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RFID Journal Industry Summits 2006 Report

Almost 300 people gathered at RFID Journal Industry Summits 2006 in Chicago to listen to early adopters explain how they have successfully put RFID to work in their own businesses, and to hear leading experts discuss the issues facing companies adopting such technologies today. View the presentations from the event.
By Rich Handley
Oct 16, 2006—Last month, RFID Journal held its first annual RFID Journal Industry Summits conference, an RFID event designed for the retail/CPG, pharmaceutical, manufacturing and aerospace industries. Four co-located summits and a shared technology exhibition were provided to address critical adoption issues in an interactive, collaborative setting. The conference was held Sept. 26-28, at the Lincolnshire Marriott Resort in Chicago.

Nearly 300 professionals attended the conference, including retailers, distributors, manufacturers, consulting firms, systems integrators and vendors of radio frequency identification technology. Several of the industry's major players displayed their technologies and services, and more than 60 speakers were on hand to offer critical insights about how RFID can benefit companies, with industry-specific content for the four targeted niche markets.

Some of the RFID industry's major players presented at the conference.

Education and Regulation
The event opened with a pair of educational preconferences. The RFID Journal University seminar introduced attendees new to RFID to the basic concepts required to understand and design pilots, engage vendors and deploy the technology successfully. Presenters discussed the physics behind RFID, legislation and standardization, building an RFID business case, the EPCglobal Network and other topics vital to success.

Also presented was the Legal Preconference Seminar, produced in partnership with McKenna Long & Aldridge, LLP, which educated corporate counsel and business leaders about the potential legal ramifications of their adoption of RFID technology, as well as the potential impact of government adoption and legislation of RFID technologies.

Speakers ranged from think-tank libertarians, lobbyists and congressional staffers to manufacturers' public-policy officers, and all agreed that makers and users of RFID technology will fail unless they get proactive about how regulatory and public-policy actions will shape—or limit—the use of RFID (see RFID Legal Education Should Be Job One, Say Policy Experts).

Attendees were provided a variety of sessions designed to help them improve and grow their business via RFID.

Improving Business with RFID
Throughout the next two days, representatives from numerous firms and organizations provided presentations on how RFID can impact business processes positively in such key areas as information technology, supply-chain management, warehouse management and operations.

These presenters included Boeing, FedEx, Hampton Products International, Hoffman-La Roche, IATA, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Unilever, Unisource, the University of Arkansas, Smurfit-Stone, Staples Business Depot (Canada), World Kitchen and other industry giants. Representatives from these firms, and others, spoke at length about how RFID can (and can't) help companies improve the way they do business.
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