Why San Diego?
By Andy Berg, Executive Manager, San Diego County Chapter, NECA
Every year at the Association Executives’ Institute, the chapter manager for the NECA Convention host city – AEI is always held in the same city, usually six months prior to the convention – is asked to give a brief introduction to the area.
Most of us have learned to include the phrase, “No, I cannot help you get baseball playoff tickets.” Of course, this year I didn’t even have to worry about that.
Since you won’t be heading over to PetCo Park to watch a World Series game, you can spend some of your time in San Diego thinking about what you want your company’s future to look like. Chances are, it’s going to look a lot different than its past.
San Diego and the state of California have been on the leading edge of the green energy revolution which makes it entirely appropriate that NECA’s first-ever Energy Forum will be held in our fine city. That’s where I will be on Saturday, Oct. 22, and you should be there as well to learn about everything from Utility Grade Wind Power to Electric Vehicle Charging Stations, and even financing options for your customers that want to “go green.” Starting Sunday morning, Oct. 23, please make sure to spend time at the NECA Show where almost 300 exhibitors will be on hand to show the latest and greatest tools and technological advancements to help make your business more successful.
Don’t worry; you will have plenty of time to explore America’s Finest City and some of its world-famous attractions such as the San Diego Zoo, Sea World and my favorite, the Wild Animal Park. If you are looking for a great restaurant, San Diego has hundreds of them. Perhaps the easiest way to find one is just to walk up 5th Avenue into the Gaslamp District and read the menus posted in front. You cannot go wrong eating at any restaurant on 5th Avenue. For you golfers out there, no trip to San Diego would be complete without playing a round at Torrey Pines. But if you don’t want to challenge the course the pros play on, there are many other alternatives less than 30 minutes from your hotel.
One other thought on how to spend your free time: Since the Opening Reception aboard the USS Midway is going to give convention-goers a behind-the-scenes look at the ship you wouldn’t ordinarily get on a standard tour, consider using free time you may have to take the water taxi to visit sites across the San Diego Bay, like the Hotel Del Coronado. You can pick up the water taxi from the terminal right behind the Convention Center or just stroll along the Bay’s pathways and bridges for a breath of fresh air.
Actually, NECA 2011 San Diego promises to be big breath of fresh air for everyone. Our industry has gone through a lot in past few years, and I always appreciate spending time with my colleagues from across the country who can give me a different perspective and some new ways of thinking about our work. And although the nearest baseball playoff game will be in neighboring Arizona, I am sure that you will still enjoy the Convention and your stay in San Diego. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help make that so.