Interaction is key highlight of “Unconference”

A new approach by SME at its upcoming annual meeting and conference aims to involve attendees in new ways, with new, engaging attractions.

By Plant Engineering Staff May 2, 2008

The Society of Manufacturing Engineers , along with its Southeast Michigan chapters, is offering a different type of learning environment at its upcoming annual meeting and conference.A Passion for Manufacturing: 2008 Annual Meeting & Interactive “Unconference,” is scheduled for June 1-2, at the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center.The event goes beyond the traditional meeting by featuring participatory sessions, a Lean manufacturing plant tour, and opportunities for networking and problem-solving with other manufacturing professionals. It is open to both SME members and nonmembers.“It is not the typical lecture format. Instead, the SME Unconference utilizes a variety of learning formats from hands-on exercises to a tour to see how Lean tools are being implemented on the factory floor to opportunities (for attendees) to problem solve their own manufacturing concerns,” said Mark C. Tomlinson, SME executive director and general manager.“It is not death by PowerPoint,” Tomlinson added.The two-day event is a combination of networking, leadership and industry recognition activities based on input from SME members with other manufacturing practitioners in mind.“‘Unconference’ attendees will be able to interact with fellow manufacturing peers throughout the day and leave not only with new strategies, tools, and experiences, but also with new contacts,” added Tomlinson.The event opens Sunday with educational sessions and networking activities. SME chapter and technical community members from the U.S. and Canada will be on hand to share best practices and ideas. The day concludes with a reception at the Detroit Institute of Arts for any interested attendees.Monday’s breakfast keynote speaker, John W. “Mac” MacIlroy, president and CEO, Michigan Manufacturers Association, will discuss how manufacturers can use innovation to overcome obstacles. Sarah Miller Caldicott, president, The Power Patterns of Innovation, and grandniece of Thomas Edison, follows MacIlroy with an interactive workshop. During this session, attendees will apply Edison’s five innovation principles to their own businesses. The Lean-In-Action Manufacturing Facilities Tour will provide attendees a venue to see and learn about innovative Lean principles and applications of them in a live manufacturing facility.For more detailed information, click here . Advance registration is required for all activities.