Key Takeaways from the 2023 AMPP Annual Conference + Expo

AMPP’s 2023 highlights included a keynote address given to attendees by legendary football quarterback and television broadcaster Terry Bradshaw. Photo courtesy of AMPP.

The 2023 AMPP Annual Conference + Expo in Denver, Colorado, drew more than 5,700 attendees from the corrosion and coatings industries worldwide. Held by the Association for Materials Protection and Performance (AMPP), each year’s conference represents the industry’s largest and most comprehensive event, all while offering an ideal occasion to reconnect with old friends and network with industry peers.

From informative programs and workshops to widespread exhibits and networking, this year’s show featured the very latest information and research on materials, corrosion and coating trends, best practices, and products. Whether attendees are focused on corrosion, coatings, materials, or seeing new technologies from around the world, they are able to find everything they need in one place.

This year’s conference was the second held by AMPP following the 2021 merger between legacy organizations NACE International and SSPC: The Society for Protective Coatings. As such, the show aims to provide everything attendees valued from the legacy CORROSION and Coatings+ events of those past organizations.

Expanded Technical Program

Relative to 2022, AMPP’s 2023 show nearly doubled its number of forums, workshops, and information exchanges. It also featured a new student and young professionals (SYP) track, along with the launch of AMPP Connect — a hosted buyer program that fosters business relationships and partnerships. In all, the conference hosted 51 symposia and 41 informative sessions, ranging from forums and workshops to theater presentations.

AMPP's 2023 technical program featured paper presentations covering a wide range of corrosion and coatings topics such as coatings science, corrosion management, coatings failure, cathodic protection, and much more. Forums included PHMSA’s annual pipeline safety forum, an extensive look at corrosion under insulation (CUI), and a contractor forum exploring pending changes to OSHA’s lead rule. A protective coatings workshop was one of several workshops focused on specialized topics throughout the week.

New Awards Presentations

Awards programs included AMPP’s annual Honoree Night and its Scholarship Awards and EMERGing Leaders Bash, along with the new AMPP Project Awards. Meanwhile, AMPP’s Publications team added to the list with the annual CoatingsPro Contractor Awards and Student Poster Awards, sponsored by CORROSION journal. AMPP 2023 had the biennial Materials Performance (MP) Corrosion Innovation of the Year Awards, as well.

2023 Exhibit Hall Highlights

With longer hours, the Expo featured 381 companies displaying the latest in corrosion control and protective coatings technologies. For hands-on, interactive opportunities, a coatings experience and cathodic protection (CP) test field were available in the Exhibit Hall. Two AMPPiTheater areas featured topical presentations on subjects such as the increasing use of robotics for CUI inspections and the evolving needs of internal corrosion management plans. The EMERG Student Camp engaged the industry’s next generation.

As a special volunteer opportunity under AMPP Cares, AMPP members teamed up on the show floor of the Colorado Convention Center to help build more than 1,000 corrosion toolkits (cKits), which will be delivered to high school teachers in the Denver area and to the upcoming EMERG summer program. To put it in perspective, just one cKit can serve an entire classroom as a fun and stimulating learning experience, with hands-on curriculum designed to challenge, inspire, and educate students on coatings and corrosion. The goal heading into the conference was for 100 cKits to be built, and AMPP’s attendees quickly exceeded that and then some.

Looking Forward and Back

Legendary football quarterback and television Terry Bradshaw served as the conference’s keynote speaker, and his emphasis on leadership was mirrored in many other presentations throughout the week. Featured networking events included Sunday’s Opening Reception and Monday’s Expo Grand Opening.

Finally, this year’s show featured an unofficial passing of the torch, with outgoing CEO Bob Chalker regularly walking the halls with incoming CEO Alan Thomas, who takes the reins effective April 1, 2023. AMPP’s leadership ranks were also represented with the regular presence of Amir Eliezer, Chair of the AMPP Board of Directors, and Cris Conner, Chair of the AMPP Global Center Board of Directors, along with many others from those respective boards.

The 2024 AMPP Conference + Expo will be held March 3-7, 2024, in New Orleans, Louisiana, and a call for presentation topics is underway. Make plans now to attend the world’s largest, most valuable event of the year for the corrosion and coatings industry.

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