PestWorld 2016, a reminder of the annual event’s importance to the industry


October 25, 2016

pest-world-2016-entry-leadDid you go to NPMA PestWorld last week? No? Why on Earth not? I suspect for many it’s a question of finances, which is understandable. But those in the industry with the ways and means are truly doing themselves a disservice by neglecting the nation’s biggest coming together of pest management professionals. I was struck by the importance of PestWorld and the role it plays in the industry from my first trip there in New Orleans several years ago. I’d been to conventions before (other industry cons, as well as nerdy cons for pop-culture nerds like me. Ever hear of Comicon?), but not like this one.

The first thing I noticed was the sense that everyone knew everyone else. Naturally, this couldn’t be completely true, but there’s little doubt PestWorld is viewed as an event where PMPs can convene to see old friends, colleagues and past mentors. Another related distinction was the vibe of camaraderie circulating through the conversations I would overhear: PMPs from the  same market, not acting like stand-offish competitors but instead like friendly sources of knowledge. The flood of knowledge flowing through the 5-day event never stopped. I’d witness it on the convention center expo floor, in between attendees of PestWorld’s numerous educational sessions, the multiple mixers and receptions, and at the hotel bar in evenings after the days’ scheduled events drew to a close. I’ve written about and rubbed elbows with other professional industries and I’ve never seen anything that comes close to the spirit of goodwill with which PestWorld glows.

And while building new relationships is a major important component to PestWorld, it’s still only a small part of the big picture. There are lots of events you could attend throughout the year (state associations, etc.), and while all those are especially important for keeping up with what you need to know in your locality, PestWorld brings you even more: a cross section of PMPs from across the country (and many from other countries) who are there to learn: about the newest technology, new (and underutilized) pest-specific strategies, stories of failures and successes, and a better understanding of the science, biology and other entomological angles of the pests you battle daily.

Then of course, the expo floor hours give vendors, manufacturers and other pest-related innovators an opportunity to reveal their newest products and services, as well as meet with current and prospective customers. Games, drawings, entertainment and free swag are just the icing on the cake. Rare is the PestWorld attendee who goes home empty-handed — literally and figuratively. In addition to coming home with a tote bag full of free goodies and product literature, you return there with a head full of new knowledge and a breast pocket full of business cards.

You’ll notice everyone seems excited to be there, and for good reason: they’ve waited all year for the pest industry’s greatest event and it has arrived. Go once and there’s little doubt you’ll be returning to the next year’s PestWorld, and the one after that, and the one after that, until you retire or leave the industry.

For our magazine, PestWorld is like a well-stocked fishing pond where we can pick up new news, meet up with some of our out-of-state columnists face-to-face, as well as educate ourselves so that we can continue to bring you the best informed publication we can.

If you didn’t join us in Seattle last week (a beautiful host city by the way) please give serious consideration to the points above when planning your year ahead. Maybe I’ve pushed a button in your brain that’s helped PestWorld come into focus for you as a near-essential for PMPs, company owners and vendors. And maybe, just maybe, I’ve nudged you just a little further toward joining us next year in Baltimore. If you do join us, never hesitate to swing by our booth and talk to our editors and staff. We love talking to our readers face to face and that, of course, includes you.

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