NPGA Expo Attracts Record Number of Exhibitors, Grows Showfloor
The National Propane Gas Association experienced record growth in both size and exhibiting companies at its 70th Southeastern Convention & International Propane Expo, held April 21-23 at the Music City Center in Nashville.
Approximately 4,000 propane industry professionals participated in the annual three-day event that attracted more than 250 exhibitors to a nearly sold-out 73,300 sq. ft. expo floor, an increase in size of more than 3 percent compared to 2016, when a record-breaking 4,100 attendees and 140 exhibitors spanned a 71,000 sq. ft. expo – a showfloor increase of 11 percent compared to the previous year.
“The continued growth of the Southeastern Convention & International Propane Expo is a clear indicator that Americans want a clean, versatile fuel,” said Mollie O’Dell, NPGA vice president of communications.
She continued, “As exhibitors and attendees gather from across the U.S., the Expo highlights the local aspect of the propane industry. Of the more than 3,000 propane companies in the U.S., more than 70 percent are independent businesses, employing more than 80,000 people. Expo brings these businesses together and the result is a stronger industry that can serve our customers better.”
The NPGA Expo attracted participants from 48 U.S. states as well as the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and 39 foreign countries and territories, according to show officials.
A bustling exhibit hall featured LP-gas appliance, equipment and component manufacturers; vehicle fabricators; tank and cylinder manufacturers; computer hardware, software and technical service providers; producers, brokers and wholesalers of LP-gas; manufacturer representatives and wholesalers; propane transporters and stores; insurance carriers, underwriters and agencies, as well as other providers of goods and services to the LP-gas industry.
Unique showfloor features included nearly 50 vehicle and transporter displays, as well as the United Propane AutoGas Solutions (UPAS) Group’s Autogas Pavilion, which featured 11 exhibitors of manufacturing products, processes, education tools and services specific to the rapidly growing autogas market, while a New Products Showcase, presented in partnership with the Propane Education & Research Council, featured new products and cutting-edge technologies.
Program highlights included a keynote by Staff Sgt. Keni Thomas, former U.S. Army Ranger involved in the battle in Somalia – recounted in the highly successful book and movie Blackhawk Down – who also happens to be award-winning country music artist based in Nashville.
In addition, the event’s educational component offered 28 breakout sessions, eight Fast-Track Sessions, six Propane Technical Workshops, PERC Update Live! and a Women in Propane Roundtable, along with a co-located Leadership Forum presented by the Women in Propane.
The 2018 NPGA Southeastern Convention & International Propane Expo is set to take place April 6-8 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta and plans to return to Nashville in 2020.