While much of the buzz on NECA 2018 Philadelphia's final day surrounded the appearance by President Trump in the afternoon, the show floor was very much still open for business. ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR spent Tuesday walking the floor and talking to exhibitors and others about their experience at the convention and what their companies were up to.
Members of the NECA Penn-Del-Jersey chapter and IBEW Local No. 98 in front of their booth. This chapter was instrumental in the success of this year's NECA Show, leading it to be one of the highest attended in convention history.
At the Graybar booth, Todd Reed, Marketing Manager, was giving presentations about job site efficiency, eliminating waste, saving labor, and increasing productivity.
"It's about keeping contractors doing the specialized work and installations rather than pushing boxes around on the job site," said John Sepiol, Manager of Construction Business.
Graybar was also giving away prizes, such as a drone.
Greenlee again had its swag vending machine, which always creates a line of people curving around the company's booth.
Not every new product you see at the NECA Show is in a booth. Blaine Gallagher, CEO of Particle Contamination Systems, spent each day walking the show floor "wearing" his invention: a particle contamination product that protects the worker in dangerous areas. If you were in Philadelphia, he was hard to miss.
Many exhibitors at NECA 2018 Philadelphia find creative ways to pull in attendees. Some give away prizes or have flashy presentations. Bridgeport Fittings (booth 1029) brought along magician Randy Bernstein. Not only does he bring the people in with card tricks and other illusions, but he also uses his performances to show off the products that Bridgeport featured at the convention.
Bernstein specializes in these types of performances, and he said part of his success is that it's all about the message of the company hiring him. In addition to several years of NECA Show experience, he has worked many other conventions and conferences and can be found at magicbyrandy.com.
At the Day and Night Solar booth (1040), attendees got the chance for an up-close look at solar panels. A market ECs may be wary about getting into, solar power has continued to grow even through the tariffs set by the Trump Administration.
According to Bob Eaton, Managing Partner of Day and Night Solar, more tariffs may be coming, but the company is making preparations to ensure the solar industry and the company's business is secure.
Eaton said contractors who are skeptical about solar panels' durability should rest assured. The system the company had on display is hurricane-resistant up to 220-mph wind speeds. He said they won't rust or corrode, and they can be submerged without sustaining damage.
Eaton said the company's goal is to help contractors save labor, finish solar installations easier and faster, and enter the market without apprehension.
"We have to give an advantage to contractors, and it has to be labor," he said. "Don't just do labor. Step up, and go after the business."
Eaton said the company teaches contractors while accomplishing their first solar project.
"Let's get paid to go to school," he said.
Tritium (booth 1920) is a manufacturer of EV charging stations that is looking to increase its presence in the United States. Dennis Pascual, the company's vice president of operations in the Americas, said their products convert alternating current to direct current; essentially the opposite of solar. Their high-powered Veefil charging stations are currently deployed in Europe and are expanding. All have a three-year warranty.
Above, Pascual (right) and Jesse Ruvalcaba pose with a Veefil charger on the show floor.
Scott Francis of Westex by Milliken led a technical workshop on PPE. Each year at the NECA Show, the technical workshops on the show floor provide training and valuable education to anyone with a trade show pass.
Glenguard (booth 2308) is a PPE company that is beginning to focus its efforts on the electrical space. (In the past, it has focused on oil and gas.) Above, Jeff Michel holds up the company's new arc-rated PPE garment. He said launderers love the jackets because the color is based in the fiber, so it doesn't fade like other products.
Year in and year out, few companies have the presence on the NECA Show floor that Milwaukee Tool has. Above, the company spent a portion of the show's final day raffling off various products. In addition to that, Shawn Ledbetter (above) discussed the company's new Force Logic system, which has sought to innovate the way high-force tools are used in the field.