In 2015, the juggernaut that was the PWRA/WCRA Convention reached the next level. It officially became The HUGE Convention.
The location moved to the Gaylord National in Fort Washington, Maryland in the Greater Washington DC area. National Harbor is a destination in and of itself with over 150 shops and boutiques, 30+ dining destinations, and waterfront activities such as boating, movies, and live music with lots of family-friendly activities including the Sky Wheel and Children’s Museum. The Gaylord National was a great venue- almost as many rooms as the Gaylord National but all around one magnificent atrium instead of five. That meant a lot more elevator riding instead of walking for miles inside!
The change of venue proved to be a fortuitous move. Instead of the 400 contractors that were expected and prepared for, last minute ticket sales (including many at the door!) put the number of contractor attendees at a record-breaking 507 “behinds in seats”. The main room was set for 500 but with the 150+ vendors present something had to give. The screen and projector were replaced by additional tables and chairs were lined around the perimeter of the room to give adequate seating for the main event.
The convention unofficially began at 6 am with the second annual “Early Risers Round Tables” hosted by Terry Miller on the Cherry Blossom Veranda. After a brief delay due to a medical issue with one of the speakers, the show commenced in the Cherry Blossom Ballroom. The air was electric as the charismatic Perry Tait, fresh off a 23 hour flight from Shanghai, opened the convention with a rousing exercise that raised the body’s testosterone “can do” levels while decreasing stress- related cortisol. Everyone in attendance was doing the “V for Victory!” stance.
The keynote address was given by business coach and bestselling author Howard Partridge. “Stop Being a Slave To Your Business” was riveting for all in attendance, contractor and vendor alike. He literally had the crowd on its feet as he rearranged 500+ people to physically demonstrate the four basic personality traits of the DISC system and how they interacted with each other. He explained the importance of implementing systems and how they could free the business owner from the shackles of the 24/7 job of being an entrepreneur. Next up was sales trainer extraordinaire Santiago Arango with “The 7 Ms of Marketing”. He laid out the basics of an effective marketing campaign and really showed the audience how to effectively market to their target base and not waste time and money with inefficient or counterproductive strategies.
The trade show opened at 1 pm and it was packed until 7 pm when we had to turn the lights off and lock the doors. Several vendors mentioned that they had never had sales like this at any show in their history of doing industry trade shows. The first round of prizes and giveaways ended Day 1 with a BANG!
Saturday kicked off the breakout sessions.
“Track Your Marketing ROI” by Anya Curry
“Introduction to Sales” by Thad Eckhoff
“Strategic Marketing Positioning” by Matt Adwell
“Government and Commercial Sales” by Ryan Wilkins
“Direct Marketing That Really Works” by Steve Fischgrund
“Creating Word of Mouth Advertising” by Rick Wren
“How Smooth Is Your Ride?” by Howard Partridge
“Systemized Pricing” by David Carrol
“Effective Advertising and Marketing” by Michael Goeller
“Selling To Property Managers” by Meg and Bo Josetti
“Have An Awesome Trade Show Booth” by Beth Borrego
“Automate Your Business” by Jack Kramer
“When OSHA Knocks On Your Door” by Jeremy Kiefer
“Sleeping With the Boss” panel discussion
“From Chaos to Focus” by Michael Hinderliter
Once again the grand finale was at the trade show. Attendees gathered in the 36,000 square foot Prince George C for the last and biggest of the over $30,000.00 of prizes given away at the convention. The big winner of this year’s convention was Gary Dangelo of New York, New York. He beat out his competitors to take home the $10,000 hot water skid graciously donated to the PWRA by GCI Largo!
It will be hard to top this year’s record-breaking show, but TheHugeConvention.com will be back at the Gaylord National in Maryland on August 12, 13 to make a run for the gold again! Get your tickets now.
Trade show set up!
2015 – Attendee Reviews
I loved it!
Learned a lot, it was very good!
The Huge Convention is more than some classes and a chance to see some friends and equipment. It is a unique melting pot of ideas, camaraderie, and energy that is unmatched in this industry!
Made great connections with other business owners, and grabbed a few things from the trade show.
Thank you for this opportunity. My business will benefit greatly from everything I learned.
Keynote speaker was excellent. Congrats on the great turn out!
After taking a step back from my business for the past year I was able to receive lots of great advice and encouragement.
Great event at a great location
It was excellent!
This was the first one I have attended. I am glad I did. I know a lot of hard work went into it and I appreciate all the effort.
What a great spot for an event! I had such a good time at the huge convention!
Everything went very well, location was perfect. Speakers were incredibly helpful and knowledgeable.
Thanks again, and we’ll see you soon!
Most importantly leaving DC with great friendships and professional contacts. Can’t wait till next year already!!! Had a blast!!!
Thank you for all your hard work.
I would say the convention was probably the best in our industry this year.
It was an amazing weekend.
The classes were great and the people were awesome! I’ll be back!
It was my first time going to the event this year and I was blown away with the venue, and the speakers.
Great presentations, great networking
Great Job everyone see you in 2016!
Great event loved the people, vendors, content and venue. We had a beautiful 3-room suite overlooking the Harbor. Rates were great! Hotel staff was wonderful.
Worth every Penny!
Very well put together.
My head is still spinning from the convention. Thanks to all the great people we met. Looking forward to the next one.
I know someone that wanted to go so bad they slept in a closet.
It was an unexpected great experience for both my kids and me. They are already so pumped for next years show.
Enjoyed it so much can’t wait till next year! #thehugeconvention
The info I learn is invaluable to my business.
The speakers were informative. I enjoyed the trade show as well.
The event was worth every dime.
I really enjoy the breakout sessions.
Meet a lot of good people !! Had a blast !!
I can sum it up for me…I’ll be there next year!
Everyone I spoke to at The Huge Convention really enjoyed it and got a lot out of it. It was energetic and informative. If you are in the industry, it is a must-attend event!
The 2015 HUGE Convention has raised the bar on what a Pressure Washing Convention should be like. If you wish to provide any pressure washing services, you need to be at the PWRA convention in 2016.
Exceeded my expectations!
DC is much less expensive than Nashville. I was pleasantly surprised. It is centrally located with a beautiful, new city literally 100 steps from the front door.
Howard was awesome! Great stuff, renewed passion.
What a GREAT few days here in DC.. Coming home with a car full of stuff ..
Another great event held by Thad & Chris!! My wife is going to love going next year for sure
As a company who has been in business for years, it was refreshing to listen to Howard Partridge speak about the operations of a business instead of hearing about how to wash stuff and what machines or chems to use.
Had a great time and met a lot of great people in Washington, D.C. And feeling very blessed that I won the hot water skid.
I am looking forward to the coming season and next year’s convention!
We will definitely be attending next year’s event.
The hotel was great. The National Harbor is nicer and better suited for events like our conventions. Walking is a non issue and there were lots of reasonable restaurants a block away.
Thank you Thad Eckhoff and Chris Lambrinides!
Overall the event was excellent. The Value was above the cost.
It’s great here!! Loving it
Thanks for a great overall experience!
The classes were also very good. Particularly from Bo & Meg Wheatley Josetti and from Michael Hinderliter.
Thank you to all who made this happen. It pays to attend WCRA & PWRA CONVENTIONS!
The web based scheduling was useful and professional.
Outstanding, best ever!
The venue was AMAZING!
Overall an excellent job!!!!!!!
I loved the national harbor! So much to see and do! Great choice.
The Huge Convention was a great success, and I was glad to attend with three of my staff members. Loved National Harbor, everything was as stone throw away. I regretted not taking my kids!
The trip gave me an invaluable experience and more than paid for itself.
It was worth the trip and I enjoyed seeing a lot of vendors and other owners who I have become friends with.
As a result, I am redefining, remarketing, renaming, rejuvenating my business. Watch out . You’ve created a monster.
Thanks for putting together such a great convention. Looking forward to more.
Thad, Chris, Alex, BRAVO!
I walked away knowing what my company needs to grow and how to help our employees reach their goals as well.
Great hotel! Your staff was super!!!
Such a beautiful place for the convention this year.
Exceeded my expectations, looking forward to applying what I learned and to next year’s convention.
No matter how big/small, old/new your Company is, there was something to learn! Both Bo and I came away with new knowledge.
Looking forward to bringing my wife to next years event in DC so she can see what all the excitement is about.
Came back from an awesome weekend of being around like minded entrepreneurs.
The event was very helpful and a lot of great information.
This year the keynote speaker was excellent!
Surround yourself with greatness and it’s only a matter of time before it rubs off on you. #pushharder
The venue was great, lots of things to do nearby and a beautiful hotel.
Thanks to everyone involved. You all did an amazing job. Thank you.
The convention was epic right in the start with Howard Partridge as key note speaker. I find myself practicing his suggestions on a daily basis!
Let me know when to book the 2016 event, I’m there!” Sheila Smeltzer
This was the best one yet, it was HUGE!
First year attending and will keep attending. Excellent facilities.
Dreams still do come true!
A special thanks has to go to the people who helped make this happen.
Thanks, you really out did yourself. It was a phenomenal convention. I came home fired up ready to grow!
The energy and excitement was great.
We had a great convention this year. I look forward to coming back next year. Thanks Thad Eckhoff and Chris Lambrinides and everyone involved with putting this together.
We have been blessed to meet with some old friends and make some new friends! The cash here representing our winnings totals $500.00.
The knowledge we gained and the networking was worth every penny. I was very happy to meet and speak with pretty amazing business owners at the Early Risers Session!
I’m enjoying my time here like always!! 🙂
Because of events like this and systems like Howard Partridge teaches, our business has grown over 200% in just the last couple months. I look forward to it growing another 200% by next year’s convention.
The best part was definitely the networking with others in the industry.
Thanks for a great convention.