The utility industry is changing rapidly, and there’s no better place find the tools, trends and technologies driving its growth and development than The Utility Expo 2023. With more than 850 companies and more than 200 product lines on display, there will be no shortage of cutting-edge products and expert insights at what’s become the largest and fastest-growing trade show in the utility industry.
As exhibitors and attendees prepare for this year’s show, AEM caught up with Mike Dunn, chairman and CEO of AEM member company and show exhibitor Sherman+Reilly, to discuss his organization’s plans for the show, why prospective attendees should be there and much, much more.
AEM: What is Sherman+Reilly excited to showcase and share with attendees of The Utility Expo 2023?
Dunn: For this year’s show, we’re going to be showing more new products than any time in Sherman+Reilly’s history. We’re expanding our new Heritage line as well as our new and unique electric line of products. Quite frankly, we have a lot of products to showcase that have yet to see the light of day. And we’re very excited to share them this coming September at The Utility Expo.
It’s no secret exhibiting companies are always excited to share the latest and greatest product offerings with show attendees. And for us, The Utility Expo gives equipment end users a uniquely valuable opportunity to compare offerings by allowing them to get up close and personal and see for themselves. They can try out the unit, experience the user interface and understand the benefits of each piece of equipment. I would say that’s probably the single driving force behind why we at Sherman+Reilly feel The Utility Expo outperforms any other show in the country.
AEM: It’s been two years since The Utility Expo was last held in Louisville. What are you most looking forward to about this upcoming edition of the show?
Dunn: The thing I look forward to most about this particular show, more so than anything else, are the reactions our customers have to what we’re showing.
One example of what we’re planning to share is a new concept on help videos that we’ve produced and embedded in our electric equipment. We came up with this concept recognizing that operators often neglect to read the manual and yet we still need to provide a method for them to learn the correct way to use a particular piece of equipment. Our solution is a new learning tutor… essentially, a series of 15-to-30-second videos covering approximately 20 topics key to equipment usage. So, when end users go to the display and need additional information, it gives you what you need to know to operate the unit safely and effectively. I’m pretty certain you won’t see that anywhere else at The Utility Expo. We’re also adding learning tutors as an option on our Heritage line of equipment.
We see it, frankly, as a game-changer in terms of how we support our customers, contractors and rental companies – all of whom being faced with significant challenges related to liability and safety. And, for us at Sherman+Reilly, safety has always been at the root of our product designs.
Dunn: The show has changed, but I’m not certain that our role has changed in terms of what we’re at the show to accomplish. We’ll have 38,000 square-feet with a whole lot of equipment on display. For us, there’s no other opportunity anytime during the two years between The Utility Expo’s where we can display a significant amount of equipment that allows us to tell our story. And when we tell our story to attendees of The Utility Expo, you can just see lightbulbs go on about how they can be smarter about what they’re doing. We’re thrilled to be able to exhibit at The Utility Expo and help make our customers more informed buyers.
AEM: You’ve shared why Sherman+Reilly will be at The Utility Expo this September. But why should prospective attendees make sure they’re in attendance at the utility industry’s largest trade show?
Dunn: It’s simple. If you’re interested in researching and purchasing equipment, the Utility Expo is where you need to be. It’s the show where everyone in the utility industry is at their best. It’s an opportunity for companies to put their best foot forward and showcase the latest and greatest, as well as give the customer the opportunity to try out and compare different offerings. To me, it’s one of the most exciting parts of our business.