Uponor packed the Bellagio Hotel March 30-April 1 in Las Vegas for its bi-annual convention which, this year, was entitled Connections 2016. The two-day event was filled with Uponor employees having face-to-face meetings with more than 1,000 customers including engineers, contractors, reps and more.

The company reported that it put together its biggest expo hall ever for the event — 13,000 sq. ft. of space featuring current and upcoming Uponor products that cover all markets including residential, commercial and fire protection. Expo partners including Milwaukee Tool, Taco, Grundfos, Holdrite, Rinnai and more also had booths set up for the event.

The Expo began on March 30 with Uponor North America President Bill Gray emceeing a general session. Jyri Luomakoski, Uponor Corp.’s president and CEO, addressed the gathered crowd about the two major changes he sees coming in the industry/business world. First, is the continued globalization of the business and, secondly, a greater focus on digitization.

Luomakoski noted that global CO2 emissions have remained flat for back-to-back years after years of growth (only year that was lower was 2009 due to the great recession). Luomakoski said that he expects Uponor to be at the forefront of energy efficiency.

“We’re constantly encouraging the team to think outside of the box,” he said.

Gray, who has been in his role since 2012, says Uponor looks totally different than it did when he spoke at his first Convention. “We’ve transformed to a commercially focused company,” said Gray. “Our employees are our best competitive advantage.”

The rest of the general sessions included speeches from Milwaukee Tool President Steve Richman that showcased the company’s incredible growth (more than 500 new employees since 2005 with more on the way), “Mr. Mostly Sunny” Dale Stroud (back in his sun outfit) on the positive economic forecast and former Harley-Davidson executive Ken Schmidt.

Schmidt, who had the audience laughing uproariously throughout his 45-minute presentation, discussed how Harley-Davidson was able to rebound during the 1990s to today by selling its image and story. He implored attendees to make sure your customer is telling your story to other potential customers.

“What do you want them to say and what are you willing to do to get them to say it?” Schmidt said.
The next day was filled with breakout educational sessions that covered topics ranging from commercial plumbing design and layout, BIM, commercial radiant heating and cooling, and more.

The expo wrapped up with a wonderful party on the rooftop of the Cosmopolitan Hotel.

For more information on the expo please check out coverage in the May issues of Supply House Times.