By Denise M. Roberts
The California Groundwater Association’s annual convention and exhibition was held in Reno, NV in October, with attendees coming from California, Nevada and other states. The theme was traditional western, which was quite natural for the venue and there were more than a few cowboys and cowgirls wandering the area. Fifty-six vendors and 272 visitors took part this year. While the annual show is smaller than many conventions, it makes up for that in being a successful endeavor for its members. The venue chosen for the event adds to the more personal nature of its members. While the trade show floor usually looks bigger, there is still a hint of a more hands-on flavor. This year didn’t disappoint.
In addition to the trade show, there was a full slate of educational offerings, as well as several entertainment options. The event was launched with the ubiquitous golf tournament and seminars, as well as the always well-attended McEllhiney Lecture. And as tradition continued, Franklin Electric hosted the pre-show Meet and Greet. In addition, attendees were offered the opportunity of bowling and dinner, as well as a Texas Hold ‘Em Tournament. The Keynote address focused primarily on policy and regulatory matters.
For most attendees, the convention provides the opportunity to meet with clients face-to-face. There are always opportunities to sign on new clients, as well as discover the latest industry news and what products are coming to market. Few are launched at the convention but the groundwater industry as a whole is always in line with new innovation. In addition, many were talking about new legislation in California that will have a costly impact on the industry. SB1, also known as the gas tax bill, includes language that will require costly vehicle replacement of rigs that are 13-18 years old after 2020, depending on gross vehicle weight. This may well deplete the existing fleet of drilling equipment and result in fewer drill rigs and far fewer wells being dug. Everyone was taking a close look at how this legislation will affect their ability to do business in California.
It was a good event, with much camaraderie and many smiles, as you can see from the many who were willing to step in front of the camera. Always up for a challenge, these professionals also know how to have fun. This makes the annual convention well worth attending. Mark your calendars for next year: October 25-27 in Reno. And don’t forget CGA’s Day at the Capitol in Sacramento, CA on April 18, 2018. Until next year, keep having fun!