This week we decided to give you a behind-the-scenes look at what gets our hearts pounding: Fencetech, a giant annual industry show for people in the fence biz. It’s coming up February 6-9 at the Phoenix Convention Center this year and promises to be massive and fabulous.
Last year, 4,446 folks registered for Fencetech in San Antonio. These ranged from the 11 percent of the attendees who worked for small concerns (less than $500,00 per year) to the 34 percent who work in the highest earning fence companies (over $5 million per year). But whether guppies or whales, Fencetech offers education and inspiration for all fence professionals.
Who’s behind Fencetech?
Back in 1962, some people in the fence industry got together and started dreaming of what they could do if they put their heads together. The International Fence Industry Association was born. Later renamed the American Fence Association, this organization is now the largest professional association representing the fence, deck and railing industry. It boasts members in in every U.S. state, Canada, plus members in 18 other countries beyond North America. The AFA offers continuing education and publishes Fencepost magazine and a monthly newsletter called FenceSense. Professional training programs include Fence Installation School, Certified Automated Gate Operator Installer and Certified Automatic Gate Systems Designer programs.
A Day in the life of Fencetech
So what do a bunch of fence pros do when they get together? There’s lots of business, of course. Education workshops run all day on topics like understanding prevailing wage, blueprint reading, estimating, and this year, even the mock trial of a gate installation company involved in a gate operator accident. Then there’s lots of shopping on the exhibit floor, as we learn about new products and services. Exhibitors reveal the latest and greatest in fencing innovation.
Fencetech also has a rich volunteer tradition. Participants can spend the morning of Wednesday, February 7 helping with painting, odd jobs and minor repairs in the Phoenix area. A local Ronald McDonald house is helping cover the cost of supplies. This is a way that Fencetech gives back to its host community each year.
Participants also love Fencetech because they build relationships – both business and friendships. It’s a chance to visit with those industry friends we only manage to see once a year. And sometimes there’s even dancing.
What happens at Fencetech doesn’t stay at Fencetech
But the best thing about Fencetech is all the new knowledge and products fence pros can bring home to their customers. The exhibit room is the place we get our hands on all the new technology, and figure out what’s going to work best in our fence businesses.
As Mike Babcock, exhibitor and AFA member, says, “For the fence industry, if you don’t go to Fencetech, you’re missing the boat.”
At Buzz, we love to keep up with the cutting edge of our industry. Are you ready for a cutting-edge fence? Give us a call today!