Technology Exhibits, training, certification, networking, deal making
The National Propane Gas Association International Propane Expo 2013 (my version of the event name) will be held on April 13–15 in Atlanta, Georgia, and there is nothing else like it. This NPGA-owned event has been held in Atlanta at the Georgia World Congress Center for many years and is endorsed and generously supported by the Southeast States Propane Gas Associations. Complete information can be found at http://www.propaneexpo.com
The NPGA International Propane Expo is the world’s largest gathering of a full range of propane industry professionals who buy, specify and influence the products that go into the propane marketplace. Attendees include business owners, managers, customer service representatives, sales people, and service technicians. Over 5,000 attendees are expected to travel to Atlanta from all over the United States, Canada, Mexico, and several other foreign countries. Here are some reasons why you should attend, no matter where you work or what you do in the propane industry.
First, the Propane Expo is the largest exhibit of propane-related products in the world. The Exhibit space is expected to be sold out as well over 200 exhibitors focus on new ideas, technologies, and products, including the highly anticipated and long overdue, propane-powered bobtail delivery truck, the Freightliner S2G. I have talked with several other exhibitors and sponsors and they are excited about the innovative products and ideas they are bringing to Atlanta, the nearly normal cold winter that most of their customers are experiencing, the greatly enhanced domestic propane supply picture, and the general sense of excitement surrounding this year’s Expo event.
The Propane Education & Research Council is considered an event partner with NPGA on several aspects of the Propane Expo and will have a wide array of new propane technologies on display in its exhibit and the adjoining Innovation Pavilion. An exciting new feature of the Innovation Pavilion this year will be a display of unique, never before seen, Rinnai propane products not currently available in this country but sold in other parts of the world. You will get a chance to give your opinion on what the potential for these products will be in your marketplace. It’s all about bringing more propane burner tips to the homes and businesses you service.
Second, and not far behind the exhibit floor in attendee interest, is the most comprehensive propane training program available anywhere. It starts with a pre-conference Online Marketing & Social Media Workshop on Saturday morning. If you want to bring your company into the present and on to the future of marketing and advertising, you will want someone from your company to attend this workshop.
On Saturday afternoon and Sunday there are eighteen training sessions scheduled in blocks of six that run concurrently in individual training rooms. Hint: Bring more people from your company if you want to take full advantage of all the learning opportunities at the Propane Expo. The training sessions cover five learning tracks, Business Operations, Propane Applications, Safety & Standards, Sales & Marketing, and Supply & Distribution. In future years you can expect the Training Program at the Expo to include a Propane Professional Designation Program with some sessions qualifying for Professional Designations and continuing education. There will be more news coming on that later this year.
On Sunday and Monday there are ten of the popular Fast Track Sessions scheduled on the exhibit floor that cover some of the more technical aspects of the propane business, such as NFPA and OSHA compliance, cloud computing, and new trends in gas piping.
New to the Propane Expo this year is Certification Training for the installation of both Corrugated Stainless Steel Tubing (CSST) flexible gas line and underground plastic pipe. Four manufacturers will hold certification classes in areas set aside on the exhibit hall floor on Sunday and Monday. This is a great opportunity for service technicians and propane system installers to get certified to purchase and install new gas piping products that will simplify propane system installations and save money.
Third, and sometimes most important, the Propane Expo is a great networking and deal-making opportunity for both women and men in the propane industry. Friends and business associates and customers can come together in Atlanta to renew acquaintances, find new clients and suppliers, and make the deals that will take them through the next year.
Will I see you at NPGA International Propane Expo 2013 in Atlanta in April? I hope so. Attending the Propane Expo will be good for your business!
Tom Jaenicke is the owner and principal advisor at ATomiK Creative Solutions, LLC, a company that provides marketing services, technical advice, continuing education solutions, and business development assistance to energy companies and support organizations. He can be reached at 810 252‑7855 or firstname.lastname@example.org.