I attended the PWQA convention and trade show last week in Palm Springs, CA. I usually don’t visit the PWQA conventions since I see so many of the fine folks at the WQA leadership meetings, but this year I was asked to attend and teach a class to dealers about entering into the commercial and industrial water treatment market.
I stayed in Palm Desert at the Marriott Shadow Ridge Resort. The resort was great and catered well to a busy business traveler while still affording the amenities and luxuries one comes to expect from a Marriott resort.
- I tested the water in the villa – 35 grains per gallon of calcium hardness! No softener of course, I hope that one day the fine folks at Marriott will see the wisdom of ion exchange/membrane softening or even Next ScaleStop technology for their hotels and resorts.
While my villa in Palm Desert were great, the Riviera resort in Palm Springs was truly entertaining. The accommodations were comfortable, environment clean and the decor a distinct retro-chic that you just have to experience! The convention itself was very well organized, with Mike Mecca, Frank DeSilva and Kristi Pihl putting in long hours to make it a resounding success. Attendance was better than I expected, with many traveling from California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah and points beyond to learn, buy and sell.
My presentation was about Commercial and industrial Water treatment opportunities for the residential water dealer. This was a hard subject for me to teach because I felt like I was “dumbing-down” the subject matter. I decided to handle it as a “best practices” presentation to allow experienced dealers and novices to glean useful information. We talked about the opportunities, benefits, risks and liabilities of entering this fun market segment. The attendees were particularly interested testing and disinfection protocols, and of course the minutiae of best practices and how to prospect for leads. Great crowd with excellent questions and comments.
Frank DeSilva taught a very interesting class about fluoride and methods for removing it using ion exchange. Frank is an intelligent gentleman who has a great depth of experience and is able to entertain a crowd.
Chubb Michaud made a great presentation about his new design for brine discharge recovery that is tailored to meet the stringent new criteria required by many misinformed local governments who are foolishly maligning softeners. Chubb’s process is a viable alternative that will meet and exceed the latest zero-waste protocols. Even with 9.5 fingers, Chubb is still the master who is head and shoulders above most in the industry.
The trade show itself was also very well attended, with the usual exhibitors and some new ones making their foray into the water treatment industry. In spite of the hard work and beautiful display that we all saw, I do feel that the days of teh traditional “trade show” are numbered, with more and more dealers turning to the internet and other digital media to fulfill their need for information. I predict a continual decline in tradeshow performance and attendance until someone can come up with a good reason to go. Perhaps the associations will place more emphasis on traning and education that is best served in person…
PWQA 2009 – Great fun was had by all.
Pacific Water Quality Association
52nd Annual Convention and Trade Show, October 13 – 16, 2009
Riviera Resort and Spa
1600 N. Indian Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92262