ACCA, the nation’s largest organization of indoor environment and energy services contracting businesses, presented two back-to-back contractor events in Austin earlier this month: the first Building Performance Forum and the 5th Annual Service Managers Forum. Total attendance for the two events was the largest ever for ACCA’s fall meetings, with attendance up more than 45% over 2011.
New Building Performance Forum
The Building Performance Forum was held October 9 & 10. Contractors from across the country came to learn about the future of building performance and how to grow this particular service within their companies.
The event started with Nate Kredich of the US Green Building Council sharing how building performance has gained prominence on a world-wide stage and how it can change the way you do business. It wrapped up with a frank and humorous session with Doug Garrett of Building Performance & Comfort. He explained how the market is changing now and over the next 10 years, with growing customer demand for home performance services. In between, contractors chose from 12 different Learning Labs led by contractors and other experts, covering both introductory and advanced topics.
“The 2012 ACCA Building Performance Forum was very eye-opening,” said Mike Tucker, owner of Tuckers Air Conditioning & Heating in Gaithersburg, MD. “There was a lot of great information in a short time frame. I believe this is an important step for my company and will help me achieve my company and personal goals.”
“I really liked the way the event was structured with tracks for beginners and more experienced contractors,” added Keith Paton of Ivey Mechanical in Kosciusko, MS. “The presenters were so willing to share the good and the bad stories about their experience and it gave a lot of reassurance that contractors can succeed. It was great to see how to get down the road to be successful.”
Rob Minnick, of Minnick’s in Laurel, MD, said of the forum, “It brought together so many contractors that were willing to ask questions and pick my brain for ideas. The networking was awesome and I’m really looking forward to doing it again next year.”
The event also included a Sponsor Showcase that allowed attendees to learn about new and innovative solutions to challenges they face on a day-to-day basis. “The sponsor showcase was great for us,” said Chris Boaz of Aeroseal. “I had the opportunity to speak with most of the attendees and left with several enthusiastic prospects. I look forward to future opportunities.”
The Building Performance Forum sponsors were: Aeroseal; CallSource; Comfort Institute; ComfortRX; Emerson; Everblue Training Institute; Federated Insurance; GreenHomes America; Honeywell; Jackson Systems; Mitsubishi; Thermostat Recycling ; Trane; and Ultra-Aire.
Stay tuned for details about the next Building Performance Forum atwww.buildingperformanceforum.com.
5th Annual Service Managers Forum
In its fifth year, the Service Managers Forum reached new levels of success, with the highest attendance in history. The day and half event brought contractors from 35 states together to learn and network on October 11 & 12.
The event kicked off with an upbeat and honest look at the different generations in the workplace with popular keynote speaker Bruce Wilkinson. He shared the traits of the different generations and how managers can get the most out of each employee by making small adjustments. There was also a special lunch session on October 11 where Bobby Ring of Meyer & Depew Co. in Kenilworth, NJ, talked about his experience working with NBC this summer on a “sting” operation that aired on the Today Show and Dateline. He showed the full clip from the Dateline airing and discussed with attendees how their companies can avoid being caught in similar situations, and also how they could use the broadcast in their own training programs.
12 Learning Labs covered a variety of leadership and management topics created especially for service leaders, from hiring the right people to motivating your employees, from creating consistent procedures to improving communications, and from maximizing the value of service agreements to implementing new technologies.
“The best part of the event is all the tried and true ideas people share with each other,” said Ken Marshall, service manager at Mark E. Meacham, Inc. in Charlton, MA. “This has been a great event to get me back into the business frame of mind.”
“I really had a good time and learned a lot from everyone I talked to,” said Robbey Moore, co-owner and vice president of Perkins Climate Control in Leesville, LA. “We are a small company and we like the information we get from this event.”
“This was my first Service Managers Forum and I didn’t know what to expect,” added Chase Rampey, service manager at Centex Mechanical, Inc. in Bastrop, TX. “I was recently promoted to service manager and have been wondering how I am going to adapt to my new roll, because it’s both exciting and terrifying. I had never considered asking for help from peers in the industry, but after attending the conference, I see that we are in this together as an industry. Finding people that are so willing to share information with each other helps dial down the ‘terrifying’ aspect of my new position. Thank you so much for the inspiration. I’ll see you guys at the next one.”
The Service Managers Forum also included a Sponsor Showcase where companies showcased products and services to help service managers increase productivity, improve workflow, and take advantage of new opportunities.
“I was very impressed with the open mindedness and support for technician training by ACCA members,” said Barney McClung of Everblue in Huntersville, NC. “I have always believed that the field technician is the key to great customer service and providing good quality training for the field tech demonstrates the commitment ACCA members have to their technicians and their customers.With the positive response we received at the event, we look forward to sponsoring more ACCA events.”
The Service Managers Forum sponsors were: 3M/Filtrete; AC Leak Freeze; Advanced Refrigerant Technologies; CallSource; Comfort Institute; Contractorselling.com; Data-Basics, Inc.; Davis Business Solutions Inc.; Emerson; Everblue Training Institute; Honeywell; Jackson Systems; Mitsubishi; Mobi; NATE; Nextraq; Service Automation; Thermostat Recycling; and Trane.
Learn more about this year’s event and get details about the 6th Annual Service Managers Forum at www.servicemanagersforum.com.
The ACCA is a non-profit association serving more than 60,000 professionals and 4,000 businesses in the HVACR community, who work together to promote professional contracting, energy efficiency, and healthy, comfortable indoor environments for all Americans. For more information, visit www.acca.org.