VPPPA Safety + Symposium
By Randy Green, President, RDG Media
I have been attending the VPPPA Safety + Symposium for over a decade now and the one thing that always stands out to me is the exhibitors themselves. The event tends to bring out companies that might only exhibit at their conference, and this year was no exception. I continue to see the high quality of the attendees from big construction companies, oil & gas, chemical, and food CPGs along with some governmental agencies spread out across the floor over a couple days. Even though this national show was smaller in exhibitor numbers, there were a variety of companies represented on the show floor. It was also nice to see the majority of the show floor consist of non-publicly traded companies. The EHS industry traditionally does not reflect the S&P 500 and this show was no different with so many small to medium-sized companies taking up the show floor. I also enjoyed visiting some of the more progressive companies that have wearables and technology, along with the more and more talked about ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) solution providers.
Many attendees and exhibitors shared that their inventory levels are coming back, and their lead time is being shaved down (from a supply chain standpoint) to get product delivered to their warehouses. They also shared that freight costs are coming down and containers are arriving at the ports consistently, but their biggest challenge is still getting product from the port to the warehouse or distribution center. Overall, doing business in the EHS looks to be promising and still an exciting space to be in.
Overall, it was a nice turnout this year, and it seemed much more “normal” to what this Symposium has felt like pre-COVID. It definitely seemed busier, which tells me that many companies who have been putting restrictions on their travel budgets have either fully restored those budgets or have eased them, especially in what seemed to be dedicated expo time.
The 2023 Safety + Symposium will take place at Orlando World Center Marriott September 18-20 (a few weeks later than their typical late August dates). Watch for correspondence from www.vpppa.org for more information.