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Northeast HVAC News

 
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 need.

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 participated.

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 Jersey Chapter)
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 Hershey, PA.
 

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