The National Marine Electronics Association (NMEA) and the Radio Technical Commission for Maritime Services (RTCM) will hold their annual international convention together at the PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., on Sept. 25-28. Registration will open on Wednesday, May 9, at 2 p.m. Eastern time.
The combined NMEA/RTCM Conference & Expo is the largest industry trade event focusing strictly on marine electronics. The combined meeting will be held within the framework of the 2018 NMEA International Marine Electronics Conference & Expo. By combining the events, attendees will have an opportunity to participate in technical and education sessions offered by both organizations. The agenda will allow RTCM and NMEA to hold meetings tailored specifically for their members in addition to presentations of mutual interest.
"We are very excited to be on the East Coast of Florida which is basically the mecca for recreational marine electronics," said Mark Reedenauer, NMEA President & Executive Director. "Having RTCM back at the conference brings together both the commercial and recreational sectors of our industry and those experts who represent them."
Beginning Tuesday morning Sept. 25, conference registrants can choose to attend various installer and business tracks, RTCM sessions, and manufacturer-specific sessions. The full detailed schedule will be posted on the NMEA Expo website in upcoming weeks. A continental breakfast beginning at 7 a.m. and coffee breaks are included throughout each morning of the four-day event. Most of the tracks are repeated twice so that attendees can adjust their schedules to attend specific areas of interest. Buffet lunches run each day from 12:15 to 1:30 p.m.
The manufacturer product expo hall will house all major marine electronics manufacturers from both the recreational and commercial sectors. Some manufacturers will use the event to roll out new products for 2019. The expo hall will be open on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons/evenings only. Hours have been extended to run from 1:30 to 7:30 p.m., with receptions both evenings in the expo hall from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. A one-hour open bar will be offered to all attendees on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m..
NMEA Level 1 & 2 manufacturer-specific training sessions and the RTCM GMDSS task force meeting will highlight Thursday, Sept. 27. The NMEA Product of Excellence Awards banquet will be held that evening from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
New on Friday, Sept. 28, NMEA Level 3 manufacturers will offer one-half-day technical training sessions for all attendees. These expanded time periods will allow major electronics manufacturers to dive deeper into their wide range of products. RTCM will host the NOAA Beacon Manufacturer Workshop on Friday as well.
NMEA will also offer the following full-day installer training courses. A different registration fee applies for these day-long classes:
*NMEA & ABYC Combined Training, Tuesday 9/25 through Friday 9/28 (8-5)
*Basic NMEA Installer Training (MEI), Tuesday 9/25 (8-5)
*Basic NMEA 2000® Installer Training, Wednesday 9/26 (8-5)
*Advanced NMEA Installer Training (AMEI), Thursday 9/27 (8-5)
*Advanced NMEA 2000® Installer Training, Friday 9/28 (8-5)
A preliminary schedule of events is posted on www.expo.nmea.org and more information will be added in coming weeks. If you have questions, contact the NMEA main office at 410-975-9425.