Any time you do something different, there is always anxiety as things begin to unfold. That’s the feeling I fostered in the weeks leading up to the ASCA’s Snow Show and Executive Summit, which took place in Pittsburgh.

For nearly 10 years, Executive Summit has been the industry’s best management-level conference, gathering many of the industry’s leading commercial contractors for high-level education and networking. We have always described the Executive Summit experience as education focused on your business. Whether it’s marketing, financial management, strategic planning or learning how to read someone’s body language, Executive Summit offers topics not found at your typical industry events.

The Snow Show, previously held in May, brings more industry-based education into the fold. It’s focused on the day-to-day operations of your snow and ice management company. Topics include deicing, routing, safety, processes and procedures, even how to prep for ISO certification. The bottom line is the Snow Show delivers a full array of education to assist in your day-to-day operations.

In co-locating our two marquee events, the intent was to reduce the number of trips for attendees while enhancing the experience for both events. As I observed the educational sessions at the Snow Show, I knew we had succeeded in delivering on attendees’ expectations. Nearly full session rooms, with many of the sessions running a little long due to the valuable interactions between attendees and speakers/panelists.

Through the show, watching attendees network and learn from each other, hearing the positive feedback on the depth of the education, and looking around the floor and seeing so many new attendees, I knew we had succeeded in our mission.

As we morphed into Executive Summit, the crowd settled in with the same enthusiasm we’ve come to expect. The education was great and the feedback was as positive as it has been any other year. The leadership winners, tributes and awards ceremony was both powerful and emotional. A great group of industry leaders shared their success stories.

As I returned home at week’s end, that feeling of anxiety turned into a feeling of satisfaction. A feeling that was confirmed as I flipped through social media throughout the weekend and saw post after post reminiscing about the event, the attendees’ awards and the awards banquet.

At the heart of it all was an organic and enthusiastic outpouring of leaders proud of the work accomplished by their teams, their company and the ASCA. And from that, I confidently placed two more tallies in 2019’s win column.

Kevin Gilbride is executive director of the Accredited Snow Contractors Association.