Iâ€™m writing this on the way home from the Franchise Services conference in Las Vegas. As usual, the conference was a first-rate event. Herewith, a couple of observations: Once again, I was reminded of industry consolidation since this single event takes the place of four individual conferences previously held by Sir Speedy, PIP Printing, Signal Graphics, and Multicopy. I recall the tensions at some of the earlier combined conferences in this and other franchise systems, but that is a thing of the past. There were a lot of new companies at the trade show â€“ most in the Web-to-print and social media arenas. Coupled with the educational program in these areas, these newbies stirred a lot of interest among some of the old timers I talked with. I heard comments to the effect of â€œOK, I get it nowâ€ from probably a half-dozen attendees. The mood was very upbeat and I heard lots of talk about significant sales growth and healthy SPE. The list of former Sir Speedy and PIP franchisees of the year brought home to me just how long Iâ€™ve been involved in this industry. Bob McKarney (1979) was one of my early mentors and friends and Iâ€™ve lifted a glass and broken bread with many, many others. Either my new Windows 7 smartphone does dumb things or Iâ€™m too dumb to make it do all of the smart things of which it is capable. I can send and receive email and texts, but havenâ€™t figured out how to access my voice mail. That said, I was pleased to find out that the Windows 7 is an up-and-coming contender to the iPhone and Android. For the first time I can remember, Iâ€™m rooting for Microsoft. This was our first major franchise trade show that was photographed for posterity and posted on Facebook. You can check out the photos by logging on to Facebook and searching for MyPrintResource or by visiting MyPrintResource.com and clicking on our Facebook link. Weâ€™re on final approach, so Iâ€™ll wrap this up with the observation that, with very few exceptions, I hope that most of what happens in Las Vegas does stay there. I certainly donâ€™t want it in my neighborhood.