The Sweetest Place on Earth

For anyone that has experienced the uniqueness of Hershey, Pennsylvania for fun or in my case a trade show, you know soon understand what made this town a sweet success.  Touted by the locals as, “The Sweetest Place On Earth!” Hershey, Pennsylvania was the site for this week’s NAOHSM’s 58th Annual Convention & Trade Show.

As many in the industry know, this is a show for anyone in the trades (oil heat technicians, owners and managers) and those companies that focus on Indoor Comfort – whether it be oil heat service (or even propane), plumbing, air conditioning or new green technologies.

Being my first time to this event I was anxious to see and experience the educational opportunities, see what some of the other manufacturers (nearly 200 exhibitors) were doing to innovate and invigorate the industry, but most importantly I wanted to talk to an array of customers and reps from the Northeast region.

One of the really unique and in some ways unusual parts of the show took place on Monday with the charitable programming.  The two-day show started with preliminary events highlighting the ‘Christmas in May’ theme, which included a golf tournament, bicycle ride, motorcycle ride and 5k run.  The aim was to create industry awareness, raise funds for families in need of assistance during the winter months, develop scholarship funds for students and to support local charities.  I do many trade shows each year, and although many have a charitable arm or activity, this was the first I’d seen with such a large base of participants participating.

Corporate Social Responsibility is nothing new for many in our industry and while funds were decimated in recent years due to the economy, witnessing the outpouring of people active on Monday renewed my hope that events like this become more the norm. The shear number of attendees and exhibitors that many trade shows bring together create a dynamic that can fuel charitable giving in the industry and with it’s causes.  In fact, a new study from the University of Iowa suggests it might also boost employee morale, productivity and a company’s bottom line.

We’ve long supported many charitable causes through our corporate philanthropic efforts and will continue to do so but it was with great pleasure and with much applause that we say, “the efforts by NAOHSM were amazing!”

What are you doing with charitable giving in your area of the world or industry?