The electrical industry has experienced transformative change in recent years as society has entered an entirely new era of power, technology and communications. Practitioners have had to keep up with these changes to stay competitive. Training, education, tools and equipment are all different now than they were even a few years ago, reflecting the radical progression that is taking place.


Helping those in the industry stay ahead of this curve is the NECA Convention 2014, which will be held at Chicago’s McCormick Place West, from Sat., Sept. 27 through Tues., Sept. 30. With an agenda full of exhibitors, workshops, product showcases and more, it is suited for anyone who makes their livelihood in the electrical industry.


There is a misperception that the convention is only for the members of the National Electrical Contractors Association. The show’s organizers want to dispel that myth. The doors are open to everyone involved in the electrical industry.


According to Dennis F. Quebe, CEO of Chapel Electric Co. and president of NECA, the organization “serves the complete electrical construction industry, from apprentices to executives, through education, training, expert insight, plus the latest products and resources, so our industry can meet evolving customer demands.”


According to NECA, attendance has been climbing steadily, and to accommodate this expansion, the space has almost doubled in the last five years.


More than 300 companies will showcase thousands of products and services. The list of product types being exhibited at the convention is varied. It includes such products as computer hardware and software, fiber optics, lighting and controls, solar energy, switches and switchgear, transformers, vehicles, tools, industry services, wind energy, and many others.


ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR’s Showstoppers showcase will put more than 120 new and innovative products before a panel of judges who will select up to 25 finalists from the pool of entries. The chosen Showstoppers will appear in an article in the January 2015 issue. 


Of course, more important than the products are the educational opportunities. The convention will feature 19 technical workshops that are open to all. 


Quebe remarked on the many disparate elements that now comprise electrical contracting, ranging from voice/data/video technology to wind turbines and energy storage, and he said that the convention “is the one place it all comes together.”


Registration for the show opens on May 29, 2014. For more information, visit www.necaconvention.org.