Expo Review: PACE 2007

By Tim Wright | March 19, 2007

Coatings manufacturers and contractors attended PACE 2007 in Dallas, TX to network, attend educational sessions, and roam the show floor to learn about the newest and most innovative technologies.

For the third year, the Painting and Decorating Contractors of America (PDCA) and the Society for Protective Coatings (SSPC) came together under one roof for PACE 2007-the Paint and Coatings Expo, linking contractors with suppliers and suppliers with their customers.

Under the theme-The Power of Paint and Coatings-PACE 2007 featured a sold out show floor with 337 total booths accomodating 225 different companies and attracted approximately 3,200 attendees to the Dallas Convention Center in Dallas, TX from Feb. 11-14.

"Our theme for PACE 2007-The Power of Paint and Coatings-makes a strong statement about our industry and the work that we do," said SSPC president Danny J. McDowell during his welcome with PDCA president Carol W. Adkins.

"We want you to take back what you have learned here at PACE to your office," said Adkins. "We have more than 300 exhibitors. I encourage you to spend as much time as possible learning about the products and services that they offer."

Among the exhibitors, there were more than 50 companies that exhibited at PACE for the first time.

After a presentation on profitability from Mike Brooks, vice president of sales, southeast region, ICI Paints, Brooks introduced the conference's keynote speaker, Dr. Kerry Johnson.

"The Trust Connection: Mastering the Art of the Business Relationship" was the topic of Dr. Johnson's presentation. He provided the audience with ways to better communicate and understand their customers, such as the influence of the human touch, persuasive words and the four stages of a business relationship.

With a sold-out exhibit hall that offered plenty of networking opportunities, PACE 2007 also featured an extensive variety of educational sessions.

In addition to a large number of courses, PACE increased the diversity of courses offered through its education sessions for 2007. For the first time, the PACE education program included several classes geared towards business owners with Hispanic employees as well as classes catering to Hispanic business owners.

Among the many sessions, one that was well attended by both PDCA and SSPC members was "Exterior Architectural and Industrial Maintenance Coatings for Sports Facilities." During this session, John C. Williams, director of specifications at HOK Sports + Venue, discussed the challenges of providing protective coatings to demanding venues such as sports facilities.

While many sports venues must battle harsh weather, Williams pointed out that there are both natural and manmade contaminants to address when developing coatings systems.

"We make decisions based on what we want the building to be," he said. "We might add different types of roofing or bird control devices. And we will need a coatings system that will protect the structural steel of the facility.

In addition, Williams noted that there are many different types of exposed materials in stadiums that must be considered including structural steel, railings, curtain walls, wall and roof panels and stadium chairs.

He said the newest version of stadium chairs are utilizing high performance powder coatings, which has increased the shelf life of the chairs.

Also of note, the SSPC announced that it will be changing the way that is does business. Based on more than a year of study, including member surveys, strategic planning sessions, market research and internal discussions, SSPC began to implement the new plan with its new logo, which was seen for the first time at PACE 2007.

The new SSPC brand identity was designed to capture the forward thinking, evolving and progressive nature of the coatings industries, according to the association.

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