The 2016 NFPA Conference & Expo in Vegas was the first conference I’ve attended as part of C3. It was a great experience and a good way to expand my knowledge in the fire safety arena – an area I’m relatively unfamiliar with in comparison to the rest of the backflow industry.
It’s a big conference! I didn’t expect that! I’ve been to the Mandalay Bay conference center in the past but I haven’t seen as much of the space used by a single convention before. It was truly mammoth!
I knew we were in for a big conference when we were sitting at a poker table on Fremont Street chit-chatting with the other players. When the topic turned to why we were in town and we answered with ‘The NFPA convention’ – they said ‘us, too!’ and then another group of people at the table next to us chimed in they were here for it as well. Alright, 10 people within 10 feet of each other on the opposite side of town, that’s a good start.
With our registration lanyards & swag bags in hand we were off to the expo. All 225,000 Sq/ft of it.
I’ve never seen so many different pipe & fitting manufacturers, I truly lost count by the 3rd row. The full-size engine powered pumps on skids were impressive, but not quite as impressive as the 35ft flawlessly waxed semi-trailer that served as a demo booth. The ‘beer for a badge scan’ was easily the most popular opening night booth; cheers to their marketing team.
It was the last aisle of exhibitors in the main expo hall before I saw my first & only backflow device of the show – sitting proudly in the Zurn booth. I expected to see more – even though the NFPA recently removed backflow requirements from their code, most jurisdictions require backflow measures properly installed & tested on fire sprinkler systems.
Tech is changing the fire industry
Jim Pauley – the NFPA president spoke about technology and how it’s improving the industry as a whole in his keynote.
It’s encouraging to see the leaders of the industry recognizing the importance of embracing new technology and the amazing impact it can have on more than the bottom line – it’s saving lives.
There were about twenty tech companies with booths at the show, showcasing a diverse set of products from fire protection inspection management, loss control, all the way to complete building management solutions & monitoring systems. Some very cool stuff to see!
Lots of thanks to NFPA for putting on a great show. We’ll probably be seeing everyone in Boston in 2017!