Propane retailers, vendor partners gather at LP Gas Growth Summit

September 18, 2017 By    

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The third annual LP Gas Growth Summit was held Sept. 18-20 at Reunion Resort, outside Orlando, Florida.

More than 70 attendees, including retail propane company decision-makers; vendor partners offering propane products, equipment and services; and the LP Gas staff gathered at the exclusive buyer/seller networking event in which propane retailers learn ways to diversify their offerings, improve efficiencies and grow gallons.

Amid changes in the propane industry and the overall energy environment, LP Gas launched the event in 2015 as a way for propane retailers to build partnerships with vendors. The magazine expanded the event this year to include three tracks: emerging markets; products and services; and software and technology.

“I’ve been super impressed,” says Leah Henry, operations manager at Kitsap Propane in Kingston, Washington. “The opportunity to really talk to the vendors and the format that was set up was very helpful in building those relationships. I found that the last two days have probably been, in terms of conventions or conferences, the most productive two days I’ve spent away from my office.”

About 30 retail propane companies met one-on-one with 15 vendor partners over two days. The prescheduled 20-minute meetings allowed propane retailers to pursue solutions for their business needs and it allowed vendors to explain how they could potentially meet those needs. Vendors also provided an overview of their offerings at the outset of the event in short “boardroom presentations.”

“I wish this would have been going on for years,” says Dave Barrett, president of Barrett Propane in Prescott, Arizona. “To get one-on-one with our vendors like this, where you can really get quality information, is very valuable.”

Vendor partners who attended this year include Advanced Digital Data (ADD) Systems, Base Engineering, Blue Cow Software, Cargas, Digital Dispatcher, Hiab, Icom North America, Industrial Propane Service (IPS), Napoleon, Otodata, SkyBitz, Viking Cylinders, VFG Leasing & Finance, Worthington Industries and a vendor partner group representing A.R.M. Solutions, Avatas and CTP Solutions.

“It’s been a great experience,” says James Richardson, vice president and COO of Affordable Fuels in Ramah, Colorado. “Growing the business, you’re looking for opportunities to streamline and cut costs. There’s a lot of companies here with solutions that would make my business more efficient.”

Tom Jaenicke, vice president of propane marketing services at Warm Thoughts Communications and an LP Gas marketing columnist, presented on “Successful Strategies for Growing Gallons.” LP Gas also moderated a propane retailer panel discussion.

In addition to the one-on-one meetings, attendees had opportunities to network via an opening-night cocktail reception, a golf outing and a barbecue.

Cargas sponsored the welcome reception, while Otodata sponsored the breakfasts and barbecue dinner. Worthington sponsored the golf outing.


Want to attend in 2018?

We’re already making plans for next year’s LP Gas Growth Summit. If you’re a propane retailer with an interest in participating in the 2018 event, contact Editor-in-Chief Brian Richesson at brichesson@northcoastmedia.net or 216-706-3748. Interested equipment and service vendors can contact Publisher Brian Kanaba at bkanaba@northcoastmedia.net or 216-706-3745.


Check out videos from the event

Brian Richesson

About the Author:

Brian Richesson is the editor in chief of LP Gas Magazine. Contact him at brichesson@northcoastmedia.net or 216-706-3748.

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