OAK BROOK, ILL. — Large annual trade shows are considered the cream of the crop when it comes to networking, seeing the latest in new products and technology, and sitting in on educational seminars. But let’s face it, the cost of traveling across the country may not be in the budget, and time away from office or jobsite is not an easy compromise.
If, for whatever reason, you can’t make the annual association trade shows, look to the local or regional trade shows. They are just as valuable.
“The advantages of attending regional trade shows include putting you in direct contact with suppliers who offer materials that are appropriate for use in your geographical area, and networking with the state and local officials and designers who oversee your work,” said Beverly Potts, executive director of the Illinois PHCC.
Keeping it local
Reasons for attending regional trade shows? Contractors, plumbers, inspectors, government officials, engineers, manufacturers and wholesalers all unite to share ideas and learn from each other.
The Illinois PHCC Show, held March 21, kicked off with more than 800 plumbers attending the annual continuing education session, which encompassed speakers from the Illinois Attorney General’s Office on new ADA requirements and program and code updates from the Illinois Department of Public Health Plumbing Program.
“In addition to meeting with contractors and inspectors that come to the show from all over the state, I happened to get four hours of continuing education,” said John Baethke, John Baethke & Son Plumbing, Chicago.
Also, contractors cite seeing the latest and greatest in tools, trucks, fixtures, boilers, water heaters, plumbing materials, installation methods, and the opportunity to network with others, as examples.
“I always enjoy seeing all the products, including several products that are not in our local suppliers yet, as well as speaking to all of my reps,” said Baethke. “I also get to catch up with many people I have met through the years.”
The IL-PHCC show in particular offered information on the new ADA requirements as they relate to plumbing, and the federal water heater regulations that take effect in 2015.
“Attendees can discuss technical issues directly with the regional manufacturer’s representatives, ask regulatory questions of local plumbing inspectors and government officials, and see new installation methods demonstrated,” said Potts.
According to William Todd, Illinois PHCC president, the Illinois PHCC organization is confronting a time of many changes and it is committed to meeting these changes during a time of larger state and nationwide changes.
“The world of Plumbing, Heating and Cooling Contractors will continue to bring inspired people together to ensure that Illinois PHCC remains at the cutting edge,” said Todd. “We’re transforming the way we operate as a prestigious organization to continuously improve our ability to excel while serving our industry.”
Product highlights from the Illinois PHCC show included:
• The TRITON from Watts Water Technologies’ plastic pipe welding solution uses radio frequency (RF) electromagnetic technology to dramatically improve pipe joining and testing times, in turn increasing job site productivity.
• The recently released heavy duty, cast-iron RIDGID XD Professional Pumps feature patented AdvanTEXT Cellular Flood Monitoring, which detects problems like power outages and rising water, alerting homeowners via text messages.
• HTP’s Phoenix LD is a condensing gas water heater that operates at 97% thermal efficiency.
• John Guest’s plastic angle stop adapter valve connects between the valve and riser, to the main water supply line, for applications in reverse osmosis, filtration systems, ice makers, and more.
• Viega’s Dan Courtney demonstrates the ProPress system with MegaPress jaws.