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Seventh Annual ECNY Supplier Showcase

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Traditionally, the doors open at noon for attendees of the one-day, seven-hour Elevator Conference of New York (ECNY) Supplier Showcase, a tradeshow held at the elegant Villa Barone Manor in Bronx, New York. But, this year, the event’s seventh annual, attendees were lined up at the registration table well before the clock struck 12. And, it’s no wonder. The event, held on April 6, has become a favorite with both exhibitors and attendees for its great location, good food, surprising value and increasingly impressive networking opportunities.

“It’s a win-win situation here,” said ECNY President Kenny Breglio. “It’s a good atmosphere. Suppliers like it, and so do their customers.”

According to ECNY Secretary Doug Gilman, more than 750 registered for this year’s Supplier Showcase, with more than 100 of them in the last few days leading up to the event. Ninety-five companies exhibited, occupying 100 booth spaces, making the 2016 Supplier Showcase the biggest to date. Said Gilman:

“We are occupying every square inch of this place; we are busting at the seams. We could move venues; we’ve talked about it, but we all agree this is a great place to do business. You can meet customers, then have lunch with them. Or, you can talk with them over a cocktail. That’s why we have a waiting list for people wanting to exhibit here.”

Started by Gilman and ECNY Vice President Bobby “Bobby Dee” DeFrancesco, the Supplier Showcase was meant as a vehicle for ECNY members to meet with their customers. And, says Gilman, it just grew from there. Held since its inception at the 5,000-sq.-ft. Villa Barone, the Supplier Showcase now fills even the facility’s dining room with exhibitor booths, along with the main hall and foyer. No one is complaining about the crowded space, however. Suppliers in the dining room tout the high-traffic area as a good place to be, while those in the main hall can’t avoid the steady crowd walking through.

That crowd still consists mainly of New Yorkers or those from surrounding areas –mechanics, business owners, business managers, inspectors and more. Exhibitors, however, hail from all over the country, no longer just New York. The showcase continues to be free for all ECNY members, and attendees tend to visit in waves throughout the day as their jobs permit.

Attendees and exhibitors all agreed it’s a good time to do business in the Big Apple. “It’s amazing what’s happening in New York,” said Nick Montesano of DTM Inc. “Now is the time to come see it. All these big jobs are getting completed, and New York is booming.” Doug Witham of GAL Manufacturing Corp. agreed:

“It’s hard to keep up with all the work. I thought we’d never see the industry as good as it was before the recession again, but now it’s even better than that. Before this boom, we were having to come up with things to keep us busy. Now, it’s all we can do to stay on top of everything. It is definitely a better problem to have.”

The day is punctuated by an elaborate, unlimited lunch buffet featuring dishes such as chicken parmesan and pasta, stuffed clams and steamed vegetables and Spanish rice. A cash bar is available throughout the day, as is coffee, a variety of baked goods and, finally, a multitude of Italian desserts. It’s hard to leave the Supplier Showcase hungry — either for food or industry information.

The date for the 2017 ECNY Supplier Showcase is set for April 5. Location? The Villa Barone, of course.

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