"We average about 30 attendees per seminar, but some have drawn more than 100 people," said Ron Grabski, vice president/marketing. For example, back-to-back seminars held in late September in Florida drew more than 30 plumbers in Jacksonville and about 70 in Tampa; several wholesalers attended each event. The plumbers who attended also received two hours of credit toward a continuing education certificate.
Gerber offers these training seminars as often as once or twice a month at different locations throughout the country, said Grabski, who often serves as the seminar speaker.
"I have the local reps do a mailing to the plumbers in advance, so we can attract an audience of 22 to 40 per seminar," Grabski said. "In the city of New York, we worked with the Master Plumbers Association. We had 115 plumbers at our first seminar and drew 145 when we offered the seminar a second time."
In Florida, Wisconsin and Ohio, seminar attendees receive credit toward a continuing education certificate. Ohio and Wisconsin have state laws requiring that an inspector sit in on one of the seminars to be certified, he said.
The seminars also discuss how to most effectively install pressurized tanks and bowls and include demonstrations of faucets and pressure balance tub/shower valves.