I cannot believe October is already here. This past year went by very quickly despite being stuck at home week after week. We got out and enjoyed some of the great outdoors in this beautiful Great Lakes State, but I’m used to being on the go. It was actually kind of nice to take a break from travel, but now I’m ready to get back at it again. That seems to be the overwhelming response from the engineering community as well.

Based on results from an online poll at pmengineer.com, 99% of respondents plan to attend an in-person event in 2021. Only 1% said they don’t plan to attend any in-person events this year. The results were conducted during the month of September with 421 votes as of Sept. 27. Be sure to check back each month for a new poll topic to vote on. You can find our online polls at www.pmmengineer.com/polls.

ASPE just concluded its 2021 Technical Symposium a few weeks ago. The event was sold out, which tells us just how ready everybody was to get back to in-person learning and networking. The beautiful location in San Diego, California, may or may not have had something to do with that.

Later this month, I will be jetting off to Kansas City, Missouri for PHCC’s annual conference and trade show. Then, the following week, I will be traveling internationally. Just a friendly PSA — whether you’re for the vaccine or not, many countries are requiring proof of vaccination and/or a negative COVID-19 test result to clear customs. I don’t see this going away anytime soon.

I cannot wait to see all the friendly faces in person! Zoom is great on occasion, but being forced to limit interaction to video calls for the last year in a half has been rough. Zoom fatigue is real. In addition to all the networking opportunities these events will provide, I’m really looking forward to seeing the latest and greatest innovations, product demos and hands-on experiences!

For engineers, being involved in industry associations, attending local chapter meetings as well as national association events are fundamental. Let’s face it, who outside this industry is going to want to talk backflow prevention? I know my husband just nods and smiles when I discuss work-related topics. I’m sure he’s not the only one. Networking is a great way to exchange ideas and learn new ways of doing things from like-minded peers.

So pack your immunization card (or negative COVID-19 test result), face mask and hand sanitizer, and let’s get back in the saddle.