July 2018

Developing the synopsis is a challenge and

Elmer puts a lot of effort into that. If you

take a look at a program booklet, you will

see that there's horizontal alignments and

equal lengths to the synopses of the


So from the time the program goes to

print and registrations begin coming in, the

Christmas lights have been located to add

to the decor of Convention Hall, staff

agree to various prizes that cost more than

$10,000 for the opening night meet and

greet and WaterPAC prizes. 

Elmer and Greg are busy working with

the Hyatt and Caterers and making major

decisions about training rooms and meals.

Laurie processes payments as

registrations flow in. 

In mid-March, KRWA staff embark  on

the office to prepare the portfolios.

Purchased directly from a manufacturer

in China, those come in by cargo ship to

Los Angeles or Oakland, then take a ride by train  to Kansas

City, where Lonnie Boller picks up several pallets of

portfolios. Twenty-four hundred portfolios weigh nearly two

tons. Help is needed to fill them with pens, writing pads, the

program and exhibit brochure. 

The week before conference the phones ring and emails

come at a furious rate. Several staff members spend two

days organizing name badges and meal tickets. Tedious is an

understatement to describe this process – but isn’t it nice to

have names printed on meal tickets and everyone's

registrations in alpha order? On the Friday prior to the week

of the conference, two tandem axle trailers are filled – with

portfolios, prizes, lights, banners, computers – everything

plus more it seems. 

As I walked into Expo Hall on the Saturday morning prior

to the conference, it was a very large and empty

space – 93,000 sq. feet, void of

anything other than beige colored

walls and steel rafters. But it would

soon start to come alive with banners

and umbrellas, the 365 booth spaces,

rolls and rolls of carpet, hundreds of

tables and thousands of feet of pipe

and drape erected by Henry

Helgerson Company, the exhibit

booth provider.

Century II staff spent Monday

morning hanging the umbrellas in

Exhibition Hall where meals are

served. Backdrops from Kansas City

and Wichita are raised on the three

stages. AV equipment is moved in by

Ed Hope with Audio-Visual Services;

KRWA staff do their part to move

exhibitors into the hall and make things

go as smooth as possible. 

It takes many people. KRWA has

enjoyed a great group of people in

Wichita. For example, Deborah

Wierenga, owner of Balloon Studio, works with KRWA staff

two months or so prior to the event to help create interesting

decorations. This year, giant balloon clouds were above the

umbrellas .. and there are always many wild and sometimes

a bit crazy, beautiful balloon creations on buffet tables and

around the convention center. Linda Windler from

Thoroughbred Systems helps brainstorm for ideas to help

make the opening sessions unique. I mean, where else have

you seen three people assembling a 6-inch pipe with

restrained fittings on the stage prior to the opening?  The

Butler Headliners, Kathy Hauptman and the casts from The

Forum Theatre, the King Midas & Mufflers Band,

bartenders, caraciturists, Ottaway Amusements, special

guests and more – all contribute immensely to what

becomes a big “family reunion” of sorts – the annual KRWA


Be assured, KRWA will be ready again in 2019 for what

will again be the largest (and best) water and wastewater

conference in Mid-America. It’s a unique experience and it’s

a true fun time. It's not too early to mark your calendars for


KRWA staff help move exhibitors into

EXPO Hall. Jon Steele is carting

equipment to a booth.

Getting all 365 exhibits in place is an acc