The 62nd annual National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) Convention and Trade Show, held in Boston this year from Oct. 7–10, is bursting at the seams with new technology, educational workshops, networking opportunities and product exhibitions.


In addition to the trade show, registered attendees will have access to an opening reception at the Boston Museum of Science, more than 50 educational workshops, the Student Chapters’ job fair, a Women in NECA roundtable and the winners of the Green Energy Challenge. Convention-goers will also have a chance to enjoy the Boston Pops swing orchestra at the closing ceremony and hear from three general session speakers, including Chief Daniel Linskey, Boston’s Incident Commander during the 2013 Boston Marathon attack.


All of this is valuable, but newcomers or those with limited time should focus on the trade show, said Sue McCart, a member of the NECA convention and exposition team.


McCart said to begin with the Showstopper Showcase, which offers a chance to investigate nearly 200 of the newest products and services on the market. It opens an hour earlier than the rest of the show floor, and McCart suggests using it as the trade show’s “CliffsNotes version.” Scope out must-see booths and companies. With nearly 300 exhibitors, a game plan is necessary.


Afterward, visit a technical workshop. Although presented by industry manufacturers and distributors, these 18 workshops are not commercials. The exhibitor-submitted proposals were selected and cover subjects such as power, productivity, management tools and building information modeling.


“This is the place [for ECs] to come to find the solutions for their particular problems,” McCart said.


Other key attractions include the NECA Disruptive Technology Pavillion with Joey Shorter, Ph.D., director of research at NECA; the Boston Sports Bar; and the Digital Media Lab, where visitors can watch 25-min. tech talks and get individual advice about social media, such as improving their LinkedIn pages.


An added incentive to visiting the trade show: Get in for free using promo code 16EXH when registering at www.necaconvention.org/convention/attendee-registration.


Glenn Potter of Star Electric Inc., Fairbanks, Alaska, attended his first NECA show last year in San Francisco.


“My wife and I reluctantly went feeling guilty about leaving work,” he said. “After our first NECA Show experience, we will never miss another. We got the feeling we belonged and were appreciated, which is rare these days.”


To learn more, visit www.necaconvention.org or download the NECA 2016 Boston app.