As part of SC&RA's mission of generating new members and a cooperative spirit among American members and their international counterparts, the association is offering an International Business Forum, November 3-13, in Australia and New Zealand. In addition to expanding your international network, this unique experience could help you build mutually rewarding relationships with other participants from the United States.

If you have not already signed up, you need to act soon. A non-refundable deposit of $500 is due by March 15 for everyone planning to participate. Airfare into Sydney and out of Auckland is the responsibility of each participant, but registration fees include airfare from Sydney to Auckland, as well as airfare to and from Brisbane.

This collaborative effort also involves the Crane Industry Council of Australia, the Crane Industry Association of New South Wales, the New Zealand Heavy Haulage Association and the Crane Association of New Zealand.

Opening forums at both nations will feature discussion on topics such as hot markets, the industry's current issues and trends, labor shortages, regulatory challenges, and opportunities for business partnerships.

Participants will have the unique opportunity to participate in the monthly meeting of the Crane Association of New South Wales. Topics on the agenda include crane operations, safety and maintenance; transport permit issues; the crane association's direction and priorities; and products and services.

The group also will tour the Terex Franna Plant in Brisbane, Australia and SC&RA members' facilities in Auckland. Many opportunities will be available to build business networks and friendships during several receptions and dinners.

Additionally, the International Business Forum will provide plenty of chances for members to explore on their own, especially during an open day in each country. Among the attractions in Sydney are the Opera House, Harbour Bridge, Taronga Zoo, Sydney Aquarium, and the Autstralian Museum. Participants could also take a short trip out of town for bushwalking in the Blue Mountains, wine tasting in the Hunter Valley, or dolphin spotting at Port Stephens. In Auckland, you can gain dramatic views from the 1,000-foot-high Sky Tower; Auckland Bridge; or Mount Eden, the city's highest natural point. ■ For further information, including the complete program and a registration form, visit www.scranet.org/event, or call (703) 698-0291.

Also in line with SC&RA's international goals and objectives in the strategic plan, the association is working with KHL Group (publisher of American Cranes & Transport and International Cranes and Specialized Transport magazines) and the European Specialized Transport Association (ESTA) to host a World Crane & Transport Summit in Europe in October 2009. Numerous other industry associations from around the world are being invited to participate. The current plan is to hold the event every two to three years in locations around the world. Look for further details in future editions of ACT.

The Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa in Bonita Springs, FL is the venue for SC&RA's Annual Conference April 15-19.

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