The 2023 NECA Trade Show and Conference in Philadelphia (Sept. 30 – Oct. 2) gave attendees a glimpse of the new products, new technologies, and megatrends now reshaping job sites and contractors’ office operations. The push to develop new products to help electrical contractors do their work faster, safer, and more profitably, continues and the show floor was loaded with new products launched to accomplish that goal. There was also an impressive number of construction tech exhibitors with new software and apps to help contractors streamline their office operations, track products from order point to delivery and estimate jobs more accurately.
Another new technology that had a presence on the show floor was digital power. This potentially game-breaking technology was first seen in the lighting market with PoE lighting systems but is now used for larger electronic loads in many different types of buildings. Sinclair and Voltserver were just two companies on the show floor offering digital power products.
As has been the past over the past few NECA shows, an increasing number of manufacturers of electric vehicle (EV) charging equipment were on the show floor. The NECA Show Directory listed 19 manufacturers exhibiting EV charging equipment, including not only the major gear manufacturers like ABB, Eaton, Schneider, and Siemens but LEDVANCE, Leviton, and Legrand, as well as EV charger specialists such as ChargePoint and EVCharge Solutions.
Philadelphia has proved to be a popular destination for NECA, and the 2018 show drew more than 10,000 attendees. While the final attendance figures for this year’s event were not available at press time, the show floor was busy for much of Saturday and for Sunday morning — up until kickoff for the Philadelphia Eagles-Washington Commanders football game. Workers from the Philadelphia IBEW Local 98 electrical contractors union were out in force at the show, and on Day 2 of the Show on Sunday, Oct. 1, the aisles were packed with apprentices and other workers. A contributing factor to the strong turnout is the fact that Philadelphia is in the center of one of the largest concentrations of electrical contractor employment in the entire nation, and the show was an easy drive or commute for hundreds of attendees. Electrical Marketing (EM) estimates that more than 20% of all U.S. electrical contractor employees work in the megalopolis stretching from the Boston metropolitan area, south through Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, and on through Philadelphia and its suburbs, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and Virginia.
The 2024 NECA Show will be in San Diego from Sept. 28 to Oct. 1.