Katie Rotella blogs from this year’s ISH North America tradeshow and Network ’08 conference … Day Two.

A colleague commentedearly today, “Gee, you seem very awake this morning, Katie.” And I swear I’m not a coffee drinker or a Red Bull pounder. But I respond well to motivation, and I was nothing if not motivated at theBradford White Breakfastduring Network ’08. Besides getting some great swag (including a Georgia-themed gift basket with grits, peach cookies and pecans), but VP Sales & Marketing Bruce Carnevale presented the company's “Perfect Candidate Campaign” for its brand of heating equipment.

No, new president Nick Giuffre doesn’t have his eyes on Capitol Hill, but the company has cleverly taken a political-theme approach to getting their products in the hands of its customers. Including presenting their “platform,” and asking for the PHCC members’ “votes” with their purchasing choices. “Here is where we stand on the issues,” Bruce said tongue-in-cheek, and those issues of course include economy, energy … hey! just like the national campaign, right? (OK, I won’t get into all that, I promise.)

But President Nick stated firmly that plumbing professionals should take heart: The new sophisticated products that will save on energy and ultimately save end-users on utility bills “can only be sold, sized and installed by the professional.” And that Bradford White will continue to support the professional chain. “We’re asking for your support as well.”

Day Two at ISHwas quick to heat up for me. Right after breakfast it was off to the GWCC to hear Julius Ballanco speak on water reuse and reclamation "

At the Stevens Pump booth, Geoff Stevens (above) had a working model of its newest sub-pump system.

On the show floorI continued to visit more booths and press more flesh. To be honest, I’vestillnot made it to many of my heating buddies on the other side of the show floor. But there’s still Friday, so there’s more to come. First on my stops was withStevens Pump. I commiserated with Geoff Stevens about the local flooding problems that occurred in our home state of Illinois a few weeks ago. While neither of us flooded personally, we saw first-hand its damages just blocks away. But Geoff also acknowledged the problems faced by hurricane survivors and the rest of the Midwest’s flooding in the spring. The company (celebrating its 50-year anniversary) is currently meeting the nation’s demand for its submersible back-up pump systems. He touched on the challenges facing professional plumbers as well, and revealed that he believes professionals need to continue to upsell during these times. “If customers are upgrading toilets, faucets and everything else in the home, why not the sub-pump as well?” he told me. I agree. This is the perfect time to show customers how Stevens’ new DC3010AL model can give them peace of mind. Especially with its built-in alarm systems.

Every time I seetheEternal Hybrid from Grandhallat a tradeshow I learn something new. This go-round was no different. At ISH I learned it is both flow and temperature controlled, and that its exhaust temp rarely rises above 155 degrees F, which Fred Hoffmann and his team told me was a good indication of efficiency (all the Btus are absorbed and reused into the water). Its minimal to no pressure drop was also the top selling point for this type of unit, according to my conversation at the booth.

The company also gave me a scoop, which I always appreciate: Eternal’s new Factory Authorized Service Technician (FAST) training is a new program being developed to get contractors trained on the installation of Eternal. It should roll-out soon at various places around the country. I’ll be sure to pass on dates/locations when they’re available. (Click hereto sign up for my Radiant & Hydronics e-News, where I’ll break the news.)

Happy Birthday to Ken CornwallwithProVent Systems. He was working the show on his special day, and I hope he had time to celebrate. But I’m glad he was there, because Ken introduced a PVC Whisper-Quiet shell pipe to me "

The 'candlestick' ROMAX Compact press tool offers ergonomics and maneuverability.

Ready to talk tools?Dan Lucy withRothenbergershowed me the ROMAX Compact press tool, a lighterweight, non-drill-type model that is more maneuverable on the jobsite. It presses up to 1” fittings, and you can swap-out the jaws to press PEX fittings, too. Want bigger fittings? The tools are also RIDGID compatible, so it will work with existing jaws from previous press tool investments. Rothenberger’s new camera offering is able to handle those tougher, larger pipe inspections. It has 325-foot cable and 200-foot cables, which helps a lot, since typical manholes are 100 yards apart. It has a color monitor and a transponder built into it, so a locator can be used. It doesn’t have internal recording capabilities, but perhaps it has something more useful: one option is a personal media player attachment that allows you to record on-the-job, and then instantly playback and show the client what you’ve discovered.

Bryan May and associate at the MEPJobs.com booth.

Finding the right peoplefor your business team continues to be a concern for contractors "

Yep, that's me; trying out the new Sta-Tite system from Bemis.

As the day wore on"