The recent winter storm and ensuing energy crisis that hit Texas earlier this month was a reminder to many of just how much we rely on our utility infrastructure to help meet our basic needs.
As is the case in any natural disaster, utility crews from around the region and across the United States stepped up to help restore power to the citizens of Texas and get water flowing once again. That comes as no surprise, at least to me, because the utility industry is used to coming together in times of great need. Unfortunately, times of great need have been an all-to-common occurrence over the course of the past 12 months.
Looking back, it’s hard not to think it feels like the longest year ever. Many of us have been forced to change the way we live and work in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Even construction and utility professionals working in the field, day in and day out, have needed to adapt. Whether it’s been wearing masks and gaiters, along with other personal protective equipment, or adhering to new and ever-changing protocols, they’ve done what they’ve had to do to keep themselves – and one another – safe and sound while on the job.
As I’ve mentioned before, our team that works on The Utility Expo aren’t rest-on-your-laurel types, and we’re committed to helping the industry continue to serve the public by bringing utility professionals together again – not in a time of crisis, but rather in the spirit of community – to see, touch, and learn about the latest tools and cutting-edge technology impacting their jobs.
It’s a well-established fact safety is always top-of-mind in the utility industry. It’s no different for the team planning this year’s Utility Expo, set for Sept. 28-30 at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Kentucky. We’re going to do whatever it takes to ensure our show is safe. Whether that refers to fire codes, OSHA regs, or best practices for work rules within our active demo areas, we’ve always had an eye for safety. If this past year’s pandemic has taught us anything, it’s the importance of expanding on the traditional idea of “safety” and reframing it as “health and safety” moving forward to ensure the safety of everyone in attendance at The Utility Expo.
It’s truly been great to see the incredible amount of enthusiasm from the industry for this year’s Utility Expo. Exhibit space for this year’s show is filling up fast and is pacing ahead of 2019’s record-breaking ICUEE, The Demo Expo show. We’re currently well over 1.2 million square feet of exhibits already sold, putting us well on our way to our largest event yet. With so much to see and experience in that space, and higher-than-normal number of new product rollouts expected this year, attendees will have no shortage of opportunities for up-close access to manufacturers as they showcase their latest and greatest offerings.
I’m also very excited for attendees and exhibitors to check out the new show floor layout for this year’s Utility Expo. By shifting our outdoor space to include the massive space where Cardinal Stadium used to stand, it will be much easier to travel from one exhibit area to another. It also opens up lots in front of the building for parking and a transportation hub.
So, it’s safe to say there’s a lot to look forward to at The Utility Expo this year, and we can’t wait to see you – in person – on and around the show floor as we bring the industry together once again in Louisville. In the meantime, to receive the latest updates and relevant information related to The Utility Expo, visit show alerts.