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What Are the Best Ways to Prepare for In-Person Events This Summer?

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In-Person Events

In-person events are gradually coming back after COVID-19 largely put them on hold. If you’ve got some on your summer agenda or are thinking about buying tickets soon, here are some actionable strategies to get ready to attend them as an exhibitor or attendee.

Be Patient When Getting Back Into Networking

The pandemic didn’t halt networking entirely. Still, it’s a wholly different experience getting to know someone in a Zoom breakout room versus in-person over a cup of coffee. Transitioning back to face-to-face networking isn’t always smooth, even for people who are highly experienced in interpersonal relations.

Lisa Lopez is a professor of educational psychology at the University of South Florida. She recently spoke at an in-person conference and commented, “It felt invigorating and exciting to be in person.” However, she reflected on her face-to-face conversations with peers, saying, “We were joking about how we had to relearn our social skills. We’re all developmental psychologists who study social and academic development, and we had to retrain ourselves on social development.”

Think about what you could do to let yourself ease back into the social interactions such events require. Whether you’re an exhibitor or attendee, consider scheduling some lower-stakes gatherings first to get your confidence up and eliminate preventable pressure.

Alternatively, go to some of the less-formal offerings at trade shows before exposing yourself to the ones where you really want to be in your best form. For example, add a casual breakfast to your schedule before putting yourself out there at a speed networking event.

The pandemic changed people in ways they haven’t fully grasped yet. If some of the early interactions at in-person events don’t happen as smoothly as you’d hoped, remember that the individuals on the other end of those conversations are probably dealing with similar struggles.

Plan for Hybrid Events

COVID-19 proved having online content offers perks in-person events can’t. For starters, offering material online breaks down geographic barriers. Even the most motivated individuals can’t always come to physical events, especially if doing so requires significant travel time or visa applications.

Having at least some of the event’s programming online eliminates those potential issues. As you think about what your return to physical events looks like, realize it might not mean eliminating online content.

Shawn Shapiro, an event planner at Redstone Agency, said, “2022 will be about quality over quantity with content and other factors in the event process. I think you will see a large shift towards hybrid events, especially in the first and second quarter, with an increase of in-person events as the year progresses. As in-person does return, I do think we will see a virtual piece stay for many events, which will help to connect to larger audiences and make for a more immersive and global experience moving forward.”

Diana Canellis, head of sponsorships at Techsytalk, felt similarly, saying, “Hybrid or bust! Smaller in-person regional events with virtual capacities will thrive – similar to events after 9/11, where regional events became more popular.”

She continued, “I think people will continue to enjoy working from home but will be interested in smaller networking events (with proof of vaccination or COVID-free tested attendees) closer to home. And for event professionals, this will help with risk (budgeting) instead of larger in-person events and potential no-shows – even though it will mean more work!”

Go With an Attractive and Welcoming Booth Design

Even though so much has changed since in-person events were last running at their usual frequency and capacity, some things have remained the same. It’s still vital to use branding elements, such as hashtags and logos, to draw attention to your company. You may even want to do something more that helps your booth stand out from others, such as installing a floral arch that catches attention and features your brand colors.

Now, in a time when people are easing back to in-person events, it’s equally important to make them feel comfortable at your booth. One possibility is to see what you can do to manage traffic flow so the booth doesn’t get too crowded.

Making hand sanitizer available is another straightforward way to increase comfort. Also, even if the event does not require masks, consider having one to put on in case a person you’re conversing with prefers it.

Some people may not want to go back to shaking hands yet, either. Give them a welcoming smile as they approach your booth, then leave it up to them to decide whether they extend a hand or make another move to show friendliness.

You’ll need to be as flexible as possible in accommodating booth visitors where they are. Some people may gradually become more at ease as the event progresses, but others may be relatively careful the whole time.

Show Sensitivity to Risk Tolerance Variations When Making Company Decisions

In-person events typically offer attendees a broad assortment of possibilities. You might go to a talk about how 3D printing is transforming the electronics industry before heading to a fabrication robot demonstration. However, not everyone is ready to dive back into everything an event offers.

As Mahmood Noman, people director of Bradfield College, pointed out, “Many of my colleagues and their families have suffered through the pandemic, and a return to in-person events will cause great anxiety.” You can’t know everything that factors into how people feel about returning to physical events. Someone who has already had COVID-19 twice and was only mildly sick each time might feel they’re ready to do everything they did before the pandemic and perhaps more.

However, immunocompromised people or those with chronically ill family members at home may be more careful about what they do. It’s also highly likely that individuals who have been personally and severely affected by the virus may feel more hesitant about in-person events than those who had less-intimate impacts.

Proceed individually when doing things like deciding which staff members will work at trade show booths instead of assuming they’re okay with that role. Although you need an on-site presence, don’t push people into doing things before they feel comfortable. Such situations could make them outwardly nervous and not the best representation of your company.

Are You Ready for In-Person Events?

Attendees will return to in-person events at their own pace. That may mean things aren’t immediately back to what you’re used to, but being responsive to that reality as an attendee or exhibitor will help you have a productive experience no matter what.

Emily Newton is the Editor-in-Chief of Revolutionized, an online magazine showing how technology is disrupting many industries.

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Understanding Dry vs. Oil-Filled Instrument Transformers

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Understanding Dry vs. Oil-Filled Instrument Transformers

Have you ever wondered what powers your home, your gadgets, and even entire cities? It’s all about transformers, but not the robot kind! Specifically, we’re diving into the world of instrument transformers. Let’s break down the two main types: dry and oil-filled. Each type has its own perks and quirks, and understanding them can be pretty fascinating. So, let’s get into it!

What Are Instrument Transformers?

First things first, what exactly are instrument transformers? In the simplest terms, they’re devices used to measure electrical quantities like voltage and current in power systems. They step down high voltages and currents to safer, more manageable levels, which can then be measured by standard instruments. They play a crucial role in ensuring safety and efficiency in power distribution. Try here to see some product download sheets so you can get a better understanding of the different transformers out there and their features.

The Basics of Dry-Type Instrument Transformers

What Are They?

Dry-type transformers use air or another type of gas as the insulating medium instead of liquid. Think of them as the more straightforward, low-maintenance cousin in the transformer family. They’re housed in sealed containers and rely on high-quality insulation materials to keep them safe and functional.

Key Features

  • Safety: Dry-type transformers are fire-resistant and environmentally friendly since they don’t use oil. No oil means no risk of leaks or spills, making them ideal for indoor installations.
  • Maintenance: These transformers are virtually maintenance-free. They don’t require regular oil checks or changes, which means fewer headaches for the maintenance crew.
  • Installation: Easier to install due to their lighter weight and compact size. Perfect for tight spaces and areas where environmental concerns are high.

Oil-Filled Instrument Transformers Explained

What Are They?

As the name suggests, oil-filled transformers use oil as the insulating and cooling medium. The oil serves a dual purpose: it insulates the internal components and dissipates the heat generated during operation. These transformers are robust and have been a staple in the industry for decades.

Key Features

  • Cooling Efficiency: The oil effectively cools down the transformer, making it suitable for high-load applications. It extends the life of the transformer and ensures reliable performance.
  • Durability: Oil-filled transformers are known for their long operational life. The oil not only insulates but also protects the components from moisture and contaminants.
  • Cost: While they might have a higher initial cost, their longevity and efficiency often make up for it over time.

Dry vs. Oil-Filled: The Showdown

Now, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of how these two stack up against each other. Here’s a breakdown to make things easier:

Environmental Impact

Dry-Type: Eco-friendly with no risk of oil spills. Perfect for locations with stringent environmental regulations.

Oil-Filled: Although efficient, there’s always a risk of oil leaks, which can be harmful to the environment.

Safety

Dry-Type: Fire-resistant and safer for indoor use. The absence of oil reduces fire hazards significantly.

Oil-Filled: Generally safe but with inherent risks associated with the use of flammable oil.

Maintenance and Longevity

Dry-Type: Low maintenance with a focus on the long haul. Ideal for places where routine maintenance is challenging.

Oil-Filled: Requires regular maintenance checks but offers excellent longevity and reliability.

Cost

Dry-Type: Generally more affordable initially and cost-effective in terms of maintenance.

Oil-Filled: Higher initial cost but potentially lower long-term costs due to durability and efficiency.

When to Choose Dry-Type Transformers

  • Indoor Use: Dry-type transformers are perfect for indoor installations, especially in commercial buildings, hospitals, and schools.
  • Eco-Conscious Projects: If you’re working on a project with strict environmental guidelines, dry-type transformers are the way to go.
  • Low Maintenance Needs: They’re ideal for locations where regular maintenance is not feasible.

When to Opt for Oil-Filled Transformers

  • High-Load Applications: Oil-filled transformers are your best bet for high-load scenarios such as industrial plants and large-scale power generation.
  • Longevity and Durability: If you’re looking for something that can withstand the test of time with proper maintenance, oil-filled transformers are a solid choice.
  • Outdoor Installations: These transformers are well-suited for outdoor environments where their cooling efficiency is maximized.

Installation Considerations

Space

Dry-Type: These are more compact and easier to install in confined spaces.

Oil-Filled: Require more space due to the need for oil containment systems and cooling equipment.

Environment

Dry-Type: Best for controlled environments where temperature and humidity can be managed.

Oil-Filled: Can handle a broader range of environmental conditions, making them suitable for diverse outdoor settings.

Final Thoughts

Choosing between dry-type and oil-filled instrument transformers boils down to your specific needs and constraints. If you prioritize safety, low maintenance, and environmental friendliness, dry-type transformers are a great fit. On the other hand, if you need robust performance, longevity, and can manage regular maintenance, oil-filled transformers might be your best bet.

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Top 10 Best Commuter Towns to London in 2024

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London is known for its fast-moving environment, but the hustle and bustle of our capital is only beaten by its even faster-moving people. A destination that draws people in from across the world not only as a holiday and tourist destination but as a central hub for business and work.

Staying slightly closer to home however, London still has a huge volume of people working there, but unfortunately it is a very expensive place to live. People choose to move out of London for many reasons, whether they desire more space at home, or simply want a change from city life. Places on the outskirts of London offer great options for hotels, serviced apartments and similar places to stay that offer the things London can’t.

Nevertheless, moving away doesn’t mean people have to stop working in London. Being the bustling place that it is, the multitude of transport connections allows commuters to move to places such as Berkshire and Surrey, where they are still in ideal locations for easy trips into the capital.

Several commuter towns offer great places to live, with more affordable housing and a simple trip to work that achieves the professional and personal life balance that so many strive for.

Here are 10 of the best commuter towns to London for 2024:

1. Luton

Famous for its football club, with a heritage that lies in both hat-making and car manufacturing, Luton draws commuters in for a few reasons. Most notably and unsurprisingly, it’s far cheaper to rent in contrast to London.

One report suggested that rent was over 56% lower in Luton when compared to the capital. Average house prices are also far more reasonable in the £300,000 range. Not only is this attractive for people moving out of London for the first time, but also for first-time buyers looking to get onto the property ladder.

The biggest factor for commuters is the average travel time, which is another box ticked in Luton’s favour. A train into London will take anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes, while the less recommended driving journey will be a bit over an hour.

2. Maidenhead

Moving to Berkshire now, the picturesque town of Maidenhead has many of the benefits commuters look for in a place to live. Fast trains can get you to the busy London Paddington station in just 18 minutes. Also located on the Elizabeth line with regular stops, there is more than one option to take commuters into London.

A fantastic place for families, the low crime rates and high standard of living offers an idyllic location for those desiring a spacious contrast to city life. This does mean, however, that house prices are typically higher in comparison to other Berkshire towns such as Slough.

3. Milton Keynes 

The largest settlement in Buckinghamshire, Milton Keynes offers the perfect mixture of busy city life and simple commuting connections into London. The town is also a hub for UK artwork, with programmes and exhibitions occurring throughout the year.

Commuting time ranges from 50 minutes to an hour and the thriving urban centre provides an exciting to place to live, at a fraction of the price of a home in London.

4. St Albans

Offering a brilliant aesthetic blend of history and modern, commuting options in St Albans are simple and quick for those looking for a change of scenery. Trains to London St Pancras take just 20 minutes, meaning you don’t have to worry about any long journeys into work.

A very desirable area with a vibrant art scene, St Albans has a young demographic that is renowned for high performing schools. Young families are not only drawn to this but the variety of housing options that range anywhere from £300,000 to £1 million.

5. Epsom, Surrey

A charming commuter town that most likely associate with horse racing, trains from Epsom are just 36 minutes and is the perfect place for those looking to live in a more rural area.

This doesn’t mean it loses any access to amenities that you would expect from city life. A lovely landscape with plenty of green spaces, there are also several high street shops and restaurants.

6. Reading

The journey to London Paddington from Reading takes a mere 27 minutes, with a fast service running every six minutes that offers commuters a fast and efficient travel option. The newer Elizabeth line is also very accessible from Reading, offering simple links to Heathrow and across London.

As the largest town in Berkshire, Reading remains a favourite location for London commuters, as it boasts a vibrant town centre with a variety of shops and restaurants, as well as a museum, university and culture venues that all come together to make it an exciting place to be.

7. Guildford

Famed for its cobbled streets and medieval buildings, Guildford is one of the most ideal places to live if you want quick access to Guildford. Whether you prefer a quiet town or an exciting urban town, Guildford has a little something for everyone.

The 30 miles into the city takes just 30 minutes so the efficient travel aspect that most commuters look for is certainly present when living in Guildford.

8. Hemel Hempstead

A place that attracts people for many reasons, the fantastic property prices make it another ideal spot for those looking for a more spacious home outside of London. It also offers a great opportunity for investment.

For commuters, the convenient 30 to 40-minute train into the centre of London or just over an hour by car is ideal, as long as you can look past Hemel Hempstead being crowned 2013’s Ugliest Town in Britain.

9.  Henley-on-Thames

One of the best-connected places for the daily commute into London, Henley-on-Thames has rush hour trains taking from 43 minutes, which does include a change at Twyford.

Also famous for the annual royal regatta, but if the champagne-fuelled fun and formal blazers isn’t for you, it offers a great opportunity to Airbnb your home for a few days.

10. Woking

Perhaps the place on this list with the easiest journey into central London, the speedy 26-minute journey to London Waterloo was named the 2022/23 best rail station for London commuters by On Train Times.

Trains depart approximately every seven minutes, meaning you’ll never have to wait a while if you miss your original departure time – something that works in favour of every busy, fast moving London commuter.

Whether it’s the historic charm of St Albans, the scenic beauty of Henley-on-Thames, or the convenient connectivity of Woking, each of these commuter towns presents a unique blend of amenities and accessibility. As London continues to evolve, these towns stand as a testament to the enduring quest for a harmonious work-life balance.

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Drafting Essentials: 6 Must-Have Tools for Aspiring Architects

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Stepping into the architectural arena is like preparing for a grand expedition—every piece of gear is crucial and using them wisely can turn abstract concepts into awe-inspiring structures. For newcomers eager to make their mark, understanding and mastering the foundational tools of the trade is a significant first step.

This guide isn’t just a list; it’s a passport to the building blocks of your future creations, offering you the instruments to not only envision but also construct the spaces that will define tomorrow.

1. Architectural Scale

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In architecture, precision and accuracy are crucial. This specialized ruler is designed to help translate real-world dimensions into scaled representations on paper, crucial for every stage of design, from initial sketches to final blueprints. They come in a variety of scale ratios, such as 1/8″=1′ for residential projects or 1/50 for larger urban developments.

Learning to choose and use the correct scale is essential to avoid the pitfalls of mismatched proportions, which can turn a potentially brilliant project into a spatial nightmare. For budding architects, mastering the use of an architectural scale is a step toward turning abstract concepts into tangible realities.

2. Drafting Table

Consider the drafting table the cornerstone of every architect’s creativity. It’s much more than just a piece of furniture; it’s the platform where concepts are born and ideas flow freely from pen to paper. Modern drafting tables are engineered for maximum flexibility, featuring adjustable heights and angles that cater to the comfort and ergonomic needs of the designer. This adaptability allows architects to work for long hours without the strain that comes from less dynamic setups.

Whether drafting detailed architectural drawings or engaging in creative brainstorming, the right table can significantly enhance productivity and precision. It’s not just about functionality—these tables often have a sleek, professional aesthetic that can inspire creativity and bring a sense of seriousness and excitement to the design process. A good drafting table serves not only as a physical space but also as a symbol of the architect’s commitment to crafting spaces that inspire and endure. It represents the foundation of the design process, supporting architects as they translate abstract ideas into tangible, impactful structures.

3. 3D Modeling Software

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Being proficient with 3D modeling software is now essential in the field of modern architecture. Rhino stands out among the many tools accessible because of its intuitive interface and capacity to handle intricate shapes. Rhino is necessary for creating complex, scalable models that can be readily edited and changed.

Aspiring architects who are not as proficient with these tools will definitely benefit from innovative Rhino courses that transform them and give them the tools they need to realize the full potential of digital design. Acquiring proficiency in navigating through its vast feature set not only improves technical skills but also allows architects to investigate more creative design options that are precisely rendered and showcased to customers and associates.

4. Sketchbook

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Even in the 21st century, every famous architect carries with them a good, quality sketchbook. This simple, unassuming tool serves as a creative sanctuary for freehand drawings, detailed architectural sketches, and spontaneous doodles. It’s the place where thoughts that might otherwise evaporate are anchored down on paper. It encourages continuous observation and practice, which are essential for honing a keen eye for detail and elevating drawing skills. Every page turned is a step forward in the architect’s journey, helping to refine ideas and concepts that start from rough sketches and evolve into precise drafts.

Moreover, a sketchbook acts as a tangible record of an architect’s creative evolution. It allows architects to track their progress over time, see how their concepts have matured, and reflect on their artistic and professional growth. It’s also an invaluable tool in client meetings and presentations, where the ability to flip through physical pages of evolving ideas can communicate a vision more effectively than any digital tool.

5. Digital Pen Tablet

Merging the tactile feel of drawing with the versatility of digital technology, a digital pen tablet is an essential tool for architects who navigate between the analog and digital realms. These devices are crafted to mimic the natural movement of the hand, allowing for an intuitive drawing experience that closely replicates traditional sketching. This level of control is nearly impossible to achieve with a standard mouse. Digital pen tablets offer unmatched precision for intricate detail work, which is crucial when refining architectural drawings or creating complex textures that bring projects to life.

The pressure sensitivity and ability to detect subtle nuances in stroke strength enable architects to express their artistic intent with greater fidelity. Moreover, the use of a pen tablet can dramatically streamline the revision process. Modifications to designs can be implemented directly onto digital files, facilitating rapid iterations without the need to redraw or scan updated versions.

6. Laser Distance Measurer

Gone are the days of fumbling with unwieldy tape measures in complex spaces. A laser distance measurer is a quintessential tool for modern architects, providing a hassle-free method to obtain accurate measurements quickly. This gadget performs exceptionally well in areas with high ceilings, lengthy hallways, or congested spaces—situations where conventional instruments can fail. It calculates distances with incredible accuracy by firing off a laser beam that bounces back when a button is pressed.

In addition to expediting the measuring process, this technology improves data accuracy, which is critical for producing accurate architectural drawings. By adding a laser distance measurer to their toolset, architects may increase the efficiency and precision of their work and make sure that every measurement precisely fits into the final design.

Gathering these indispensable tools isn’t just about filling a toolbox—it’s about preparing yourself for a journey of creation and innovation. Each tool you master is a step further in your architectural quest, bridging the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical application. Let these tools inspire you, challenge you, and propel you toward crafting not just buildings, but legacies. Equip yourself with confidence and curiosity, and let every line you draw contribute to a future sketched by your own hand.

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