“NECA is the voice of the $130 billion electrical construction industry that brings power, light, and communication technology to buildings and communities across the U.S.”
I know it’s boilerplate. I must have read it dozens of times. It’s at the top of the National Electrical Contractors Association website in the “about” box and the bottom of many NECA press releases. It’s the first thing a journalist might learn about our organization. It’s the last thing the competition wants to hear. But, is it really true?
Yes. And on some days, it seems that NECA is even bigger. We had three of those days last month.
When you have the fastest growing trade show in America’s favorite destination for conventions and business meetings, you know you’re going to hear a few more superlatives before the “it’s all over but the cheering” part is finished—like “biggest” and “best.” Those are just the right words to describe the 2014 NECA Show in Chicago.
Even before it got underway, we knew it was going to be the largest gathering of manufacturers and distributors for electrical professionals in North America. Before summer was over, more than 300 of them had already signed up to show off thousands of the solutions electrical contractors need to save time and money on the job and grow their businesses. By the time the curtain opened, dozens more had joined them.
NECA has hosted an annual electrical industry exposition every year since 1955, and this year’s show really was the biggest and best so far. It featured more than 60 companies that had never participated in any of our previous expositions. A lot of what was being exhibited was new and different, too, because today’s electrical contractors are delivering services that were previously unimaginable.
The trade show floor really was a virtual classroom, providing the latest technological advances in such areas as power supply, security, tools, integrated building systems, lighting and controls, solar/PV, other energy markets, and much more that yesterday’s EC could never have imagined.
If you didn’t attend, just open to any page of this magazine to see what it’s like to the have the most useful tools and most rewarding knowledge in the industry revealed. It happens every month for readers of ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR.
That’s a mighty impressive magazine you have in front of you! I’m not even talking about all of the great articles that provide practical advice to help us electrical contractors increase our profitability while avoiding pitfalls. It also contains a lot of ads from our industry’s leading manufacturers and suppliers. And that’s a good thing.
We know our success depends on the functionality, quality, and efficiency of the tools and equipment we use and the materials we install. While an abundance of advertising may be the bane of general-interest magazine readers, we contractors appreciate being kept informed of the wide variety of products and services available to us in our professional lives. ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR enables us to acquire that knowledge effortlessly.
NECA publishes this magazine, but it is distributed far beyond the association’s membership. BPA Worldwide, a highly respected company that certifies media circulation figures and audience demographics, found that our magazine reaches an average of 82,624 electrical contracting industry participants—owners and principals, engineers, estimators, purchasing agents, project managers, supervisors, foremen, electricians, linemen, technicians, and others—every month.
Although NECA members are, obviously, eligible for special benefits, NECA’s mission is to educate the entire industry, elevate the general knowledge level of all electrical contractors, and expand the depth and breadth of customers’ expectations of electrical contractors. The electrical manufacturers and distributors that buy advertising space in this magazine are actually helping to pay for research and the dissemination of information.
NECA has a special Premier Partner sponsorship program connecting members to the leading companies in the electrical construction industry. NECA’s Premier Partners showcase their brands, products and services to the electrical construction industry through hundreds of NECA events, publications and digital platforms year round, including the annual NECA Convention and Show. We thank NECA’s Premier Partners on page 109 in this magazine.
But dozens of other companies, large and small, also invest in the future of the electrical contracting industry—and their own—whenever they take out an ad in ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR, participate in the NECA Show, or contribute to ELECTRI International. I have two words for all the electrical manufacturers and distributors that are helping NECA carry out its mission to advance the industry through advocacy, education, research and standards development: “Thank you!”
About The Author
Dennis Quebe is a former president of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) and contributed the President's Desk column monthly. He took office in January 2012 and served a three-year term.