosphere and the audience our commercial and educational members wanted to see," Mr. Aldridge commented. "We already have 100 exhibitors who are signed up and ready to be with us for Stage Expo 2009 in Cincinnati, Ohio."

With such a variety of programming available, geared from entry-level to expert participants, choosing Conference highlights often depends on personal preference. Each of USITT's Commissions had outstanding sessions on many different topics, some for technicians, others aimed at designers, managers, or students.

USITT is already incorporating comments from attendees about their favorite parts of the Houston event in building the programming for Cincinnati. "We are always interested in providing our professional members with the inspiration they need to succeed," Mr. Aldridge said. "Our outstanding event in 2008 provides us with a springboard for the upcoming Cincinnati Conference and our 50 th anniversary celebration in Kansas City in 2010."

Information about the 2009 Annual Conference & Stage Expo, to be held March 18 to 21, will be available in late summer at

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