Every industry has its premier conference, and for electrical maintenance and safety professionals, it's PowerTest. From Mar. 11–15, the InterNational Electrical Testers Association (NETA) held its 2019 PowerTest Conference at the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center in Grapevine, Texas, and it delivered on its education and networking promises.
The conference began with a keynote address by Stacey Hanke, consultant and author, who helped attendees with their communication and leadership skills. Her presentation showed attendees how to communicate with clarity and to rid themselves of any body language habits that may influence others to perceive them in a negative light.
The conference then opened for attendees to choose from a number of technical tracks, including topics such as electrical safety, equipment, reliability, and emerging technology. At the end of the first day, the conference presented the New Product Forum, which gave exhibitors the opportunity to stand in front of attendees to preview the new technologies and services they would unveil at the trade show. After the New Product Forum, attendees dispersed to relax and network at the much-anticipated hospitality suites event in which several companies held parties and celebrations occupying an entire section of the convention center.
The second day kicked off with four panel discussions on topics such as safety, circuit breakers, emerging technology and project management. On the safety panel were some names familiar to electrical contractors, including Daryld Ray Crow, Paul Dobrowsky, Jim Dollard, Daleep Mohla and Palmer Hickman. All panelists are on the NFPA 70E correlating committee, and the event involved a lot of questions from and interaction with the audience. The panelists repeatedly dove into specific sections and subsections of NFPA 70E and offered some insight into the standard's making.
At the trade show on day two, more than 100 electrical power vendors exhibited in promotion of electrical safety and reliability.
To wrap up day two, NETA hosted its PowerBash Reception, a grand party for all attendees, and at the reception, attendees voted on the winner of the best party at the hospitality suites event.
For attendees seeking CEU credit, the remainder of the week was filled with technical seminars on topics such as electrical safety, cable testing, switchgear, circuit breakers and leadership. Some seminars even offered hands-on experience off-site.