From January 24–26 in Tampa, Florida, members from the Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA), the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA), and the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association (SMACNA) gathered at the 2022 MEP Innovation Conference, where they came together to learn from each other and discuss collaboration, and how new technologies are impacting their businesses.
This was the first time all three associations have collaborated this type of in-person event. It brought together 450 attendees from the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) trades to better understand different viewpoints, roles and responsibilities.
“It was a tremendous experience bringing forward-thinking contractors from all three associations together, seeking new solutions and collaborating on a level that hasn’t been possible at other events,” said Tauhira Ali, NECA Executive Director of Industry Innovation
“We go to a lot of meetings throughout the year, talk with a lot of vendors, read about a lot of new technology and processes, but rarely do we get the honest feedback from people across the industry actually implementing these new tools and processes,” said Todd Grossweiler, Executive Vice President of Allison-Smith Company and Chair of NECA’s Innovation and Strategy Task Force, during the event. “I am encouraged to see how peers across the industry have overcome the challenges we face today.”
MCAA Innovative Technologies Committee Chair Stacy Zerr commented, “At Waldinger, we work all MEP trades and already knew how similar the challenges and solutions are between them. At this conference, I learned just as much from the electrical and sheet metal presentations as I did from the mechanical presenters.”
During the event, NECA also awarded the first-ever NECA MEP Innovator of the Year Award to one of its members. The 2022 recipient was Jared Christman, VDC Manager at Big State Electric. Jared was honored with this award for his contributions to educating and furthering innovation research throughout the NECA community. More information will be available soon on how to nominate your own top pioneers for the 2023 NECA MEP Innovator of the Year Award.
Plans are underway for the 2023 MEP Innovation Conference, and further education is in the works to bridge the gap between conferences. Many of the sessions from the 2022 conference were recorded and will be repackaged into educational videos later this year.