Sprayfoam 2018 Convention & Expo: President's Message
SPFA Board President John Achille, Coastal Insulation...
Dear Convention Attendees:
Welcome to the Sprayfoam 2018 Convention & Expo. Thank you for your interest in the event, the organization, and for supporting your industry!
Folks have worked so hard to bring you a great program with diverse and interesting speakers, awards luncheon, busy and engaging exhibit hall, PCP Field Exams (thanks to sponsor donations), tons of networking opportunities and the Annual Golf Tournament.
Mobile Alabama is a location we haven't taken the Show to in the past. Typically the location of the Show cycles from west to central to eastern United States each year. This is because we want to accommodate the various geographic locations of our members and provide a new venue so no one location gets stale. Admittedly this puts a higher burden on staff and Convention Committee members having to handle different hotel, event and staffing logistics each year, but it is worth it.
Mobile is a great city with welcoming southern charm, reliably good weather in Jan/Feb, an lots of restaurant and bar options. It has several airports within relatively equal driving distance, and the city, along with the convention center and hotel reps, have bent over backwards to accommodate our event. In addition to everything at the Show being in walking distance, SPFA secured significant discount room blocks at the two largest hotels in town, both across the street from the convention center. I am very excited about our prospects for another great event in 2018.
This will be my second Sprayfoam Convention as President. It has been a very busy 2017 for SPFA leadership, working to bring SPFA members the best, most valuable efforts to improve, expand and grow this great industry we all call home. As President I’m proud to say that many of those important accomplishments and issues SPFA works on for you will be woven throughout the show. You’ll see and hear them, and be better because of it.
As a leader in my own company I know how hard it is to find the time and opportunity to focus on big issues that affect all of us. To catch up with the people we’ve been struggling to see or talk to all year, and to take a little bit of time away from work to focus on the “us” and “we” that make this industry go around. That’s a real value of this show – we’re all in one place!
Every year SPFA finds a way to make the show just a little better than the last – to make improvements or add new elements that work to make the attendee experience even better. And we aren’t afraid to try new things – some will work and some won’t. But just like our industry, SPFA and this show have to keep innovating to stay on top. For 2018 SPFA unveiled a new exclusive top-tier Platinum Sponsorship. This will provide additional support to the event that can be turned into value and experience for attendees, and also serve to highlight a company's commitment to the event and the industry.
SPFA also announced a new exciting element of the Exhibit Hall - the Education Stage. If you've been to any trade events in the past year or two you'll notice many exhibit halls feature smaller, focused talks on a specific topic. Being that this is in the Exhibit Hall, the commercial nature of that lends to a more informal and fast-paced environment, and allows for presenters to deliver shorter presentations addressing a specific challenge their product or service can help alleviate in the industry.
Our focus upon consistent and valuable elements, along with willingness to try something new to keep the show fresh are some of the reasons this event has grown over 200% in the past ten years. The amount of industry professionals that are at your fingertips is invaluable. When I first attended, I was amazed at how vast our industry really is, how many people do the same things I do. Up until then, I had been living on my island, trying to succeed on my own – now I found a wealth of information, and it was up to me to demand that knowledge. It was at the first convention that I decided I wanted to be involved with the SPFA Board.
My standard advice to you for this coming show:
The convention exhibit hall accommodates a multitude of vendors by offering extended hours – you can’t possibly visit all vendors and take advantage of their offerings in one day so plan for both. Spend time with those vendors, they will help you!
Attend the breakout sessions. The sessions allow us not to only “take in” information, but to interact and share questions, offer experience to our fellow tradespeople. Those that come to the convention willing to share are more often rewarded with new perspectives and ideas that help their own businesses conquer problems.
Get PCP Certified. While the PCP program was in its infancy, I took part in creating, editing, and proofing of the knowledge, skills and ability criteria which undoubtedly forced me to think and ultimately better learn my trade. Now that program is growing and having an impact on the industry. And thanks to generous sponsors of material, equipment and scholarship funds, the Field Exam portion of the PCP for Master Installer candidates can be offered at the show at no cost! Even if you still need to do other parts of the program you can get a big part done without sacrificing your time, equipment and money!
And always - Thank members and sponsors for their support. Go to as many networking receptions as you can handle. Learn. Ask. Act. And yes, maybe find time for golf.
I promise you that if you make the effort to really make the most of your time at convention, by the end of it all you will have gained real takeaways that you can bring back to your business.
I look forward to sharing stories with old friends and making new ones – see you in beautiful Mobile!
SPFA Board President, 2016 - 2018