More than 1,000 contractor superheroes attended the second annual Service World Expo Sept. 7-8 at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas — a nearly 50 percent increase over the inaugural event last year.

The event featured keynote presentations and breakout sessions specifically designed to help plumbing, heating, cooling and electrical contractors improve their businesses while also giving time to promote networking and idea sharing among attendees.

“Our industry has been starved for a high-quality industry-wide trade show with innovative products, first-class learning, great networking, interactive vendor opportunities and lots of entertainment choices,” said David Heimer, COO of Service Nation. “The same old tired trade shows won’t cut it anymore. We deliver an event that is great for contractors, great for vendors and great for the industry.”

Keynote speaker Ryan Estis delivered the opening presentation on how to “unleash your inner superhero” and achieve breakthrough performance.

"Your customers do not buy on price,” he said. “They will default to price in the absence of value — real or perceived — and a quality experience. Give a little more than the customer expects, every single time."

Other keynote speakers included Daniel Lemin, Traci Brown and JR Martinez — the U.S. Army veteran-turned-motivational speaker who was badly burned in a roadside attack while on patrol in Iraq in 2003.

“All of you here, you’re here for a reason,” Martinez said, addressing the crowd during the closing keynote. “You want to grow and you want to push yourselves. You want to network and think outside the box. You’re here because you’ve been successful. You’ve already taken that first step and forced yourself outside your comfort zone to challenge yourself. But why don’t you take multiple steps? Why don’t you continue to step outside of those boxes that you’re in? You can.”

Also during Service World Expo, Angie Snow, co-owner of Western Heating and Air Conditioning in Orem, Utah, and last year’s inaugural Woman of the Year, presented this year’s Woman of the Year Award to Amy Davis of Budget Plumbing, Heating and Cooling in St. Louis, Mo. Budget was also PM’s featured Truck of the Month in September.

“Attending the Service World Expo yearly allows us the opportunity to surround ourselves with, and learn from, the best in our field,” Davis said. “Today's leaders and industry legends gather to offer innovation, inspiration and a priceless educational value for the success of a contractor. With the ever-changing market in our industry, the Expo is not to be missed.”

“We’ve already started the preparations for Service World Expo 2018 to make it even better than 2017,” Heimer said. “An amazing number of contractors and vendors have already reserved their spots for next year at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas.”

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Click here to view a photo gallery from the event.