PITTSBURGH—For an industry like the rubber industry, being together matters.
So when the Rubber Division decided that its 2021 International Elastomer Conference would be an in-person event, it made a commitment to the professionals who call this industry home.
"A lot of organizations have decided not to do anything because (of) the Delta variant, but this organization made the commitment to pull the industry together," Kim Dempsey-Miller, chair of the Rubber Division, told Rubber News. "And, you know, we were a little light (on attendance) today, but this is the start.
"Welcome to the 2021 IEC."
The conference kicked off Oct. 5 with a keynote presentation from Duane Dunston, a professor of cybersecurity at Champlain College. In it, he focused on how augmented and virtual reality can broaden the appeal of the rubber industry and help overcome the work force challenges it currently faces.
Immediately after the conclusion of the keynote, the Rubber Division welcomed attendees to the Expo Floor, where professionals could network, learn and build stronger business connections.
Throughout the day, attendees learned from industry experts who presented some of the latest breakthroughs, ideas and innovations as part of the 200th Technical Meeting.
The day concluded with a special Welcome Reception hosted by the Rubber Division, bringing the full day of networking to a close.
"After a year and half of not being able to get in contact with all of the folks that I know here in the rubber industry—after that—being able to come together, I am so excited inside I am shaking," Dempsey-Miller said.