The National Propane Gas Association (NPGA) released figures for its 70th Southeastern Convention & International Propane Expo, which took place April 21 – 23, at the Music City Center in Nashville, Tennessee. More than 4,000 individuals participated—remaining near last year’s all-time record of more than 4,100—while the nearly sold-out 180,000 square foot exhibition hall grew to include more than 250 exhibiting organizations. The three-day annual event attracted participants from 48 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and 39 foreign countries and territories.
The exhibit hall featured liquified petroleum (LP) gas appliance, equipment and component manufacturers; vehicle fabricators; tank and cylinder manufacturers; computer hardware, software and technical service providers; producers, brokers and wholesalers of LP gas; manufacturers’ representatives and wholesalers; propane transporters and stores; insurance carriers, underwriters and agencies; and other providers of goods and services to the LP gas industry. Other expo highlights included the United Propane AutoGas Solutions (UPAS) Group’s Autogas Pavilion—focused on manufacturing products, processes, education tools and services specific to the rapidly growing autogas market—as well as a New Products Showcase, presented in partnership with the Propane Education & Research Council, featuring new products and cutting-edge technologies.
Program highlights included a keynote presentation by Staff Sargent Keni Thomas, a former U.S. Army Ranger involved in the battle in Somalia—recounted in the highly successful book and movie Blackhawk Down—who is also an award-winning country music artist in Nashville, Tennessee. In addition, there were 28 breakout sessions, eight Fast-Track Sessions, six Propane Technical Workshops, PERC Update Live! and a Women in Propane Roundtable, along with a co-located Leadership Forum presented by the Women in Propane.
In related news, a result of last year’s record attendance and exhibitor growth, Trade Show Executive (TSE) magazine honored NPGA Expo among its “Fastest 50” Class of 2017 on April 21. Comprised of shows with the highest levels of growth in exhibit space, number of exhibitors and attendance in 2016, NPGA placed seventh in the top 50 ranked by percentage of growth in attendance. In addition, TSE recognized NPGA Expo among its “Next 50” for the show’s percentage of growth in net square feet of paid exhibit space.
Next year, NPGA’s Southeastern Convention & International Propane Expo returns to its previous home of the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, during April 6 – 8, 2018. The event will go back to Nashville in 2020.
NPGA is the national trade association representing the U.S. propane industry.