The entire solar community is talking about it. SPI 2014. Being held this year in Las Vegas, SPI is quite literally the only location on the planet that will showcase the solar industry’s newest, most innovative, trending products and solutions this fall. On October 20th, it all begins, with pre-conference workshops, the opening general session & networking reception, which will be attended by SEIA CEO and President, Rhone Resch and SEPA CEO and President Julia Hamm.
The show floor will open at 10:00am (PST) on Tuesday, October 21st, and the real fun begins….There are SO many benefits of attending; really too many to mention in one post. Six of the many benefits of attending are listed below (in no particular order) – I’m not a betting woman, but if I were, I would bet that after reading this, if you haven’t already registered, you’ll be giving it a serious second thought. It’s not too late! Register here
#1 Connections, Connections, Connections
The connections you can make at SPI? Virtually limitless….Developers, manufacturers, installers, financing firms – you name it, they’ll be there – and this is not inclusive to the over 700 exhibitors. More than FIFTEEN THOUSAND attendees are expected, from over 75 countries around the world! That number alone translates into a massive networking opportunity that should not be missed!
#2 Master Speakers
This series is new to SPI this year. So new, in fact, that the list of Master Speakers is yet to be added to SPI’s website, but you can be sure they will be informative, packed-full and worth attending. You can keep checking the website, as speakers will be added to the agenda as we get closer to the show.
#3 Start-Up Alley
Presented by SPI and Clean Energy Trust, Start-Up Alley is devoted to the encouragement and support of emerging companies in the solar community by offering ways to increase visibility in the marketplace. Finalists will be chosen and will have the chance to pitch their business models to a panel of entrepreneurs, corporate investors, venture capitalists and industry business leaders. There can only be one winner, but the 2 runners-up will also reap some rewards, including notoriety, which goes a long way in any industry.
#4 Educational Sessions and PV Technical Training
Your “one-stop-shop” for solar education! One hundred, 25-minute long “QuickTalks” and over fifty on-the-show-floor educational opportunities await, all are peer-led and many topics are to be covered (obviously I won’t be listing all 150 here):
“Free NABCEP (North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners) Certification”: If your company is attending anyway, you might as well bring along any non-certified installers and get them the certification while you’re there. It will be much less of a hassle than scheduling it down the road, and after they attend, they can walk the show, giving installers the chance to meet the companies who manufacture and distribute the products they use. You can also gain continuing education NABCEP credits if you’re already certified.
“PV Installation Best Practices”: Learn how to do it right the first time, and save a little dough in the process. This workshop sounds like a fun one to attend and is worth 1 NABCEP credit.
“Being a Good Citizen of the Grid”: Learn about reactive power control, effective grounding, power curtailment and more (1 NABCEP credit).
“Racking & Mounting Best Practices”: Presented by SEI (Solar Energy International), this class will address rooftop solar installation challenges, as well as standards, codes and best practices to help you learn how to protect the integrity of the roof you’re working on while choosing the proper solutions for mounting solar arrays to a roof (like EcoFasten Solar roof mounts).
#5 Come meet the “Solar Tweeps” at the 5th Annual SPI Tweetup!
Hosted by solar social media blogging heavyweight Tor Valenza, aka: Solar Fred (@SolarFred) of UnThink Solar (who just happens to be my favorite major league Tweep), the annual Tweetup will give you the opportunity to meet your favorite solar Twitter handles while enjoying a fabulous lunch and cold beers (who doesn’t love cold beers?). Come rub elbows with other solar social marketing professionals and have the chance to score some choice prizes. The event will be held from noon to 2:00pm on Wednesday, October 22nd. Just make sure to RSVP early (like now), since this very popular event has sold out quickly in past years. Sponsors of the annual Tweetup are companies like Enphase, REC Solar, Generaytor and Solar Log. The Twitter hashtag is #SPItweetup. “What happens at the SPI Tweetup in Vegas stays on Twitter forever and that’s okay!”
#6 Hello….It’s in VEGAS!
If you’ve never been, you might as well go while there’s a compelling reason to visit (like SPI). If you have been, there’s always plenty more to see. SPI attendees can reap some extra rewards by taking advantage of some show-exclusive promotions. And to be honest, you know you’re going to be doing some of this stuff anyway, so why not save yourself some cash in the process. There are huge discounts on Broadway shows, food and drink discounts at local hotspots, retail discounts for those who want to shop, gamble or enjoy some spa time; even discounts at The UPS Stores located within Caesars’ Properties.
So, if you can go, GO! – there will be so many opportunities you won’t have access to anywhere else, and it only happens once a year. If you can’t go (bummer), make sure you attend next year’s show in Anaheim.
We hope to see you there – we’ll be at booth #2351, so stop by, say hi, and see what’s NEW!
Committed to the connection
Industry leader EcoFasten Solar designs, engineers, and manufactures patented, watertight solar roof mounts. The company provides mounting solutions that are easy to install, cost-effective, rugged in fabrication, and unsurpassed in quality. Comprised of a seasoned and growing team of professionals with talent, ability, and drive, all EcoFasten Solar products are precision-designed with the installer in mind.