A record crowd of more than 1,200 radiant heating industry members attended the Radiant Panel Association's 2001 REX Convention, May 9-12, Salt Lake City, Utah. As in past years, attendees were kept busy choosing from concurrent education sessions and walking the trade show, which included displays from 120 manufacturers.

Some show highlights:

  • Industry Opportunity Day, a new addition this year, gave manufacturers and suppliers the chance to hold training sessions on their particular products and service throughout the first day of the show.

  • Utah contractor Ken Barney taught a full-day course on "Radiant Essentials," while PM columnist John Siegenthaler taught "Radiant Precision."

  • Throughout a couple of days of classroom seminars, panel discussions and roundtables, attendees could chose from 23 different topics covered. Many topics, such as "Unusual Radiant Systems," "Scaling Up For Bigger Jobs," and "Keep It Simple Vs. New Technology," were standing-room-only.

  • PM Editor Steve Smith held the magazine's second annual "Thanks For The Tip," program, with several advertisers handing out $50 to contractors who shared with best business tips. Bradford White; Burnham; Heat Link; Heatway; Hydrotherm/RBI; and Slant Fin helped make this a success.

  • During a general session attended by 600 people, Eric Lloyd Wright, grandson of noted architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, shared stories of his grandfather's, father's and his own work that incorporates radiant heat.

  • Only PM columnist Ellen Rohr could have pulled off what she succeeded in doing during her turn at hosting this year's System Showcase Awards Dinner. After recounting how much she loved the industry, she passed around a wireless microphone and asked attendees to "share the love." Many contractors took her up on the offer, and shared their enthusiasm for the industry.

  • Also during the dinner celebration, PM Publisher George Zebrowski presented the RPA with a $1,000 check for the association's education programs. Steve Smith also explained the "Top 10 Marketing Blunders" sometimes made by contractors. (Read the Top 10 list online at www.PMmag.com.)

  • Rohr wrapped up her emcee duties by presenting this year's System Showcase Awards. For more information on the award-winning contractors, take a look at the special Radiant Heating Report 2001, included in this issue.

    Next year's RPA meeting and convention will take place May 8-11, in Cincinnati, Ohio.