AFSA37 Heads to the Capitol

The Largest Annual Fire Sprinkler Exhibition in the World Offers Something for Everyone

Come to the nation’s capitol and be a part of the largest event of its kind in the fire sprinkler industry as the American Fire Sprinkler Association (AFSA) hosts AFSA37: Convention, Exhibition & Apprentice Competition September 30-October 3. Join industry peers at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center for technical and managerial seminars offering CEU/CPD credits, social events including an exclusive event at the Newseum; an exciting, live apprentice competition; and a packed exhibit hall!

“Last year AFSA smashed records by hosting the biggest fire sprinkler industry event ever, and we’re eager to do it again this year,” comments AFSA’s Vice President of Meetings & Operations Marlene Garrett, CMP. “This highly anticipated event provides something for everyone including: fire sprinkler contractors and designers, manufacturers and suppliers of fire sprinkler products, and Authorities Having Jurisdiction. We encourage everyone to mark their calendars and plan to join us in D.C.!”

Convene in the Capitol This year’s convention offers an additional day of seminars, totaling four days packed with education, training, and networking. AFSA will offer another record-breaking number of seminar hours led by industry experts, and the AFSA exhibition is a proven opportunity for people to connect with great prospects as well as grow and cultivate existing networks. The unopposed exhibit hours allow attendees and exhibitors to visit without interruption, and the second day of exhibits also features the finals of AFSA’s 25th National Apprentice Competition. This year AFSA has added a special “Train the Trainer” workshop on Sunday, September 30. Send your trainers to this program for an in-depth session on how to train for the biggest impact and a successful learning experience at your company!

Other convention highlights include the evening parties and social events, as well as a chance to relax with friends during the networking meals – three breakfasts and three lunches – hosted for attendees who are fully registered in AFSA’s room block at the Gaylord National Resort.

The final night awards party will be held at The Newseum,  a dynamic, engaging, and interactive museum of news that allows visitors to experience the stories of yesterday and today through the eyes of the media while celebrating the freedoms guaranteed to all Americans by the First Amendment.

Tours include a Washington, D.C. highlights trip; a tour of the U.S. Capitol building; a Lincoln Assassination tour; and a cooking demonstration led by the Gaylord National Resort’s prestigious chef.

NextGen Day Looking to join or involve your under-40 employees in the industry’s most forward-looking young professionals’ group? AFSA’s NextGeneration Initiative (NGI) will host a “NextGen Day” Monday, October 1 during the convention. The line-up begins with a half-day workshop “Developing a Practical Plan to Work with Schools” presented by Jennifer Wilkerson, director of marketing and the “Build Your Future” campaign for the National Center for Construction Education & Research (NCCER), Alachua, Florida. In the afternoon, AFSA NextGen Chair Meaghen Wills, project manager at Anchor Fire Protection in Perkiomenville, Pennsylvania, will moderate an NGI Leadership Forum panel discussion with Ryan Hogan, principal of Preferred Insurance in Fairfax, Virginia and president of the American Subcontractors Association’s (ASA) Front Runners – ASA’s young professional group; Kevin Mozak, president of Meridian Fire in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and president of the AFSA Alberta Chapter; Jay Strickland, president of Strickland Fire Protection in Forestville, Maryland; and Jennifer Wilkerson, NCCER. An invitation-only NGI reception will be held that evening. To become involved in NGI and participate in the related events at convention, visit AFSA’s website at

Inaugural Capitol Hill Day AFSA is also excited to announce a new initiative, AFSA’s inaugural Capitol Hill Day! For those attending AFSA37, stay an extra day to take part in advocacy activities on Capitol Hill on Thursday, October 4, 2018. Facilitated by AFSA’s Legislative Committee, the program seeks to harness the tremendous power of fire sprinkler industry representatives delivering a unified message to Congress to affect positive change. Prior to arriving Capitol Hill, participants will receive an agenda with their appointments (made by AFSA), talking points, background information, and training. After prepping for their meetings, participants will depart for Capitol Hill for face-to-face meetings with senators, representatives, and their staff on issues, such as home fire sprinkler legislation, apprenticeship, and infrastructure spending. If you’re interested in participating in AFSA’s inaugural Capitol Hill Day, see the article on page 14 for more information.

Convention Headquarter Hotel Immerse yourself in an unrivaled stay at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center. Located on the Potomac River, just steps from the shopping and entertainment National Harbor is known for, this waterfront resort provides you with the best of both worlds. Bring the whole family to enjoy a ride on the Capital Wheel, while visiting MGM National Harbor® with the city’s complimentary circulator bus. Explore the Gaylord’s very own 19-story glass atrium, enjoy the fountain show, then make a splash of your own in the indoor pool. Satisfy your cravings at one of the seven onsite stylish eateries, and discover exotic cocktails and breathtaking views at Pose Lounge & Nightclub. The Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center always provides a memorable stay!

With an “all-access” convention registration, attendees receive one breakfast voucher and one lunch voucher up to three nights for each night you have a reservation at the Gaylord National Resort – a perfect time to enjoy a full meal while you network with contractors from across the country. In addition, the entire AFSA room block is located in the Gaylord National Resort, just steps away from all meeting spaces.

The AFSA group rate for the Gaylord National Resort is $249 per night plus tax for a run-of-the-house room (limited availability). Reservations may be made online during the convention registration process at Group rates are available for stays September 6-October 6, 2018, but reservations must be made by August 24, 2018, to assure AFSA convention rates. After August 24, 2018 room rates are based on availability. Be sure to ask booking agent to confirm your reservation includes both the resort fee and the complimentary internet.

Hotel Reservation Alert! AFSA has been made aware of third-party vendors soliciting AFSA exhibitors and attendees posing as our housing vendor. These companies mislead you to think they are working on our behalf. Companies that use this tactic include Exhibitor Hotel Reservation Services (EHR), Global Housing, and National Travel Associates. They are not endorsed by or affiliated with AFSA or its show and entering into financial agreements with such companies can have costly consequences such as no hotel reservations and no free networking meals nor complimentary internet access. To receive full AFSA hotel benefits, you must book directly with the hotel by phone or using the link found on AFSA’s convention website (

Be the First to Know! Hear the latest from AFSA, including news, deals, discounts, and offerings. Get real-time updates on the association’s official happenings sent to your desktop or wireless device by subscribing to, or “following,” AFSA social media, and use our official hashtag #AFSA37!

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Bookmark AFSA’s convention website at as online registration will open soon. And a new feature this year allows attendees to make hotel and convention attendance registrations at the same time. Mark your calendars now to meet us in the nation’s capitol for a guaranteed return on your investment with AFSA37!

EDITOR’S NOTE: More details on AFSA37: Convention, Exhibition & Apprentice Competition will be forthcoming at Convention brochures will be arriving soon in your mailbox!

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