It was a swan song of sorts in Myrtle Beach, S.C., as the South Atlantic Well Drillers JUBILEE is moving to Virginia Beach, Va., next year – and the year after. But regardless of the venue, JUBILEE is JUBILEE, and that means the industry gathers – with families on tow – to have fun and keep up with all the latest developments that can impact their businesses.

The trade show, held July 30 – Aug. 1, once again offered a stellar lineup of educational programming. JUBILEE executive director Jane Cain says one of the goals for JUBILEE this year was to provide educational opportunities that people might not otherwise be able to access as easily. A prime example of that was the IGSHPA (International Ground Source Heat Pump Association) training course, which was much-appreciated by attendees. Seminars covered a vast array of timely topics that touched on all aspects of the industry, including well construction, business management, safety, environmental issues and water quality. Cain adds, “Outdoor exhibits always are quite popular, and we had an extended session of outdoor activities this year.”

The association’s board of directors put on what they called “Our Future’s Forum.” Explains Cain: “This was an opportunity for the younger generation to sit down with the veteran drillers and discuss how to make things more relevant to the younger generation, and what they’d like to see from their state associations to advance the industry. It was very interesting.”

On the trade show floor, it was the usual scene – drilling contractors and water professionals taking in the latest industry offerings and exchanging ideas, while the kids loaded up on all the swag they could carry (and for some, more than they could carry). And the exhibit hall action provided an encouraging sign during the current economic climate. “We were very pleased that our exhibitor numbers held up well,” notes Cain. “We actually had 11 new companies this year.”

Whether on the trade show floor, in classrooms, at the social events or just out and about, you couldn’t go more than a few minutes of conversation without the move to Virginia Beach coming up. Change sometimes can be a little daunting – but that’s OK; we’ve all been through it, and a bit of anxious adrenaline can be fun. “The move to Virginia Beach is very exciting – and on several different levels,” says Cain. “First of all, we’re going to be going into a state-of-the-art convention center with all the first-class amenities available. And it’s situated where it’s not far from any of the attractions and activities of the area. The beach is right there, top-notch golf courses are plentiful, and the boardwalk – three mile long and beautifully appointed – is an award-winning, treasured hot spot for locals and tourists alike. There’s always something going on to enjoy, and it’s very family-friendly. Also, there’s a brand-new downtown Virginia Beach featuring many dining and shopping options. And nearby is a world-class aquarium, historic Williamsburg, a naval battleship museum, and an award-winning amusement park – the scope of fun things to do and see is very wide.”

So no excuses – in addition to the JUBILEE itself, there’s something for everyone in Virginia Beach. We hope to see you there July 21-23, 2012.