Team Conserv recently joined over 1,000 conservation and collections care professionals at the 2022 AIC Annual Conference in Los Angeles, CA. The American Institute for Conservation (AIC) celebrated its 50th birthday with an energizing meeting full of conversations about the past, present, and future of cultural heritage conservation.
Conserv co-founders Austin Senseman and Nathan McMinn joined all four full-time conservators (Melissa King, Claire Winfield, Yadin Larochette, and Allison Lewis) and community board member Susan Barger at the conference, where Conserv hosted a booth in the exhibit hall and sponsored several sessions.
We kicked off the conference by sponsoring “Viz for the Conservation Whiz – A Data Tools Symposium,” in which speakers presented short talks describing cultural heritage data visualization tools, applications, and case studies. Our own Senior Conservation Liaison, Melissa King, shared some of her experiences working with data science, and related how she learned the tools of the trade.
Attendees got to hear how people are using different types of software to obtain, visualize, and share information related to things like previous conservation treatments, condition surveys, and integrated pest management (IPM) among many other topics. Since our wireless sensors and environmental monitoring/IPM software lets users do just that – obtain, visualize and share information – the whole session was right up Conserv’s alley!
We also sponsored the Emerging Conservation Professionals Network (ECPN) luncheon and happy hour. The lunch featured almost 20 panelists discussing myths about their conservation specialties (Book and Paper, Paintings, Textiles, etc.). The happy hour was a fun opportunity for early-career conservators to chat and relax. Drinks on us!
Conserv wireless sensor range testing at the AIC annual conference
Here at Conserv we love experiments, and the AIC annual conference venue was the perfect spot to test the range of our wireless sensors’ LoRaWAN signal.
Our data loggers use LoRaWAN, a wireless technology with a much longer range than bluetooth or wifi.
We wanted to see just how big the range was in the Westin Bonaventure Hotel, where the AIC annual conference took place.
The hotel is a 33-story postmodern behemoth full of concrete and glass. The 1970s era building takes up the whole city block. (Fun fact: tons of movies and TV shows, including Interstellar, Wonder Woman, Alias and more have filmed scenes in the iconic building.)
We plugged our Conserv gateway into a power source in the exhibit hall, located in the basement of the huge hotel, and took a sensor on a long walk to see how far the LoRaWAN signal could extend. We weren’t disappointed!
Our sensor could transmit data throughout the entire lower floor of the hotel, across a full city block. Next, we took it up the elevators, and were still able to get a signal 3 floors up!
AIC Annual Conference takeaways
In between showing colleagues our wireless sensors and environmental monitoring/IPM software, and raffling away sweet swag as well as a Conserv starter kit, team members were also able to attend some talks.
We loved hearing about new preservation technologies, truly collaborative work with diverse stakeholders, ideas about how the field can utilize data science, and rethinking ways for conservators to get to “yes” (opinions were split on whether Kim Kardashian should have worn the Marilyn Monroe dress), and the evolution of environmental standards.
Fortunately, conference attendees who missed some of the talks can watch recordings of many of the sessions.
As conference speakers reflected on the conservation field’s history and posed questions about what’s next, Conserv reflected on the company’s own past, present and future. The team has more than doubled since the company’s first AIC annual conference, and offers an ever-improving and expanding set of preventive conservation tools!
After several years of virtual-only events, it was especially poignant to reconnect with old friends and introduce new partners to Conserv. We were thrilled to get so much interest and great feedback. Team Conserv is really looking forward to continuing conversations, so see you at the 2023 AIC annual conference!