Today at WWETT: Exhibits, Education, Entertainment

Country recording artist Jerrod Niemann highlights Friday’s Industry Appreciation Party, capping off a full day of exhibits and final round of seminars
Today at WWETT: Exhibits, Education, Entertainment
Show attendees take a look at several inspection cameras during the WWETT Show on Thursday. Photos by Corey Dellenbach.

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Visitors to the 2016 Water & Wastewater Equipment, Treatment & Transport (WWETT) Show in Indianapolis had a full day to tour the show floor Friday, take in a final round of seminars and prepare for the evening’s Industry Appreciation Party, featuring country recording artist Jerrod Niemann. It all winds down on Saturday with a final stroll through the exhibit hall.

See what happened when we opened the doors:

Friday, Anja Smith of All Clear Plumbing discussed the hot-button subject of “Plumbers vs. Technicians: The Slow Decline of the Tradesman.” If you missed the presentation, be sure to check out her thought-provoking Q&A.

Thursday night’s Kickoff Party inside Lucas Oil Stadium provided an opportunity to connect with fellow plumbers and other industry experts.

Check it out: Caution – highly hilarious!

This is the 36th year for the WWETT Show that made its debut in Nashville, Tennessee. Obviously, much has changed in the past three decades.

Ed Fitzgerald of Jack Doheny Companies was the first truck through the door in 1981. Greeting him was the show’s co-founder, Bob Kendall.

“There was Bob all by himself and he asked me two questions: How much space do you need and where do you want to park?” Fitzgerald recalls. “That was the first time I met Bob. He ran the only door coming into the building and it was just us and about a half dozen trucks.”

Today, questions Fitzgerald once asked have long been answered before any vehicle rolls through the entrance to the Indiana Convention Center. By the numbers, the exhibition hall – all 564,000 square feet – accommodates 599 exhibitors and over 250 pieces of equipment.

Here are a few more numbers, courtesy of Randy White at Fern Exposition & Event Services, the show’s decorator: 292,770 square feet of carpet in exhibitor booths, 135,400 square feet of carpet in the aisles, 2.5 miles of the blue and white curtains and drapes.

For some things, White can’t be as precise. The amount of tape his workers put down on Sunday to mark the exhibitor spaces in the hall? “A whole lot,” he says.

Over the course of about 60 hours, beginning Sunday and going into the early morning hours of Thursday when the last piece to the puzzle — the aisle carpet — is stretched into place, up to 130 Fern employees are busy transforming a dark, empty hall into the hub of water and wastewater.

“We’re in the trenches,” says unofficial head carpet guy Dayon Jones. “That’s all there is to say.”

Within the overwhelming prospect of laying nearly 430,000 square feet of carpet, Jones has a singular focus on the prime objective of his task: “Getting it tight,” he says.

Take a spin around the floor:

The numbers behind the show stretch on, from 110 classes in 10 classrooms, to 8,181 attendees representing 3,470 companies. Here are a few more:

64: Number of ounces of glass cleaner Tyler Zarra of Advance Pump & Equipment had gone through as of 1:30 p.m. Tuesday on the company’s show truck. “It takes a lot of work to make it look like it just came out of the car wash,” he says.

250: Number of miles the group from Transway Systems covered driving from Hamilton, Ontario, to Indianapolis. “We always seem to find bad weather on our drive down,” says Gary Robinson. “We wax the truck before we leave, but by the time we get down here, it’s covered in sand and salt and we have to do it again. Two days of polishing and we’re all set.”

160: The approximate number of feet of liner Perma-Liner will use Thursday and Friday doing demos at its booth. Morgan Trouard, director of marketing, says the company will do between 6 and 8 demos each day. 


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