Trade Shows (and Crowds) Return

No reason to “bury the lead” on this one. If you were wondering if people would return to in-person events in our supply chain, the answer is yes.

The Independent Electrical Contractors held its first in-person Convention and Expo in Denver October 8th and 9th. While contractors came and went, it would be a safe estimate to say there were about 200 people walking the trade show floor throughout the day. The event also included the annual Apprentice of the Year competition, where up and coming electricians work in the middle of the trade show floor to earn top honors.

The crowd at the IEC Convention and Expo In Denver October 8 was consistently around 200 people at a time.

Denver is known for having some non-union contractors, so the location made sense for the IEC. In spending time with distributors at the event, they were happy to have what they called quality conversations with not only local, but also some contractors from around the country who attended the event. With news of the Rexel USA acquisition of Mayer just 24 hours early, distributors offered some speculation on how the merger would play out and what to expect in the future.

Just days later, NECA held its first in-person trade show in Nashville. Despite ongoing concerns about Southwest Airlines and thousands of cancelled flights, the trade show floor was extremely busy on Sunday, October 10. While we have not received any official word from NECA, there were easily thousands of people inside the Music City Convention Center, and, as expected, many of the booths were extremely active throughout the day on Sunday. tED magazine talked with the distributors who set up booths as exhibitors at the event, and they reported having a solid number of conversations with attendees, and that the conversations were extremely worthwhile.

Contractors from around the country filled the trade show floor at the NECA Show on Sunday, October 10.

On Monday, October 11, the trade show floor was not as full due to it being a workday for contractors, but exhibitors reported the quality of conversations with key contractors remained solid.

By the time the trade show ended, complications with Southwest Airlines had been ironed out, and travel home became a non-issue.

NECA has already announced the 2022 event will be held next October in Austin, Texas.

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