Propane industry leaders gathered this week for the second annual LP Gas Growth Summit in Orlando, Florida.
The event, which LP Gas launched a year ago, unites propane retailers and vendors of industry equipment and services in a unique buyer-seller networking environment. The event provides attendees a one-on-one meeting setting to forge partnerships that can lead to sustained, mutual growth.
“You get one-on-one time to sit with each vendor uninterrupted [and] ask your questions,” says Tim Jackson, general manager at Affordable Propane in Quarryville, Pennsylvania. “You go to some trade shows, and you’re being elbowed and jostled around with others to spend time with vendors. Here you get time to ask your questions and get everything answered.”
In addition to the retailer-vendor meetings, educational opportunities were available to attendees. As an example, four retailers – Gordon Cunningham of Georgia Gas Distributors in Sandy Springs, Georgia; David Gable of Hocon Gas in Shelton, Connecticut; Mike Hayden of Co-Alliance in Avon, Indiana; and Jake Otte of Otte Oil & Propane in Davey, Nebraska – offered input on propane autogas opportunities during a panel discussion.
“We’re not a parts dealer,” Otte says. “We’re not a tank installer. I just want to sell gas. So the first thing we did was have a guy come to us. He said he wanted to install our systems. Unless you are prepared to be a mechanic or do the diagnostics, the first thing I would do is find someone to do it for you.”
Jeremy Wishart, deputy director of business development at the Propane Education & Research Council, also provided education. He discussed gallon-growth opportunities in the lawn and landscape and golf equipment markets.
“[This] is a growing market that we as an industry have created,” Wishart says. “It helps backfill some of that summer gallon need. You’re not going to replace residential gallons, but it is a nice fill. If you’re already doing forklifts, you can extend your reach a little bit and get into this same market.”