Record-Breaking WWETT Show in the Books

Networking, education sessions and equipment drew a big crowd for the 2016 trade show

It was a record-breaking year at the 36th Water & Wastewater Equipment, Treatment & Transport (WWETT) Show in Indianapolis last week.

This year the show moved back to its original schedule of Education Day on Wednesday and the show floor open Thursday through Saturday. The Indiana Convention Center was packed with a record number of 599 exhibitors with 4,375 staff (up from 4,339 in 2015).

“It was one of our best years here,” says Debi Spear with Pressure Lift Corporation. “We were packed in here on the first day and it just continued to be strong the rest of the week.”

The event drew 10,031 attendees (up from 9,474 that came in 2015) from 4,336 companies — up from last year’s total of 4,196. It marked the first time since 2008 that attendance has been over 10,000.

Cody Warner with Deep Trekker says his company sold several of its underwater camera units at the show. “It was a wonderful show for us,” he says. “A very successful first year here for us.”

It was also the first year of the WWETT Kickoff Event at Lucas Oil Stadium on Wednesday and Thursday. Over 3,000 attendees checked out the event, which had the COLE Pub truck in the middle of the field, surrounded by exhibitors. Attendees were able to enjoy some cold beverages and explore the field and take photos. 


The 2017 WWETT Show will continue with the same format, beginning on Wednesday, Feb. 22 with Education Day and exhibits running Thursday, Feb. 23 through Saturday, Feb. 25 at the Indiana Convention Center.

By the numbers
A lot has changed since the first show back in 1981. Just a handful of trucks were displayed in the beginning, while now the WWETT Show needs all 564,000 square feet of the Indiana Convention Center hall to accommodate 599 exhibitors and roughly 250 pieces of large equipment. It takes a lot more work to set up than it did in 1981.

Here are a few numbers, courtesy of Randy White at Fern Exposition & Event Services, the show’s decorator: 292,770 square feet of carpet in exhibitor booths, 135,400 square feet of carpet in the aisles, 2.5 miles of the blue and white curtains and drapes.

For some things, White can’t be as precise. The amount of tape his workers put down on Sunday to mark the exhibitor spaces in the hall? “A whole lot,” White says.

Over the course of about 60 hours, beginning Sunday and going into the early morning hours of Thursday when the last piece to the puzzle — the aisle carpet — is stretched into place, up to 130 Fern employees are busy transforming a dark, empty hall into the hub of water and wastewater.

“We’re in the trenches,” says unofficial head carpet guy Dayon Jones. “That’s all there is to say.”

Within the overwhelming prospect of laying nearly 430,000 square feet of carpet, Jones has a singular focus on the prime objective of his task: “Getting it tight,” he says.

Here are a few more numbers behind the show:

64. That’s the number of ounces of Windex that Tyler Zarra of Advance Pump & Equipment had gone through as of 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, cleaning the tank on the company’s show truck. “It takes a lot of work to make it look like it just came out of the car wash,” he says. “We’ll be here today until they kick us out.”

250. Between icy roads and then snow, that’s the number of hazardous miles the group from Transway Systems encountered driving its show truck on the 500-mile journey from Hamilton, Ontario, to Indianapolis. “We always seem to find bad weather on our drive down,” says Gary Robinson. “We wax the truck before we leave, but by the time we get down here, it’s covered in sand and salt and we have to do it again. Two days of polishing and we’re all set.”  

160. That’s the approximate number of feet of liner Perma-Liner will use Thursday and Friday doing demos at its booth. Morgan Trouard, director of marketing, says the company will do between 6 and 8 demos each day.

45. That’s the number of minutes (on the high end) that Darrell Gibbs of Fleetwash and his crew can spend washing a truck to ready it for the exhibit hall. By early Tuesday afternoon, when it finally started to slow down, Gibbs says he and his crew had washed at least 100 vehicles. “Starting Monday morning it was non-stop,” Gibbs says. “We stopped at 6 p.m. with trucks still in line. Tuesday we started at 8 a.m., and it didn’t slow down until about 1 p.m.”  


Check out more video coverage of the 2016 show on the WWETT Show YouTube Channel.



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