Each year, HVACR contractors large and small come together to share best practices and learn from industry experts during ACCA’s annual conference. However, this year, the event has been completely redesigned. This shiny new IE3 Show will take place March 20-22 at the Gaylord Opryland in Nashville, Tennessee.

“Whether this is the first time you’re coming to an ACCA conference or the 20th time, the IE3 Show is going to be like nothing you’ve ever attended,” said Paul Stalknecht, president & CEO, ACCA. “The program has been completely redesigned. Its four unique events are geared toward every market segment in our industry, so there is something for everyone.

“Plus, forget everything you know about expos, because the Festival Marketplace will change how contractors and vendors get together to do business,” continued Stalknecht. “And, of course, if you come to the IE3 Show, have a miserable time, don’t learn one single thing, and you are completely dissatisfied, ACCA will refund your registration fee. That’s how confident we are that you’re going to love this event.”


The IE3 Show will still feature familiar programs, including multiple learning labs; MainStage sessions featuring panel discussions and keynote speakers; and social events, including the Backstage Party and The Big Bang. However, attendees may notice a slightly different format. According to Stalknecht, the IE3 show will not have training tracks and will instead focus on four unique and separate events: the Residential Contracting Excellence, Commercial Contracting Roundtable, Building Performance Forum, and Plumbing & Hydronics Roundtable.

“By focusing on the major market segments our members represent, we are able to provide the highest-quality training for attendees,” he said. “Having four unique events under the IE3 Show allows us to focus on providing the training that contractors want and need.”

MainStage sessions will include Jon Taffer, the host of Spike TV’s, “Bar Rescue;” Industry Champions, a super-seminar for attendees to meet, listen, and learn from some of the best contractors in the industry; and Contractor Makeover, a dream team of contractors who will conduct a top-to-bottom review of a contracting business.

Additionally, the event will also feature the Festival Marketplace, a solutions-driven way for contractors to interact with the industry’s most innovative suppliers and vendors. Using technology and a comprehensive app solution, attendees will discover ideas and tools in a unqiue, interactive way. 

“Every year, we try to take our MainStages to the next level, and we certainly feel like we have accomplished that this year,” Stalknecht said. “We are opening up the event with Jon Taffer of Spike TV’s ‘Bar Rescue.’ If you’ve ever seen his show, you know that he is a no-nonsense guy who doesn’t let people make excuses for their failures. During this presentation, Taffer is going to share his overarching philosophy that all business is about creating the right reactions in your customers. Even better, you can control those reactions to a very large degree. This is a man who knows what he’s talking about, and he sure isn’t boring. So, attendees need to be ready to get a kick in the pants as Taffer demonstrates actionable, proven strategies to achieve maximum impact.

“And new this year, we are doing a Contractor Makeover MainStage,” he continued. “This is where one contractor will receive an opportunity to have ACCA’s dream team of leading contractors come into his or her business and analyze it from top to bottom. Then, during the MainStage, the dream team will share its recommendations to help that business reach its goals in 2017 and beyond. It is the ultimate MIX Group day. The contractor who is selected won’t have to pay a thing. The owner just has to be willing to open up all aspects of the company to the dream team.”

Overall, Stalknecht said he is most looking forward to seeing the contractors who attend.


Rob Minnick, president and CEO of Laurel, Maryland-based Minnick’s Inc., will be discussing the nuances of healthy homes during the Building Performance Forum at ACCA’s IE3 Show.

“There are tons of reasons homes aren’t healthy spaces, and this is a great opportunity for contractors to help their customers,” Minnick said. “I’m going to share how we explain why a home needs help to a customer, what we do to correct these issues, and how we’ve grown our home-performance market share.

“There is more to it than just adding IAQ products,” he continued. “It’s about understanding why there is an IAQ issue. It’s important to look at the home as a system. I’ll explain how a few changes in the initial evaluation can open up many opportunities for consumers and contractors to make a home healthier.”

Minnick said he’s looking forward to ACCA’s new show format as well as networking and catching up with other contractors.

Sal Vigilante, owner of Vigilante Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning in Brooklyn, New York, will lead a discussion in the Plumbing & Hydronics Roundtable program.

“My presentation will focus on employing good business practices that will not only improve your business but also improve your life both in work and at home,” he said. “Contractors can expect to come away with a window to my 40 years of figuring out what does and doesn’t work and that the ‘work you’ and the ‘home you’ are inseparable. In other words, the decisions you make at home will effect work and vice versa.” 

Vigilante said he loves the connectivity of ACCA’s annual event. “The speakers are very relatable, which allows for information to be easily conveyed. I can’t wait to see what awesome pearls of wisdom I can bring back to improve my business. I’m most looking forward to spending time with likeminded individuals and discussing how to make life better. I love the conversations that take place between meetings, in the lobby, at the bar, and over dinner. I’ve made some lifelong friends and solved some of my biggest business concerns during these meetings.”

Dave Kyle, general manager and owner, Trademasters Service Corp., Lorton, Virginia, will give a presentation on government contracting during the Commercial Contracting Roundtable.

“The presentation will focus on developing a new market initiative for government sales,” Kyle said. “The intent of this presentation is to provide every attendee with the steps required to prepare their business strategies to target and attain government contracts.”

Kyle said he is also looking forward to experiencing the event’s new format.

“I’m especially excited for the custom ‘build your experience’ and interactive approach of the new IE3 show,” he said. “I’m looking forward to introducing our new staff to the new offerings at IE3. This is a fantastic venue for people to learn, which is especially important as my staff becomes the implementers of the company.”

Publication date: 3/20/2017

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