In the Know is a monthly partnership between LP Gas magazine and Propane Resources. Our focus this month is on the 2017 Propane Expo, addressed by supply expert Tony Botts.
Q: Can you tell us about Propane Resources’ firsthand experiences at this year’s Propane Expo in Nashville, Tennessee?
A: The sights and sounds of the propane industry were on full display in Nashville for the 2017 NPGA Southeastern Convention & International Propane Expo.
The colossal event marked the 70th anniversary of the convention and left quite the impression on new faces and professionals in the propane industry. One thing is for certain: You leave the convention with more knowledge about the industry than before you went.
This year’s Propane Expo marked my first experience with the convention. The importance of attending such an eye-opening event with many educational experiences was not lost on me. It allowed me to meet, network and learn from experts in every field of the industry. The opportunity to foster relationships with some of the sharpest and most successful minds in the industry truly exists around every corner and turn at the convention.
The industry’s newest products and technologies were on full display at the show. From new tank monitoring systems to new software platforms and updates, retailers could fill any and all needs to increase and add value to their company at the show. Along with walking the show floor and checking out the newest equipment and technological advancements in the industry, attendees could attend educational sessions put on by leading industry experts.
While the expo had an outstanding turnout from every corner of the nation and parts of the world, many retailers unfortunately had to decline the opportunity to attend because of the past few warm winters.
Based on additional observations, many retailers mentioned their frustration with the ongoing export numbers. These numbers have impacted the market tremendously, including the price of propane and our ability, or lack thereof, to build inventory heading into the fall and winter.
I also received feedback that retailers have struggled to attract new business through the last few warm winters. The need to diversify cannot be emphasized enough.
Finally, the crowds at the expo expressed their desire to continue the convention at the Nashville location. The show returns to Atlanta for the next two years before making a return to Music City in 2020.
All things considered, I walked away from the Propane Expo with a true admiration of the propane industry. I truly encourage every propane professional – new or veteran – to attend the convention at least once. My calendar is already marked in anticipation for next year’s event. Hope to see you all in Atlanta!
Tony Botts is a supply expert at Propane Resources. He can be reached at 913-262-0628 or firstname.lastname@example.org.