by Cory Sekine-Pettite
This year’s CSI CONSTRUCT show in Baltimore brought together industry professionals who design, build, specify, engineer, manage and renovate in the built environment. At every annual CSI convention, these individuals gather to find the latest products, solutions and services for our infrastructure. A key ingredient to the success of this show are the education sessions, which are the big draw for attendees. If you followed the event on Twitter, you could see that some of the sessions were getting 100 or more mentions on Twitter. That is quite impressive! People really enjoyed the sessions and were learning a great deal.
In addition to education sessions and exhibition space, organizers of this year’s CONSTRUCT incorporated a little Baltimore history into the proceedings. During the show, the city began its celebration of the 200th anniversary of Francis Scott Key’s composition of what would become our national anthem (adopted officially in 1931).
According to the official website for the commemoration: Maryland played a pivotal role during the War of 1812, particularly during 1814 when the British captured and burned Washington, D.C. and then made their way toward Baltimore. The British planned to attack Baltimore by land at North Point and by sea at Fort McHenry, which stood in defense of the Baltimore Harbor. It was during the bombardment of Fort McHenry that Francis Scott Key, a Maryland-born attorney brought by truce ship to negotiate the release of an American prisoner, was inspired to write the words to what became the United States’ National Anthem. Star-Spangled is a three-year commemoration of Maryland’s unique contributions to the defense and heritage of the nation, including the birth of the Star-Spangled Banner.
To contribute to this celebration, CONSTRUCT organizers announced the opening plenary session and the opening of the exhibit hall with a colonial marching band playing “Yankee Doodle Dandy.” It was a great way to open a lively program, and a great reminder of the history of where we stood. Kudos to all involved! I can’t wait to see what they come up with for next year’s show in St. Louis.