Wooh! Well, we made it. Yesterday (October 10) was the final day of the 2016 NECA show. It’s been a crazy few days for us at ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR. Since we arrived in Boston, our lives have been jam-packed with educational workshops, meetings with exhibitors, parties, presentations and of course the trade show itself. Monday was much of the same, albeit with slightly fewer people and a lot more coffee.

The highlight of the convention is, of course, the trade show, and on Monday, it starts bright and early. The Showstopper Showcase sponsored by ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR opened its doors an hour before everyone else at 8 a.m. 184 products were entered into this year’s showcase, and the following products were selected as winners and presented awards:

Acuity Brands nLight® Air simple wireless controls solution

Basor Electric Basorfil BF2 splicing system

Chatsworth Products Adjustable cable runway

ConEst Software Systems IntelliBid Estimating System

DeWalt 20V MAX area light kit with Bluetooth and built-in battery charger

Eaton locking devices for data centers

Eaton power lock devices

EZ Box Electrical Guard Tube

Garvin Industries AMR series multi-gang adjustable mud rings

Greenlee G-series Smart Pull

Greenlee Intellipunch 11-ton tool

Hilti Firestop Cable Disc

Klein Magnetic wire pulling system

Legrand EvolutionTM series 10” Poke-Thru

Leviton Dual-function AFCI/GFCI receptacle

Milwaukee M18TM Force LogicTM 6T Knockout Tool

Milwaukee Magnetic tape measure with finger stop

Southwire TappanTM Fire Alarm Cable in SIMpull® CoilPakTM

Southwire Tools Technician ProTM Bluetooth CAT IV multimeter

Thomas & Betts T&B Fittings ® Type 316 S/S LiquidTight fittings

Congratulations to all of the Showstopper Showcase winners!

At 9 a.m., visitors could move on to the rest of the trade show floor. On the last day of the convention, the show was quieter than it had been previously. It took longer for people to arrive on the floor, and they moseyed around booths. The slower pace was a big change from the incredible buzz of Saturday and Sunday, but it was a great chance to talk with exhibitors in greater detail and examine products more thoroughly.

For the magazine staff, it was an opportunity to talk with ECs and manufacturers about their work and hopefully find some projects and new topics to cover in upcoming issues. We also were able to collect a ton of information on new products. This year we filled a box with brochures and USBs full of product information.

The best part of the day, however, was the extra time we got to spend talking with our readers. We met many of you this weekend, but Monday especially gave us a chance to speak with you and get your feedback on the magazine. We love to hear your thoughts on what we do! Thanks to all of you for stopping by our booth and for your kind words. We can’t wait to see you again next year.

Once the clock chimed 1 p.m. and the trade show floor officially closed, the day flew by. At 1:15 p.m. Mike Ebeling spoke at the closing session. Ebeling an entrepreneur, CEO of Not Impossible and creator of the EyeWriter, spoke about developing creative solutions for real-world problems, including creating prosthetics using 3-D printing.

For the final event of the 2016 NECA Show, exhibitors, attendees and NECA staff enjoyed an evening at Symphony Hall for the closing celebration and private concert by the Boston Pops Swing Orchestra led by conductor Keith Lockhart at Symphony Hall. The audience heard renditions of old favorites from the American songbook along with popular contemporary music. The concert was a huge hit and an appropriate end to a fun and exciting whirlwind of an event like the NECA show.