Network '05 is 'time well spent'

ORLANDO, FLA. In their first foray hosting a joint convention, the leaders of the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors-National Association and the American Supply Association were met with compliments and kudos from those in attendance. In all, 1,645 individuals participated in the Network '05 event, which was held Sept. 7-10 at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin hotels here. Included in this

ORLANDO, FLA. — In their first foray hosting a joint convention, the leaders of the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors-National Association and the American Supply Association were met with compliments and kudos from those in attendance.

In all, 1,645 individuals participated in the Network '05 event, which was held Sept. 7-10 at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin hotels here. Included in this number were 274 wholesalers and 385 contractors.

Manufacturing executives, manufacturers reps, spouses and other industry professionals comprised the rest.

Although many have said that they'd be hard-pressed to identify just one highlight of the three-day program, it was clear that the "Channel Marketplace," the tabletop show portion of the event, was a winner. Nearly 20,000 sq. ft. of the Atlantic Ballroom featured 159 product and service vendors, occupying 200 booth spaces, who enjoyed the 41/2-hour opportunity to visit with their wholesaler and contractor customers.

" The time we spent with both wholesalers and PHCC contractors was really quality," said John Martin of Anvil International. "This is what is needed in our busy, competitive world. Get in, see the folks you want to see and get out. Time well spent."

Indeed, the sentiment was shared by Martin's fellow manufacturers, who not only enjoyed the Channel Marketplace, but who also relished the opportunity to be sideby-side with their channel partners in business, educational and social programs for the full three days.

Other highlights of the event included a dual presentation by Apollo 13 mission controller Gene Kranz and astronaut Capt. Jim Lovell, who both stayed on to autograph copies of their books for fans.

Likewise, a panel discussion involving contractors, wholesalers, manufacturers and reps who examined how to remedy supply chain issues was wellreceived by the audience.

"Network '05 gave us the opportunity to combine the traditional PHCC programming that our members rely on, together with the new, combined sessions focused on the channel," said Ike Casey, PHCC's executive vice president. "It's the best of both worlds."

In 2006, PHCC and ASA will co-sponsor ISH North America, Sept. 28-30 in Chicago.