|ESA's Chris Stelzig meeting with attendees at |
PestWorld East on August 29 in Panjim, Goa, India
To say that I was impressed is an understatement.
From the impressive array of speakers, cultural programming, delicious food, interesting tour opportunities, and the high level of the attendees at the conference, this trip was a win by any standards.
The IPCA had an incredible attendance of about 525 (last count I heard) interested, attentive, professional, and dedicated PMPs. I honestly don't think I've ever attended a pest management conference where the audience in the training sessions paid attention like this group did. The speakers included (too many to list them all) included many ESA members, such as Chow-Yang Lee (BCE), Jim Fredericks (BCE), Su Yee Lim (BCE), Faith Oi, and Dini Miller. Jim and I contributed to a session on professionalism in pest management and credentialing possibilities that exist -- including ACE, ACE-I, and BCE. There are currently no ACEs in India, but that won't last for long. Especially with talented and dedicated BCEs like Jayant Dandawate and Ruparao T. Gahukar to serve as proctors.
I had the privilege to spend some time with Anil Rao, owner of PCI and some members of his professional team and family. PCI is the largest pest management firm in the nation and it shows in the quality that they bring to their work. They take a science-based approach to pest management, even operating a laboratory in-house for product research and development.
ESA ran an exhibit booth that frequently had attendees lined up to visit. I quickly ran out of business cards and made nearly five times as many contacts as I would normally make at a professional conference like this. Next time I'll pack more cards!
The takeaway for me is this -- India is a country where the pest management industry is in great shape and is growing rapidly in professionalism. I look forward to having an opportunity to return.