ASPE Chicago Product Show Chairman Justin Wroblewski has a fine needle to thread. He has to please both exhibitor vendors, ASPE and non-ASPE members and more to pull off the Chapter’s largest annual event.
Wroblewski, a certified plumbing design technician and coordinator with Chicago’s AMS Mechanical Systems, came through swimmingly on all accounts after the ASPE Chicago Chapter held its Product Show Oct. 18 at the Midwest Conference Center in the suburb of Northlake, Illinois. He reports 54 ASPE members, 34 non-ASPE members and approximately 120 exhibitor attendees (40 total booths) came out to the Chapter’s first show at the Midwest Conference Center.
Before dinner and the Product Show Expo hall opened, ASPE Chicago held two tracks of educational sessions for CEU credits. The tracks were:
▪ Track A: Emergency Fixtures and Their Associated Thermostatic Mixing Valves (presenter was George Sobyra of Speakman Co.), followed by Commissioning as Related to Plumbing, Fire Protection and Medical Gas (presented by Chris Sbarbaro and John Villani of Evanston, Illinois-based engineering firm Grumann/Butkus Associates).
▪ Track B: Lessons Learned from 20+ Years of Large Scale Fire Testing (presented by Daniel Steppan of Underwriters Laboratories); followed by How to Properly Size Fire Pumps (presented by Mike Shipe and Don Rasmussen of Apex Plumbing Equipment).
Wroblewski reports that Track A classes had 34 and 23 attendees respectively, while Track B classes had 18 and 24, respectively.
Next, the Expo Hall opened for nearly three hours for discussion about the products on display, the industry and networking. Wroblewski was running around like crazy to make sure any and all issues for the event were handled, but he did get to squeeze in some time for his own business.
“My job is to make sure everything is running smoothly,” Wroblewski says. “I did get to walk for about 45 minutes toward the end. I went to the big ASPE supporters and asked how the show is was going and if they’re getting good foot traffic. They said they were.
“That always makes me feel good, when they’re appreciative.”
The beginnings of the ASPE Chicago Product Show started earlier in 2018 at a meeting featuring pizza.
“Every year in March we have a meeting with the longtime reps that come to the Product Show and we get input on what they like and didn’t like about the previous show,” he says. “That’s been a big help to me as a new chairman. One of things they wanted was a sit-down dinner. They wanted that back.”
Wroblewski obliged and, after the three-hour Product Show, ASPE Chicago served a catered dinner and handed out more than $3,000 in raffle prizes, including a $1,000 Apple Vacation voucher, a Nintendo Switch, a high-quality drone, and multiple gift cards among other prizes.
“We simplified the show a lot this year and I think it went well, overall,” Wroblewski says.