Association meetings provide an excellent opportunity to socialize, network, and learn from industry experts. The Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA) annual convention got off to a roaring start March 2 as nearly 2,500 people converged on Palm Desert, Calif. for the four-day event. MCAA puts on one of the best meetings you could possibly find in this industry. From the star-studded cast of celebrity speakers to the quality of the industry educational programs, it just doesn’t get any better.

Madeleine Albright is great, but I go for the golf. Not that I am a good golfer, or even a person who loves golf. I just find that the golfing “experience” affords me an opportunity to meet different people and learn things about them that I might otherwise never have the occasion to do.

A contractor once told me “You learn a lot about people when you go deer hunting with them,” he said. “Some people act different with a gun in their hands.”

The same can be said of some people holding a golf club. Some morph into another person on the golf course. Over the years, I’ve seen a five-iron fly through the air, several misguided putts thrown into water hazards, and heard some of the worst golf jokes imaginable.

But, through it all, a lot of business gets done on the golf course.

At the MCAA convention, I’m happy to report no sightings of flying five-irons and only a couple of bad jokes. The MCAA contractors are generally an amiable bunch of people. But, like many others I have met in this industry, we all occasionally have to pee in the woods.