One measure of an industry event’s success is the common experience of its attendees. Presenters and products are key, but the event’s ability to bring colleagues together to meet, reunite and connect is equally important.

Held Sept. 28–30, the NECA Show 2014 in Chicago promises to succeed on this measure, as it has in past years. The show will feature a bevy of vendor exhibits and educational offerings. It entices top-notch manufacturers, retailers and other providers in the industry. It also offers free admission to electrical contractors wanting to visit more than 300 exhibitors showcasing thousands of solutions those ECs need. Additionally, all who come can attend 19 free technical workshops.

The show provides members of the industry the unique opportunity to come together and network against the backdrop of these program highlights. Andy Busack and his wife, Kelli, attended the show last year for the first time. They are co-owners of Busack Electric in Longview, Wash. As much as they had wanted to attend in the past, running a small, family-owned business didn’t leave much room in the budget for traveling to and attending the NECA Show. The Busacks said the classes stood out as a value.

Kurt Templeman, a registered communications distribution designer (RCDD) and the director of Enterprise Networks for Sumitomo Electric Lightwave Corp., will be attending the show for the fourth time as an exhibitor. According to Templeman, who attends many trade shows, a number of things make the NECA Show unique. One in particular is the staff members.

“They are simply the best,” he said. “They really make you feel welcome.”

Todd McCormick, president of McCormick Systems, a software provider, has attended the show for 34 years. He emphasizes that the show is a “very well run organization.”

“They have their act together,” he said.

For all the attendees, having a well-run operation makes it that much easier for them to do what they want and need to do—marketing and networking. McCormick said that he keeps coming back to the show for all these years because of the opportunity to connect with key people in the industry as well as those newcomers who are looking for innovation.

That a person like McCormick, who’s been successful in the industry for so long, returns each year speaks volumes about the value of the NECA Show.