PARK CITY, Utah — When solutions meet needs, everyone benefits.
The MechanicalXchange, an exclusive invitation-only executive summit, has been bringing buyers and sellers together at the C-suite level since 2005.
The 12th annual MechanicalXchange, held Sept. 25-28 in Park City, Utah, involved 32 solutions providers and 25 HVAC mechanical contracting firms. This is not a trade show or a place for people to kick the tires for a few minutes and then wander to the next booth. This is a pre-planned experience that helps build and reinforce business relationships at board room levels. Weeks prior to the event, attendees are provided opportunities to communicate with each other and devise a plan for their private one-on-one meetings during the two-day event. That way, when the 50-minute meetings take place on-site, there are no cookie-cutter discussions — the best conversations are directly focused on what contractors have asked vendors to bring to the table.
The buying power represented at the meeting routinely exceeds $3.2 billion. The mechanical contractors in attendance represent some of the top performers nationwide. The strategic discussions that take place with top-level vendors result in lasting business relationships.
Explaining such an event to a person who has never attended is a bit of a challenge. However, the results speak for themselves, as the vast majority of first-time attendees come back year after year.
A number of case studies are included on the MechanicalXchange website, (http://bit.ly/MechanicalXchange), including one that details Jeff Phillabaum’s decision to participate in the event. Admittedly, Phillabaum, executive president of Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based Hill York, admitted his greatest hesitation was trying to afford the time. He soon realized the advantages included ultimately saving him time.
“Obviously, for the investment of two to three days, I met with 19 companies. There is no way that I could have ever touched that many key people or companies or had that many meetings in that short of a time span [without attending MechanicalXchange]. So, it really was a great investment.”
Attending MX gave Phillabaum the opportunity to accomplish the type of business he likely couldn’t have achieved elsewhere.
“The advantage I saw with the Xchange was that it connected me immediately with key players within the manufacturing group,” Phillabaum said. “Lennox [Intl. Inc.] had been an alliance partner of ours for a while, but by meeting with some of the key people that are more involved with the ownership and the operation of the business, we were able to discuss our respective goals. We agreed as companies that we were going to form an alliance to attack a specific market. That would have never happened if I would have just dealt with a local representative.”
As inadequate a comparison as it may be, if you were to attend a trade show or convention, most people will say that if they find one good idea (or one good customer), the event was worth the time. With regard to the MechanicalXchange, one can expect to discover four to five exceptionally good ideas or customer relationships that pay dividends in the long term. Some admit their results are much higher. A first-time solutions provider who attended the event in Park City for the first time said of the 11 meetings he had, “Four were home runs, three were triples, and three were doubles.” To continue along the baseball metaphor, that constitutes a great batting average.
Everyone enters and leaves the event with the best intentions, but work often gets in the way. That is why the event’s organizers also step in during the post-event phases to help ensure communications are continuing to develop for the mechanical contractors and the solutions providers.
The event is simply one of a kind, and given its 12-year run of success, it looks as though it’s here to stay.
St. Paul-based VerticalXchange and The ACHR NEWS are partners in the production of MechanicalXchange. For more information, visit www.mechanicalxchange.com.
Publication date: 11/7/2016