A free show to look at more than 600 plumbing products? Let's go to Philly!

One thing that has been missing for a few years in the United States is a really big show for plumbing contractors. We used to have such shows every year. Then they dropped to every two years. Now, they are an idea for the future.

But there is a really big international show coming to Philadelphia Nov. 1-2. The show is the ASPE Engineered Plumbing Exposition. Yes, this show is put on by plumbing engineers. However, they have all of the major plumbing manufacturers on display at the show.

OK, so many of you know that I am currently the president of ASPE. Yes, I want to promote my organization’s show and convention.

But let me give you the lowdown as to why you need to attend this show. First of all, there are more than 600 booths of plumbing products. Where can you go today in the United States to see that many plumbing products at one time? Second, the show is free to attend. If you are there, lunch is also free on the show floor. How many trade shows feed you for free? Third, they give away some really good door prizes, such as computers, every 15 minutes. Furthermore, you cannot beat the hotel prices that ASPE has for downtown Philadelphia. Rooms are around $149 a night, which is dirt cheap.

If you would like plumbing education, you can sign up for the convention part of the program. This costs money, of course. There are approximately 50 training programs being offered. All of the training programs may be counted toward continuing education units for license renewal.

In addition, ASPE has teamed up with the World Toilet Organization. This is the first time that the World Toilet Organization will hold its annual meeting in the United States. This is an opportunity that you don’t want to miss. As can be imagined, the WTO training programs are centered around toilets, sanitation and international demand for proper sanitation.

You may be wondering what hot topics in plumbing education will be discussed at ASPE. If it is green, it will be talked about. There are a number of green plumbing programs. Are you curious about the requirements for gray water or reclaimed water? There are multiple programs on that subject matter.

Or you may be pondering rainwater harvesting. One of the top speakers on the subject will be presenting a seminar at the convention.

There also will be a review of the Green Supplement to the Uniform Plumbing Code and the International Green Code. That should be an interesting discussion comparing the two documents in their approaches to green plumbing.

Another very topical seminar will be on residential sprinkler systems. With a change to the residential code mandating residential sprinklers, this will become a very important subject to understand. In addition to the seminar, the sprinkler manufacturers will be present at the show. Again, an excellent opportunity to discuss the residential sprinkler market and review products you may want to install.

If more than 600 booths of plumbing products and approximately 50 training seminars doesn’t turn you on, how about a great keynote speaker? The keynote speaker is Vince Papale. If you recognize his name, it is because you may have seen the movie, “The Invincible.” The Disney movie portrays part of Vince’s life with the Philadelphia Eagles.

When Dick Vermeil was hired as a new young head coach, he invited any Eagles fan to try out for the team. The odds of making the team were completely against him, but Vince prevailed, playing three years for the Eagles. At the age of 30, he was a rookie in the NFL.

Come hear Vince tell a great story of beating the odds and playing professional football.

Before Vince speaks, Jack Sims, president of the World Toilet Organization, will make a presentation. Having heard Jack speak, I can tell you that he delivers a wonderful message about toilets and sanitation around the world. He will tell you the importance of our profession and how we can help change the world for the better.

A Fond Farewell

The 2010 ASPE Convention and Expo will also be my swan song. After serving on the ASPE board of directors for 10 years, the last four years as president, I will be stepping down. If you sign up for the convention and educational programs, be sure to come to the banquet Tuesday night to see the passing of the torch. I will be bidding my fond farewell.

All of the information on the ASPE show and convention can be found on its Web site, www.aspe.org. You can also preregister to save time at the show. The Web site has information on the hotels in the area, many within walking distance of the convention location.

The City of Brotherly Love is an excellent place to attend a convention and plumbing show. This is the city where our country’s history began. Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell are just a short walk from the Convention Center.

If you come in on Sunday night, ASPE will be having a blowout party at the National Constitution Center. You would be amazed at the great parties engineers can throw! There will be plenty of food, beverages and entertainment. The center also puts on some great shows that send chills down your spine.

I hope all of this is enough to entice you to attend the ASPE show. I can assure you that you will not be disappointed. If you are like me, you will ask for more hours in the show because you cannot possibly see everything that is on display.

When you are in Philly, stop by and say hello. It is always nice to run into the readers of this fine magazine. You can’t miss me, I’m the guy with the white hair. See you in Philly!