Imagine spending four days in a major American city every fall – surrounded by thousands of motivated peers and the best-and-brightest minds in the field, taking advantage of networking opportunities and educational courses led by experts in a range of specialties. Dynamic speakers inspire audiences to “think big” and a vibrant trade show is also right around the corner. Then, there are new restaurants, museums and entertainment venues to explore.
Welcome to the NECA Convention and Trade Show – the annual gathering that has become the No. 1 event in the electrical contracting industry. Organized by the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA), the 2015 convention will take place in San Francisco, Oct. 3 to 6. Past conventions have been held in cities across the country, including San Diego, Chicago and Washington, D.C. The first was held in 1901 in Buffalo, New York, and the event has certainly grown since then.
Last year, convention organizers picked Chicago to host the event. The trade show was held at McCormick Place West. Philanthropist and best-selling author Chris Gardner opened during the General Session, speaking powerfully about his hardships and overcoming homelessness. He later signed copies of his book on the floor of the trade show. Closing the convention was decorated military veteran and Navy Seal Robert O’Neill, who gave a detailed account of various combat missions and his recipe for success in life. To top things off, Jim Belushi and the Sacred Hearts Band performed at the closing celebration on the final night of the convention.
But all that fun is secondary to what is at the heart of the convention: education. NECA is all about creating an environment in which contractors can come together to share ideas and collectively learn about the industry. Attendees can continue their education through pre-convention and convention courses that cover topics ranging from labor relations – a new track this year – and business management to leadership and communications. One popular instructor coming to NECA 2015 San Francisco is Alice D. Domar, a pioneer in the field of mind-body medicine.
All instructors are industry leaders with unique insight and the expertise to customize seminars to the management and business needs of professionals working in all levels of electrical contracting. Their presentations are geared to providing strategic and practical solutions for electrical contractors. Aiming to grow their business, companies often bring multiple key personnel so they can cover all the bases. Streamlined tracks allow NECA to better serve the ever-evolving needs of the industry.
Attendees will find additional value at the NECA Show, the largest trade show for the electrical construction industry. As the largest gathering of manufacturers and distributors for electrical professionals in North America, the trade show floor showcases thousands of solutions contractors need to save time and money on the job. The trade show floor is a virtual classroom, providing the latest technological advances in such areas as: power supply, security, tools, integrated building systems, lighting and controls, solar/PV, and other energy markets.
Another perk: Technical workshops are free with admission to the NECA Show. NECA partners with exhibitors to highlight the latest technological advances and oftentimes the most prized information available at the event. The Showstopper Showcase, the awards program sponsored by NECA and ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR magazine, also draws people from around the globe.
The City by the Bay will be the site of all this activity in October. Planned events include the opening reception at the world-famous Exploratorium and a concert by Kenny Loggins at the closing celebration. General session speakers lined up are: Sal Khan, founder of the Khan Academy, an educational nonprofit organization, and Diana Nyad, a renowned endurance swimmer.
“I look forward to the NECA Convention every year and this year even more since it gives us a chance to show off our beautiful city,” says Ernie Ulibarri of Barri Electric Company and NECA’s San Francisco Chapter president. “NECA 2015 San Francisco offers a unique mix of industry leaders, new technologies and expert speakers.”