November was a month away from home at conferences near and far. While still reeling from Superstorm Sandy, my wife and I headed off to New Orleans for yet more preparations for your Construction CPM Conference and to attend the DBIA (Design Build Institute of America) Annual Conference

DBIA has grown dramatically in the past few years, along with the growth of the use of design-build project delivery. The conference provided a venue for owners and practitioners to separately and jointly discuss practical issues with this alternate method of contracting. Highlights of the sessions I attended included suggested contracting language and some legal cases which pointed out potential stumbling blocks in matching the actual to the perceived risks involved. 
As noted by the speakers, some of the more troubling court decisions are under appeal and the final outcome will provide better instruction for owners, contractors and A-E’s engaging in this form of project delivery.


And then off to Dubai for the first foray beyond North America for the AACEi (Association for Advancement of Cost Engineering International).
This first was a true success, with 155 attendees (to be compared with your Construction CPM Conference first year of 184) and thus I project to quickly grow to 300 or more (as with our conference). 
Attendees (and possibly other members) are now voting upon a short list for next year – I am voting for Rome. The keynote speech was presented by Dick Faris of Oracle / Primavera, who provided news of Oracle’s evolving roadmap not only for scheduling but also for risk, cost and document control. Opening Remarks by Eng. Essa Al Maidoor, Deputy Director General of Dubai Municipality and President of UAE Society of Engineers, provided a glimpse into the vibrant construction economy of the region. 
Having reserved sufficient time for some touring, I was also able to fulfill my daughter’s request that I “do buy” something for her. 


The next price bump for your Construction CPM Conference will be 16DEC12, so now is the time to get in your registration for our January 27-30 event, reservation for our Sheraton New Orleans hotel, and airfare or other travel plans. Many are planning to come early for this Mardi Gras weekend, and for our hosted events for the 3rd Annual PMA Netpoint User Conference, 2nd Annual Synchro User Conference, Acumen User Forum and Free Training, Asta Powerpoint Free Training, Catalyst Oracle University Training and other events. Some are planning to stay late for activities planned by the New Orleans NFL Super Bowl Committee.



As part of our November trip to New Orleans, we modified our contract and increased our room block to accommodate all the attendees arriving early during this busy Mardi Gras weekend (and increasing my personal guarantee of take-up by an additional $66,000). The running of a conference is akin to any of our other projects – meticulous planning, constant monitoring, and rapid adaptation to unexpected changes.


And now back to providing service and guidance to our other clients – and wishing a happy holiday season – and a happy healthy and prosperous new year to all.