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General Tips 

Many travel and training budgets have been slashed and some jurisdictions are experiencing severe financial problems and layoffs, which means that regardless of the merits of a conference, you’ll probably need to justify the expense. So, here are some things you might want to consider:

• The Association Technical Convention is your final opportunity to vote your position on a particular proposed code change. Every member in the assembly will have the ability to vote on the committee actions published in the Report on Comments (ROC).

• One of the many benefits of the IAPMO American National Standard compliant consensus code development process is the ability for anyone and everyone to have a voice. The Plumbing and Mechanical Technical Committees experienced the vastness of the industry’s voice when, collectively, they reviewed more than 800 proposed changes to the 2012 editions of the Uniform Plumbing Code and Uniform Mechanical Code.

• Identify specific code change proposals that may impact your jurisdiction, either positively or negatively, and discuss ways your jurisdiction can vote either to support or oppose the adoption of the proposal into the code.

• Focus on what you will specifically bring back to the organization in terms of education as return for the investment. Below is a sample list of seminars that are offered during the Education and Business Conference:
   • 2012 UMC/UPC Workshop
   • 2012 GPMCS Water Heating Systems, Design and Installation
   • The Proper Selection of Isolation and Containment Cross-Connection Control
   • 2012 UMC Smoke, Fire and Ceiling Dampers
   • 2012 UPC Appendix C: Alternative Waste and Vent Systems
   • Net-Zero Water Use: Implications for Design, Use and Installation
   • Gas Piping Systems: Preventing Disaster
   • Introduction to Radiant Systems

• Increase understanding of the Green Plumbing and Mechanical Code Supplement and how it benefits your jurisdiction’s sustainable construction programs.

• Offer to prepare and deliver a short presentation and Q&A to your colleagues to share what you learned. That way others in your unit will get the benefits of your attendance, too.

• Share the syllabus and speaker handouts with your colleagues. As an attendee, you have unlimited access to materials posted by speakers.

• If you are working to obtain or maintain your professional certifications, remind your supervisor that this is a great way to earn up to 12.5 hours of continuing education and is less expensive than registering for separate seminars. It also requires less time away from the office.

• Be ready with a plan that shows who will cover for you while you are attending the conference.

• Offer to share a room with one of your coworkers to reduce hotel expenses.