Getting Ready for the 2019 WWETT Show

Here are some of the things that the author (a past attendee and workshop presenter this year) is most looking forward to at the upcoming show in Indy

Getting Ready for the 2019 WWETT Show
Through the years the name, technology and locations have changed, but the event has always been an industry favorite.

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Every February, portable restroom operators, sewer contractors, plumbers, manufacturers and more converge on Indianapolis for four days. The Water & Wastewater Equipment, Treatment & Transport (WWETT) Show is the reason, and its sheer size is enough to impress. It also happens to be one of my favorite conferences of the year. 

WWETT 2019 will boast over 100 educational sessions and a massive showroom floor. It's difficult to walk away from this show empty-handed or empty-headed.

Here's what I'm looking forward to most:

The Spartan Tool Kick-Off Party at Lucas Oil Stadium

You don't have to be much of a football fan to appreciate the epic quality of partying on the 50-yard line of an NFL stadium. Walking onto the Lucas Oil field, grabbing a cold one and tossing a few footballs — that's not a bad evening.

They could charge big bucks for a party like this. Instead, admission is free for registered badge holders.  

Networking events

It's all about the people. That's why the structured networking events are too good to miss. This year's conference has three planned networking events.  

I'll be attending the Women in Industry Networking Breakfast, and ladies, I hope to see you there. If that isn't your speed (or your gender), try the New Professional Roundtable or the Education Day Celebration. I want to go to them all. We will see if there is time.

All of these opportunities are perfect for meeting (and brain-picking) peers who aren't your competition. Regardless of your social skills or confidence level, networking events take the pressure off. Everyone is there for the same reason — to meet people.  

Remember that you won't hit it off with everyone, so put on your friendliest face and talk to as many people as you can. None of us have it all figured out, but when we put our heads together, amazing things can happen.

Educational sessions galore

Educational sessions, workshops and tours — there is a lot to learn at the WWETT Show. Hello, continuing education credits. I'm excited about the new addition of workshops this year. 

I’m even presenting a workshop this year — “Improving your marketing plan to gain customers.” Of course I'm excited.

The idea behind workshops is to get more in-depth on the subject at hand. Have you ever left an educational session and felt like the presenter only scratched the surface? Some topics are like that. The format of a workshop is more like a classroom. The presenter can put a lot of meat on the bone with more time, worksheets and audience discussion. Carving out three to four hours of your conference might seem like a lot, but these workshops are where intentional and actionable learning happens. 

Additional fees apply, and space is limited so get yourself registered fast. 

The giant marketplace

And you thought IKEA was big. The only time I've ever seen a bigger trade show floor was at the famous Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. That's saying something. 

Your feet might get tired trying to do it all in one day. Take your time, and plan your attack on the showroom to make sure you see it all.

Some of the best prices of the year happen at the show, so come with your wallet open and your checkbook pen full of ink. With nearly 600 exhibitors, you are likely to find what you are looking for. The market is a great place to stay on top of the latest technology and get hands-on with your wish list. 

A great city

Indianapolis is an incredible host city. The convention center is right in the middle of downtown, which is walkable, clean and friendly. If you come from a warmer climate like I do, try to get a room in a connected hotel. 

The closest hotels sell out fast, but they have the benefit of tunnels that allow you to avoid the cold Midwest winter.

If the weather is nice, plan to spend some time on the Indiana Central Canal, at the zoo or at one of the nearby state parks. If the weather is bad, my vote is to head for the breweries.

The in-between times

All these years later, I still keep in touch with people I met at my very first WWETT Show. In the hallways, at meals or after educational sessions is prime time for networking. 

Even with thousands of people in attendance, you tend to start running into the same people over and over again. With a little effort, you can make friends from across the country (or even outside of it).

Whatever you do, don't forget your business cards. I urge you to stay in touch with people after the conference. You never know when you'll need advice from a friend. 

WWETT 2019 will take place Feb. 20-23 at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis. There’s still time to register. Visit www.wwettshow.com.


About the Author: Anja Smith is the managing partner of All Clear Plumbing in Greenville, South Carolina, and a writer/speaker at Tradebiz Toolbox. Smith is presenting a live marketing workshop at the 2019 WWETT Show in Indianapolis. Learn more about the workshop and how to attend at www.tradebiztoolbox.com.



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