Reflections on OESP’s Road Show.
By: Judy Garber, OESP Executive Director.
There are three major trade shows for our industry within the
Northeast, as well as several regional shows. These larger shows
cover the same market, whether the emphasis is on gasoline,
oil-fired appliances, or service. As a result of this, many
manufacturers and attendees have suggested that we consolidate
these shows. We listened to feedback, did our research, and came
up with a thoughtful solution: The OESP Road Show.
For over 60 years, OESP has represented the service and
installation side of our industry. We strongly believe in the
need for well-qualified technicians, whether they are working
with oil, gas, propane, or alternative fuels. We are committed
to providing our members with the classes they need to excel as
energy professionals. We, like other associations, evolve so we
can continue meeting the needs of our members.
And in order to evolve, we must first listen. And this is what
we did as we developed the OESP Road Show. We listened to our
exhibitors, partners, and members. We examined statistics dating
back several years and explored many options. And as a result of
our research, we put together a strong program that focused on
new products and education.
The goal of the OESP Road Show was not only to reduce the cost
and time commitment for manufacturers and attendees, but also to
provide an outstanding education program. The Road Show
emphasized education on the trade show floor and in the
classroom. Attendees could meet with manufacturers, learn about
new products, and earn NATE and NORA CEU’s in the same day. It
was never intended to be an enormous show. Instead, the OESP
Road Show was tailored to be a more intimate event with an
emphasis placed on quality interactions and top-notch education.
The first Road Show took place from May 12-13 at Mohegan Sun in
CT. It came within 15% of our objectives with regards to the
quality of attendees and anticipated number of participants. The
quality of exhibitors and their support was excellent.
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The second Road Show
took place from September 22-23 in Gettysburg, PA. In terms of
member attendance, the Gettysburg Road Show was a disappointment.
The Wyndham Gettysburg was a great fit for this type of event, the
weather was beautiful, the food was good, and the quality of classes
couldn’t have been better. The problem was the lack of participation
and industry support.
The Gettysburg Road
Show did have some highlights, however. The Dave Nelsen Scholarship
Golf Tournament and Oil Heat Cares’ Care to Ride event showcased
participants’ commitment to the future of our industry and those in
The Dave Nelsen Scholarship Golf Tournament was held at The Links of
Gettysburg. George Fantacone (Santoro Oil, OESP Vice President, and
member of the Rhode Island Chapter) did a fine job putting the
tournament together and securing sponsors. Thanks to George and all
participants, we raised over $9,000 for the scholarship program.
Since our goal was to control costs for our partners this year, Oil
Heat Cares’ Care to Ride event did not seek corporate sponsorships.
Even without sponsors, the event raised an impressive $24,558.91
from individual contributors and teams. Thank you to all who
Here is a list of the top fundraisers per category:
Motorcycle Division & Top Individual Fundraiser: Ralph Adams (Parker
Fuel and OESP’s Mid-Atlantic Chapter)
Bicycle Division: Roger Marran (Energy Kinetics)
Running Division: Scott Vadino (Harriet’s Energy and OESP’s South
Walking Division: Dan and Marianne Holohan (HeatingHelp.com)
Top Fundraising Team: Team Connecticut, with a check for $6,379.91
On behalf of OESP, I’d like to thank everyone who participated in or
attended one or both of the Road Shows. If the second show had done
as well as our first Road Show, we, along with our partners, would
have been pleased and might have considered this type of format
again in the future. We will, however, take what we’ve learned from
these events and go back to our traditional format in 2015.
We invite you to
contact us with feedback on how we can continue to support you in
our mission of industry education. We hope to see you next year at
our 61st Annual Convention and Trade show from May 17-21, 2015 in