AFSA Chapter Hosts Fifth Annual Trade Show
The Sacramento Valley Chapter of the American Fire Sprinkler Association (AFSA) hosted its 5th annual trade show on March 10, 2016. The show, which is the largest of its kind in the region, had 52 vendors and over 700 attendees. It’s a lot of work, but the show keeps getting bigger and better every year. It really is a great opportunity for vendors to network with those in the fire sprinkler community.
Highlights of this year’s show included Reliable’s sprinkler demonstration trailer. Reliable ships the trailer around the country to feature the inner workings of its dynamic sprinkler system. Attendees were able to see firsthand how the compression chambers work. Attendees also benefit from visiting the booths of various vendors. David Leonard of Elite Automatic Fire Protection Systems says the trade show is “a one-stop shop for those in the office and field to learn. Whether it’s about a code update, or an exciting new innovation in the parts and pieces side, you definitely leave knowing more than before you arrived.”
“Those attending are greatly benefitted by new technology and an energy in seeing AHJs [Authorities Having Jurisdiction], design professionals, material and tool vendors, and field personnel all working together for the better cause of fire protection. The opportunity to put a name with a face in this setting has been huge and narrowed the gap we have sometimes seen in this industry,” states Hal Burton of Systems Tech Fire Protection.
Others in the industry are grateful for the chance to network among colleagues. Dan Torino of HD Supply Fire Protection, says, “Our Sacramento trade show has grown over the years and has captured national attention. As part of the many vendors who participate, we at HD Supply Fire Protection feel it provides a great platform for our local fire sprinkler community to network, have an opportunity to see the latest products, and become engaged. Owners, designers, fitters, engineers, and inspectors all come together for a few hours. It is a great event.”
Beyond networking, industry professionals often leave with invaluable insights and resources. Burton says, “Designers have come back with new ideas gleaned from the tremendous vendor participation and are actually implementing these into current projects they are working on. Where else can a designer, fitter, and AHJ see everything under one roof without a large expense to get them there?”
Another highlight of the trade show is the raffle. Upon entry, attendees receive raffle tickets free of charge. This year’s raffle prizes included a 60-in. Vizio television and a trip for two to Hawaii. The multitude of vendors and raffle prizes help to attract attendees to the show.
Bunni Bagan of Thermfit Inc. says, “The Sacramento Valley AFSA Trade Show is the best attended trade show I have ever participated in, particularly with regard to participation of area contractors. I have exhibited at trade shows for over 30 years, and this one is by far the best value, and the one I look forward to the most.”
Ed Eichmann of Sigma Piping Products agrees that participating at the trade show as a vendor is worthwhile from a business standpoint. “The exposure that SIGMA Piping Products was able to obtain from the Sacramento Valley fire protection industry was irreplaceable. The quality and quantity of the attendees the trade show attracts is the reason we’ve supported this since its inception, and we’ll continue to support this event in the future,” states Eichmann.
While attendees and vendors enjoy the prizes and opportunity to network, they ultimately appreciate the common forum that the trade show provides to get the word out that fire sprinklers save lives.