Last week, Technology Publishing Company’s fourth annual Contractor Connect came to a close at the Hammock Beach Golf Resort & Spa in Palm Coast, Florida.
The hosted-buyer event took place from Nov. 2-5.
Hammock Beach Golf Resort & Spa (all photos courtesy of Technology Publishing)
Although COVID-19 had forced the event to take place online last year, TPC CEO Brion Palmer reported that returning and new attendees alike couldn’t have been more pleased with the event’s turnout.
“After a long year, it was wonderful to finally connect contractors and suppliers in-person again,” Palmer said. “Our Connect Events are something we take great pride in and are constantly aiming to improve for industry professionals. This year’s Contractor Connect was definitely one for the books!”
Private Meetings & Panel Discussions
After attendees were able to meet and get to know one another during Tuesday’s collection of networking activities and icebreaker reception, contractors and suppliers kicked off Contractor Connect with the event’s staple one-on-one meetings. For 25 minutes, contractors were able to meet privately with suppliers to discuss new products, potential issues and sales—all privately behind closed doors.
The first chunk of meetings was followed by the event’s first session, Coatings: Supply Chain Challenges, New Technologies, Customer Relationships and What to Expect in 2022. For this panel discussion, TPC invited the following speakers to represent the industry:
Cory Brown, Executive Vice President, Tnemec Company;
Allen Farris, Sales Director – Southeast, Sherwin-Williams;
Paul Atzemis, Director of Technical Service, Carboline;
Davies Hood, President, Induron Protective Coatings; and
Steven Matthews, Director of Technical Operations, U.S. and Canada, PPG.
After an LMCI-sponsored lunch and a second round of one-on-one meetings, attendees returned for the event’s second session, Abrasives: Solutions, Industry Trends and Market Trends. For this panel discussion, TPC invited the following speakers to represent the industry:
Dominic DeAngelo, Commercial Manager, Harsco Environmental;
Russell Raad, President, Abrasives Incorporated; and
Jason Vukas, VP, Sales & Marketing, U.S. Minerals.
The final panel discussion, Equipment: New Technology, Training and Customer Relationships, took place on the following day. The following industry professional sat on the panel:
Ken Rossy, President, HoldTight Solutions Inc.;
Jeremi Day, Chief Technical Officer, Managing Member, CRW, Corr-Ze;
John Lihwa, Business Development Manager, Graco, Inc.; and
Aaron Wimmer, Contractor Product Manager, Clemco.
All Contractor Connect panels were moderated by Jim McBrayer, CEO of McBrayer & Associates.
At a later date, PaintSquare is slated to publish the panel discussions in a webinar format so that those who were unable to attend, or were interested in listening to the discussion, may do so.
In Connect Event fashion, things officially kicked off Tuesday, Nov. 2, with a series of recreational group networking activities. During the afternoon, attendees split up into groups where they participated in oceanfront golf (PPG), deep sea fishing (Graco), kayaking or touring historic St. Augustine.
Tuesday night concluded with an outdoor icebreaker reception and dinner at the resort, sponsored by PPG.
The following evening, delegates were treated to a dinner and Casino Night sponsored by Tnemec Company at the Conservatory Clubhouse at Hammock Beach. Once the sun set and the stars came out, the evening transitioned to Stars and Cigars, sponsored by CRW, Corr-Ze.
A new edition to the Contractor Connect event, however, was the NASCAR Driving Experience at the Daytona International Speedway—home of the Daytona 500, the most prestigious race in NASCAR.
This portion of the event, sponsored by The Sherwin-Williams Company, gave attendees with “the need for speed” the opportunity to drive a NASCAR race car by themselves on the Daytona International Speedway.
The Daytona International Speedway features multiple layouts including the large primary 2.5-mile tri-oval speedway with 31 degrees of banking in the turns. For this event, driving delegates received eight minutes on the track and were reported to have reached speeds of up to 150 mph.
Sherwin-Williams had also invited retired NASCAR driver, Greg Biffle, to provide select ride alongs. For these trips around the track, delegates reportedly reached speeds of nearly 170-180 mph.
TPC would like to thank the following sponsors for making Contractor Connect 2021 possible and successful.
This year, the 2021 Platinum event sponsors included:
The 2021 Silver even sponsors included:
The 2021 Supporting sponsors included:
Celebrating the Event, Looking to 2022
As the sun set on Contractor Connect, attendees continued to share their success with the TPC team and praise for the event as a whole.
In a comment on LinkedIn to TPC’s Business Development Manager, Tracy Dunglinson, Induron President Hood wrote, “Best Contractor Connect yet!” Hood has been an attendee of the event since its inaugural year. In his post, he continued, “The [TPC] crew also put together the best group of contractors yet. Everyone that we engaged with was interested in truly growing their business and learning more about the Industrial Coatings Market.”
Abrasives Incorporated added, "Thank You to all the contractors who took valuable time from their businesses to learn and be open to new vendors! We appreciate your support!"
"We were honored to be a part of this wonderful event," CRW Consulting & Distribution wrote. "Many thanks to you, Journal of Protective Coatings and Linings, Technology Publishing Company, PaintSquare and Paint BidTracker!"
On the contractor side of things, Lucy Giaculi of Brave Industrial Painting sent a nice email: "Our team at Brave Industrial Paint LLC. would like to thank you for inviting us to the Contractor Connect Event 2021! It was a wonderful, insightful, informative, and enjoyable experience which we are extremely honored to have been a part of!
“We greatly appreciate your efforts in making it possible for us to attend the event! Our most sincere thanks!"
These comments were echoed by many other attending contractors, first timers and returning delegates in testimonials and other private emails following the event’s close.
While a destination has yet to be announced for 2022, Palmer reports that, “This event will only get continue to get better and is planned for expansion into other markets.
“With the success of this year’s inaugural Commercial Contractor Connect and the continued success of our industrial Contractor Connect, we’re looking to better connecting others in the coatings industry,” Palmer said.
“In 2022, we are aiming to host a Roofing Contractor Connect and hopefully a Water/Wastewater Contractor Connect as well. There is so much potential for these types of events, and a truly priceless experience for contractors and suppliers alike.”
Be on the look out for conference and event updates on PaintSquare Daily News.