Years ago I browsed through an annual report from Philip Morris Tobacco Co. It had all the usual pretty pictures, including a shot of the board of directors standing around a long conference table. This was nothing unusual, but each member was holding a cigarette and had an ashtray in front of him or her. I doubt that every board member smoked, but they had to wear their game faces for the annual report photo.

I was reminded of this the other day when I went to the optometrist for a new pair of glasses. It’s a big place (for an optometrist’s office), with probably about 20 employees, all of whom were wearing glasses — every one. I asked the receptionist if they were instructed to wear glasses, even if they didn’t need them. Just like the smoking executives at Philip Morris, I figured these employees had their game faces on to help promote the business.

In a way, I have my game face on in the accompanying picture — H&P shirt on, standing in front of a mobile hydraulic system. When IFPE arrives in a few weeks, I’ll be wearing my H&P shirt and IFPE ConExpo/ConAgg badge with H&P lanyard to complete the game face. But not quite. I’ll be chairing sessions 14 and 25 (Thursday and Friday mornings, respectively) at the IFPE Technical Conference, so a “Session Chair” ribbon affixed to my badge will fully complete my game face.

The anticipation of IFPE and other events about to be held in Las Vegas reminds me of the recent Super Bowl. Excitement builds each day until Super Bowl Sunday finally arrives. After a weekend of hoopla, it’s all over, except for celebrations by the winning team and its fans. The difference with IFPE and ConExpo/ConAgg is that once it’s over, you can bet there will be lots of follow-up work to be done. Not only that, but it’s a sure bet on who the winners will be: all those who attend. But if you can’t attend, we have extensive coverage in this issue and on our Web site, so you shouldn’t miss a single play.