NEW ORLEANS — “It was the best one I’ve attended for years,” is how one contractor described the recent convention of the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors – National Association. An exhibitor said, “It was a home run.”
Featuring business-building educational seminars, an intimate and focused Product & Technology Showcase and a rewarding Day of Service, Connect 2009, PHCC’s first convention on its own since 2001, delivered on its promises. Approximately 750 people attended the event. That number included 400 contractors, surpassing contractor numbers in recent years.
PHCC Executive Vice President Ike Casey said, “We asked the members first and then the manufacturer/vendors what it would take to have a great convention experience. They told us and then we gave it to them. The increased attendance and positive reports indicate we hit the mark on this one. Next year will be even better as we add the excitement of a Quality Service Contractors’ Power Meeting to the overall convention experience.”
Connect 2009 featured a wide choice of workshops, seminars and industry panels highlighting emerging markets and cutting-edge business strategies that can increase profits and productivity. Educational sessions covered topics such as green plumbing, water- and energy-efficient technologies, pre-fabrication, residential fire sprinklers, understanding overhead and year-end tax planning.
Featured speakers included Stuart Varney, business and financial journalist for Fox News, who gave his entertaining and informative perspectives about “21st Century America: A New Day in Politics, Culture, and Business;” and Richard Trethewey of This Old House, who discussed “The Future of Comfort and Efficiency.” An industry panel helped contractors learn what to expect from the manufacturers as they weather the current economic climate and prepare for the upturn.
The Product & Technology Showcase had a small town-feel that gave contractors the opportunity to talk one-on-one with industry partners about their products and services in a comfortable setting. Manufacturers and suppliers told CONTRACTOR that they were pleased with the turnout and the quality of discussions they had with contractors. Vendor product demonstrations and education sessions were mixed in to the day’s offerings. All reports of the showcase and extra learning opportunities were very positive.
After a memorable closing event at the World War II Museum, many PHCC members participated the next morning in a PHCC Day of Service by renovating a New Orleans home damaged by Hurricane Katrina.
Plans are under way for CONNECT 2010, which will be held Oct. 27-30 at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas.