Despite some rough weather hitting some of our members in southern New England and the mid-Atlantic area, the NECPA 2016 Annual Meeting and Expo was still an outstanding regional event. Members from around the region and suppliers from across the globe came to experience the exciting educational sessions, hands-on demos and amazing networking opportunities.
This year’s educational sessions kicked off with a focus on how Lean Manufacturing Principles can streamline operations, reduce waste and pump up profits for the awning and marine canvas industries. These in-depth sessions covered everything from analyzing and improving your production workflow to an interactive discussion of real life examples of Lean Manufacturing in canvas production facilities. This combined with afternoon sessions that brought niche industry knowledge for Awning and Marine specialists, attendees left Friday afternoon buzzing with ideas and excitement for the upcoming season.
Saturday’s Expo was bustling with excitement both in and outside the exhibit hall. New this year, NECPA broadcasted the event via Livestream, allowing individuals to experience many aspects of the Expo even if they couldn’t be there in person. The always popular Tent Demos certainly did not disappoint this year, with hands-on demonstrations about topics that ranged from stitching and patterning to welding and machine maintenance.
NECPA 2016 also marked the 6th year of our Annual Recycle and Repurpose Collection. Even with the limitations of the weather, this year’s event drew an impressive 500+ pounds of material and word that our grassroots program is gaining traction. Other regions are starting their own recycle and repurpose programs.
This year’s event holds a special place for me as I start my tenure as NECPA President. I greatly enjoyed connecting with so many of our members and look forward to doing so again at upcoming events. It was a pleasure to share my plans for expanded member benefits and additional education opportunities, as well as increased social media presence and interaction. I can’t wait to get to work with our committees on implementing those improvements.
Our 2016 Annual Meeting and Expo was a great way to start this new year with lots of new ideas and exciting energy to fuel the year ahead. I hope you had the opportunity to experience it, and I look forward to seeing you there in 2017.