Uponor’s biannual convention in Las Vegas continues to be a major draw for the industry and the Apple Valley, Minnesota, manufacturer. Uponor notes the early returns show more than 1,200 attendees took part in the April 4-6 event at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas.
The convention kicked off with an opening session led by John Sweeney, the event’s master of ceremonies. Sweeney is the owner of the Brave New Workshop, a comedy theater and educational workshop in Minneapolis. Sweeney got the crowd in the mood for fun with some timely jokes tied to the industry.
Bill Gray, Uponor’s president of North America operations, took the stage next to outline the company’s vision for the show and the future.
“We want to focus on you, the customer, so you have the best experience possible,” he said. “We want to become your preferred partner for the long term.”
The rest of the day-one opening session included a comedy and juggling routine by Jon Wee and Owen Morse of The Passing Zone that included pins, knifes and even a chainsaw.
The first day wrapped up with a three-hour cocktail session in the Product Showcase area. Uponor showcased its residential and commercial offerings, its new Phyn Plus system for residential water damage and savings. Other manufacturer booths included Taco Comfort Solutions, Navien, Grundfos, Milwaukee Tool and Rinnai.
Day 2 was kick-started with a breakfast spread that included pastries, cereal, croissants, juice and more. Once fed, the packed room of attendees listened intently to Jack Uldrich’s keynote address. Uldrich, an acclaimed futurist, speaker and author, implored Uponor Convention attendees to pay attention to how quickly the world is moving.
“The amount of change we are going to see in the next five to 10 years will be outstanding,” he stated. Uldrich included a recent information graphic showing that recently the amount of people using Netflix was more than regular cable television — the first time that’s happened in history.
Uldrich also noted how millennials have shifted the consumer landscape greatly and the U.S. is trending to a more “access” economy.
“Millennials trade ownership for access,” he says.
Finally, Uldrich said it would be wise for the attendees to get “reverse mentors.”
“Find someone younger than you to help,” he said. “They see your world from a different perspective.”
After the keynote, the second day of the convention included 19 breakout sessions ranging in topics from Revit and 3D modeling, smart homes, high-performance radiant systems and more.
The event concluded with addresses from Uponor CEO Jyri Luomakoski, Vice President of Sales Brent Noonan, and a passionate poem from Uponor’s Ingrid Mattsson.
“Progress is helping us and the industry move forward,” Noonan stated. “Our people are our competitive advantage.”