Exhibitors See Opportunity for Showing and Listening

CETA Edge

Exhibitors See Opportunity for Showing and Listening

By Diane M. Calabrese / Published July 2019

Photo by iStockphoto.com/larryworkmanphotography

Forty-nine…That’s the number of exhibitors committed to PowerClean 2019 as of mid-May, and we expect the number to grow.

Members of CETA and PWNA who attend PowerClean 2019 in Charleston, SC, (October 17–20, 2019) will have the opportunity to meet with and learn from leading manufacturers and suppliers in the industry. Yes, CETA and PWNA will again co-locate this year—two strong and independent organizations with a unified vision to move the industry forward.

What attracts exhibitors to Power-Clean 2019? “It is a good opportunity to interact with others in the industry,” says Chris Winius, the trade show manager with Briggs & Stratton Corp., headquartered in Wauwatosa, WI.

Winius is succinct. Yet, she encapsulates the essence of what it means to participate in PowerClean 2019: interaction.

Exhibitors have much to show, but they also want to listen to customers. And customers want to be heard. More than a few innovations have emerged because an exhibitor listened to a customer at a tradeshow and took a suggestion back to his or her company.

There’s something about the setting which encourages industry members to talk and share ideas. It’s a catalyst for doing more.

“Exhibiting at PowerClean is a great opportunity to meet with a variety of industry professionals, including manufacturers, distributors, end users, and suppliers in one location,” says Neil Myers, director of sales and business development at Wayne Combustion Systems in Ft. Wayne, IN.

“The feedback we receive about our products while being at the show is fantastic,” says Myers. “We always look forward to seeing familiar faces and making new connections.”

PowerClean encourages links that go in many directions. Manufacturers can talk to their competitors. They can also talk with their distributors.

“Exhibiting at PowerClean is a great opportunity for both manufacturers and distributors,” says Jenni McCormick, digital media marketing specialist at Nilfisk HPW with headquarters in Redland, CA. “From the manufacturing side, you get to see the latest trends, technologies, and new products that are on the market as well as connecting and re-connecting with colleagues and new acquaintances.”

Ties strengthened during Power-Clean include those within networks. “Having a strong network is important in our industry, which is why our company exhibits annually,” explains McCormick. “Distributors have a great advantage in attending, as they get a true sampling of all products and can form new relationships as well as cultivate existing relationships with the manufacturers.”

The flow of information between manufacturer and distributor benefits the end user. “It allows distributors to really see what it will take to solve their customers’ needs as they learn about which products work best in different applications—along with learning about things such as leasing programs and volume benefits,” says McCormick.

Manufacturers want to hear from their distributors. Although they can arrange to do so in any number of ways, PowerClean affords them the chance to mix the formal and informal in an especially invigorating way.

Charles Tibboles, the product manager at R.W. Beckett Corp. in Elyria, OH, and a former CETA board member, offers “the supplier’s point of view,” as he refers to it. He pulls our scope out a bit to the big picture of all that PowerClean makes possible.

“PowerClean is a time to catch up with the distributors to listen to how they are doing and the challenges they face,” says Tibboles. “The show is a good place to update the members on changes and demonstrate new components.”

For all there is to see among the exhibits, attendees should also be mindful of the value in participating in formal sessions. “Even though our education programs tend to be focused on helping the distributor to grow their business, very often the information has much broader application,” says Tibboles. “There is always some take-away that is useful.”

Exhibits, seminars, keynote speaker…an attendee can stay extremely busy learning. But there is time for recreation.

Tibboles puts it this way: “And let us be mindful that it is not all work—we do play a bit, the opening reception is always fun, and golf is a blast—even though I’m not very good, it’s still fun.”

(The fun to be had in the golf tournament reflects the good nature and high spirits that will permeate PowerClean 2019. Golfers compete in two flights. In addition to awards to the top three players in each flight, there are prizes for the longest drive, longest putt, and closest to the pin.)

Seminar topics are being firmed up as we write in May. There will be more about them available soon at the CETA website www.ceta.org.

Co-Location

It’s worth revisiting the concept of the co-location of CETA and PWNA. In many ways, the decision to capitalize on the strength of both organizations brings even more vitality to the exchanges that occur during PowerClean 2019.

That includes exchanges between exhibitors and end users. End users who take in the exhibits may find themselves talking with both a distributor they know and a manufacturer they have just met. Everyone gains at the individual business level. The entire industry gains, too.

Co-location formalizes the day-to-day interaction that occurs between members of CETA and members of PWNA. The first full-scale co-location of CETA and PWNA took place in Orlando, FL, last October at Power-Clean 2018.

It’s worth recalling the words of Chad Rasmussen, the CFO of Royce Industries, L.C., in West Jordan, UT, and the 2018 CETA board president. An enthusiastic proponent of co-location, he helped foster the alignment as a natural fit.

The common goal of promoting the industry by moving it forward is clearly shared by CETA and PWNA. It encompasses incorporation of new technologies and embrace of innovative tools and techniques. Expertise within one organization complements and bolsters expertise at the other.

Deeper training, more networking, and increasing business opportunities are some of the benefits that Rasmussen saw and highlighted in this column in 2018. Taking energy from the meeting home is another way that industry members become stronger because of co-location at PowerClean 2019.