MADISON, WIS. — The Radiant Panel Association hosted its first “RadFest” April 15-16 here in what the RPA plans to make annual regional events. A second regional radiant festival is scheduled for May 21-22 in Loveland, Colo. Beginning in 2005, RadFests will be held in the four time areas of the country, the RPA announced.
The Great Lakes RadFest drew more than 400 attendees to the Monona Terrace Convention Center where manufacturers, wholesalers and manufacturers reps displayed electric and hydronic radiant floor systems, boilers, radiators, fan coils, controls, air quality equipment, floor covering options and other products. Contractors, builders and designers at the RadFest generally came from Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota and other Midwestern states, although one radiant contractor traveled from as far away as North Carolina.
Along with the exhibits, RPA’s Radiant Basics and Radiant Precision courses were conducted for those who wanted to further their education through these training sessions. RPA certification exams for radiant designers and installers also were offered.
Roundtables were set up for a live chat room version of the RPA’s RadNet Internet bulletin board. Participants could post a subject or question and sit and discuss it with others of similar interest.
Although some exhibitors expressed disappointment with what they considered to be a light turnout, others said the uncrowded atmosphere gave them the opportunity to spend time with their customers in meaningful conversation. RadFest is designed to devote more time to learning, networking and sharing than a typical trade show, said RPA Executive Director Lawrence Drake.
“Exhibitors and attendees alike expressed approval of the format and encouraged the RPA to continue with the RadFest concept,” Drake said. “Most felt that the intimate atmosphere of a regional event had a lot of value and would certainly grow to become an important part of their local industry.”
The Rocky Mountain RadFest will be held at the new Ranch Event Center in Loveland. Information can be found at www.RPAconference.com or by calling 800/660-7187.
RPA will hold its national convention and trade show in conjunction with the ISH North America show Oct. 14-16 in Boston.