Sustainably Speaking

Plumbing, HVAC contractors ‘go big’ at PHCC 2013 Connect

Last weekend my cousins were in town visiting me. When talking about career choices, my youngest cousin said, “Go big or go home.”  And it so happens that PHCC 2013 Connect's theme this year was “Go Big + Innovate.”   

Attendees walk the aisles of the Connect 2013 trade show, surrounding the Apprentice Contest area. The contest took place during the convention and trade show.

The conference was jammed packed with great sessions as it usually is, but this year was a little different. This year PHCC designed the event based on what plumbers and HVAC professionals asked for, which includes sessions on new regulations, customer service, online marketing, water conservation issues, etc. And of course, there was plenty of opportunity to network with industry peers and find out what are the latest and greatest cutting edge products and technologies.

Some of the events I was most excited to attend were as follows:

The Edge of Innovation: Separating the Frontrunners from the Stragglers, presented by Forbes Magazine Publisher Rich Karlgaard. This keynoter is right up my very own alley since he is a magazine publisher. Karlgaard has interviewed hundreds of companies to figure out what separates the frontrunners from the stragglers. During this opening session he revealed the Four Hard (measurable) Virtues, the Four Soft (intangible) Virtues, how the Hard and Soft Virtues need to be combined to produce results and why Hard is necessary, but Soft is the needed edge.

I’m was also excited to attend the session about new water heater regulations, sponsored by Bradford White. A few months ago I wrote the article “New Efficiency Standards for Residential Water Heaters are on the Horizon,” so it was great to see how the industry is preparing  for the regulations and the resulting changes in products. This session was jam packed with plumbing contractors since the efficiency standards will definitely affect plumbing businesses across the board.

Another session near and dear to me was Go Big with your Internet Marketing Plan, presented by John Nelson, Plumber, SEO and author of “The Complete Guide to Internet Marketing for Plumbing Contractors.” He uncovered strategies, techniques and methods used by the most successful contracting businesses. 

Last, but not least, facilitated by Kirk Alter, the session Screw Business as Usual got contractors thinking out of the box. The session focused on the dramatic changes that are occurring in business today: technological breakthroughs, a new workforce that has different values, wants and needs, customers with different expectations, etc. Contractors can no longer just do business as usual, contractors need to be innovative and creative. Suggested reading for this session was “Screw Business as Usual” by Richard Branson. I think I’m adding this book to my reading list!

During the trade show and conference the 2013 Apprentice Contest for plumbers and HVAC technicans also took place. Check out our photo gallery of the contest, Plumbing, HVAC apprentices compete for national title at PHCC Connect 2013.

So hopefully I will see you at PHCC 2013 Connect this week. And remember: Go Big or Go Home!

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