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Re: Seminars

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I would have to agree with you on all counts.  I am one of those young engineers and the few seminars I have been able to attend were very informative.  All of them have been sponsored by SEAW and are reasonably priced.  Less than $200.  They have also been held on Saturdays.  These have been primarily related to wood construction and seismic related issues.

I would love to be able to attend some of the AISC, ACI and ASCE seminars to make sure I'm fully up to date on current practices but the cost involved is prohibitive.  My employer will cover half the price of seminars but if it's during the week, I need to take vacation time.  And when the full day event costs over $300, which seems fairly typical, there is no way I can justify this.  If it were on a weekend or a Friday I could maybe justify it since I also work an alternative work schedule.

In some ways I feel that these organizations are gouging (personal view) the smaller companies when they charge these kinds of fees.  Especially, when the seminar is over $500 for a full day.  On a typical week day, if I can bill all of my hours, I would bring in about $600 to the company.  How is my employer supposed to justify this?  Granted at a larger company, if they send a couple people they can then hold their own meetings, within there company, to bring every one up to date on current practices.  This lets them spread out the cost and keeps everyone getting the important information.

I would be interested to see some of the statistics on who attends these seminars.  The size of companies sending representatives and what level in the company they held.  I would imagine the people responding to surveys and check the portion preferring week day seminars, are those that receive full sponsorship from their companies.


At 07:55 PM 8/29/2003, you wrote:


Just a small bit of personal feedback on these seminars that AISC, ACI, and others puts out:


1)       they tend to be offered during the weekday during business hours when I am extremely busy and cannot always afford or be given permission to take time off from work (notwithstanding that some engineers abhor to give up any part of their weekend)

2)       they can be prohibitively expensive, two hundred to four hundred dollars or more, as I may not be always able to have my company sponsor me


I think these apply commonly also to others especially younger engineers. This is too bad because it is probably younger engineers that would benefit a great deal from them. I get lots of newsletters and flyers for seminars that sound interesting but I am always disappointed to note the time and cost that rules them out for me. The rare seminars that I have somehow managed to attend have been very good, for the most part.


I think the SEAOC seminars are probably the most reasonable in terms of the times they have them (evenings or weekends) and the cost is usually relatively low that I dont mind paying out of my own pocket.