What a special few days we had in Indianapolis for the 2022 ASPE Convention & Expo. The weather was not the only beautiful sight to behold. When ASPE first made the decision to hold our Convention & Expo in Indianapolis, we felt it would be a well-attended event—maybe one of our better-attended Conventions. How accurate that decision turned out to be, as the 2022 ASPE Convention & Expo convened in Indianapolis over the dates of September 16–22 did indeed compete with our highest attendance records from the past.
ASPE is very pleased with the attendance, and our exhibitors were very pleased as well. The interactions between exhibitors and attendees were outstanding from all accounts. From a logistical standpoint, I’m not sure it could have been much better, as everything went extremely well considering it’s been four years since our last show in Atlanta.
Now we are moving forward with our planning for the 2023 Tech Symposium to be held in Bellevue, Washington and the 2024 Convention & Expo to be held in Columbus, Ohio. Speaking of planning, make sure you are planning to attend both of these exceptional opportunities to advance your career.
Allow Me to Give a Brief Update of the Activities Shared by All
We kicked off the weekend with a very successful Business Meeting, addressing proposed changes to the Society’s Bylaws and also the election of the 2022–2024 ASPE Board of Directors. Congratulations to the new Board members! What made our Business Meeting so successful for our Chapter Delegates was that we were able to process ASPE’s business in a very efficient manner, which always makes our Delegates and Board of Directors extremely happy. The days are long enough, so being able to conclude the Business Meeting early on both days was a great way to kick off the event.
Additionally, the Women of ASPE Leadership Forum was held prior to the start of the Business Meeting, with great attendance and participation.
One of the most anticipated and fun experiences of our Convention & Expo is the Sunday night party. This year’s event held at the Crane Bay Event Center was sponsored by NIBCO Inc., and it met everyone’s expectations. The stories from that night will be spoken about for many years. It was great to see so many of our members, exhibitors, and sponsors in one place enjoying being together and having a great time. This event set the bar really high for our 2024 Convention & Expo in Columbus. A member of the Columbus Convention Bureau was on hand to witness the party up close, so they are already looking for ways to take a step up in 2024.
Monday morning’s Keynote & Breakfast Award Ceremony was a special event as we presented ASPE’s highest awards to very deserving individuals and companies. The keynote address was outstanding and brought a powerful message, and those in attendance were mesmerized with the true-life story of a living hero. The message was one that everyone could connect to their respective lives, which was inspiring. I watched our standing-room-only ballroom intently during the presentation, and I didn’t see anyone looking down at their phone or sneaking out early. It was just that powerful.
On Monday our Expo floor opened, and the participation from our exhibitors and the attendees made this year’s event gratifying to all. We also hosted a First-Timer reception that is quickly growing into one of our favorite events, as our first-timers are the reason why our Convention & Expo keeps growing. I thank them for taking part of the career growth opportunities that only ASPE events can provide.
Something new this year was ASPE Racing at Indy, a pinewood derby competition between our Chapters. This was the brainstorm idea of the Eastern Michigan Chapter, which ran the entire event and did a wonderful job doing so. I can’t go any further without giving kudos to Bill Grayzar, CPD, GPD, of the Eastern Michigan Chapter for his tireless efforts to make this such a special event. So much fun was had by all that there are already plans to expand in the future to include competitions between ASPE Chapters and the Expo exhibitors just to bring about more opportunities for all. Oh, you can see it now, can’t you? Better start making your plans for 2024, as you don’t want to miss out on these races.
Speaking further about our Expo, it was great to see so many of the industry’s top manufacturers in one place, which is a testament to the desire of so many to bring about the in-person collaboration we all missed so much during the pandemic. We also are thankful that our sponsors so graciously supported the 2022 Convention & Expo.
Our attendees showed up in near record numbers, showing their gratitude to our exhibitors and sponsors, which is another reason our biennial event is not something you should leave off your schedule. They learned about the newest innovations and plumbing products from the industry’s top manufacturers and service providers while reengaging with their peers from across the country.
How good was the Expo floor? Well, one exhibitor said that on Day 1, they never looked down to see what time it was until we made the announcement that the floor would close in 10 minutes. That is impressive.
Many of our Expo exhibitors commented on being surprised that the overall attendance numbers were far better than expected. One exhibitor specifically said that the high attendance was apparent as their booth was constantly buzzing with engineers. It was so good to actually see people’s faces and have meaningful conversations. In fact, numerous attendees remarked on how glad they were to be back in person for ASPE’s biennial event, and they are already looking forward to 2024 in Columbus. I can assure you that ASPE also missed each of you during the pandemic-driven hiatus of our events, and we were so happy to welcome each of you back. We are looking forward to seeing each of you in Columbus in 2024. If you’ve never been, plan on being a first-timer, as we will have another social just for them.
As our members and industry partners are so accustomed, the cornerstone of the 2022 ASPE Convention & Expo is the Technical Education Program, which spanned two days and included 30 sessions offering up to 1.2 CEUs. Attendees crowded the session rooms to learn from our expert speakers on timely topics for the entire industry. ASPE always has great technical sessions for our attendees, evidenced this year by several standing-room-only rooms. One room with a 160-seat capacity was overflowing, and we were asked if more seats could be added. (Unfortunately, we didn’t want the fire marshal calling us.) The enthusiasm of our attendees and speakers was amazing.
Once again, the biggest thing that continues to stick in my mind is that after such an unsettled time in all of our lives, it was extremely exciting to see our members, sponsors, exhibitors, and industry partners at the 2022 ASPE Convention & Expo. As reflected in the attendance and participation, the industry remains committed to ASPE and our members, and I wholeheartedly thank everyone who took the time to travel to Indianapolis to be part of such an amazing event.
If you think our Convention & Expo was special, we hope you are planning to join us for the next national ASPE event, which will be the 2023 ASPE Tech Symposium in Bellevue, Washington on September 26–October 2. Begin making your plans to join us, as we’ve already begun plans to include you. Registration will open in the spring of 2023.
I’ve attended many industry shows over the past few decades. They all provide something attendees need. However, ASPE provides the only Convention & Expo just for plumbing engineers. Attendees can choose from among the many educational sessions, which helps them maintain their credentials, and the varied topics we offer connect seamlessly with their daily jobs. It’s a place you can meet friends and other plumbing engineers who deal with similar projects. Having the opportunity in one location to speak with all of the top industry manufacturers, see the new and innovative products, and discuss your respective needs within the specification market may be the most important component of the ASPE Convention & Expo.
No other industry show has all of this in one spot: networking, social events, educational classes, and the best exhibit floor just for the plumbing engineering industry. Yes, I humbly state that ASPE offers the most for the most.
Let’s not forget what is most important to ASPE and our continued success: Each and every day ASPE is about our members, our Chapters, and our industry partners, as well as the many benefits our Society can bring to our members, Chapters, and the industry.
In closing, here is another reminder of our successful 2022 Convention & Expo and the ongoing plans for success at the 2023 Tech Symposium in Bellevue. Start planning now to be there, as ASPE is all about you. It wouldn’t be the same without you.