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Seminar Observations

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ScottSecor
ScottSecor Member Posts: 863
Please keep in mind that much of what I'm about to write is slightly tongue-in-cheek;

Local supplier had a seminar yesterday afternoon that focused on a brand of commercial circulators (focused mostly on ECM type), the flyer read "Commercial pump training 101." I received a few email invitations and two calls from people at the supply house and they thought it would be beneficial to me if I attended. I did not want to commit to the seminar until the day before as my schedule often changes and I am not the person that commits to something and does not show. Seminar was scheduled to run from 3:30pm to 6:30pm.

I showed up a few minutes early and spoke to the pump people for a few minutes. As the other attendees arrived (contractors I assume, only recognized one of them) the speaker suggested we wait a few minutes as there were supposed to be five or six more people coming (they were expecting 13 or 14 people total). As fate would have it the extras did not show and the seminar began at 3:35PM. By 3:45 I realized that most of the attendees were not familiar with the subject matter. In fact around 4:00 the speaker started to talk about how impellers work and one of the guests asked about the "pump propeller thing" he just showed on the screen.

By 5pm one person had to go after eating a few slices of pizza, a few cookies and a couple sodas, he had a previous engagement. He also questioned the speaker about "pumping away" and suggested it was overrated. He also mentioned that he did two jobs where the pump was on the return side of the boiler and the homeowner did not complain. By 5:15 three other guys also had to go, there bellies were full and they must have had previous engagements. Now at 5:30, you guessed it the remaining guys had to go, yes their bellies were bulging as well.
Remember there were supposed to be 13 or 14 people, so there was a lot of extra pizza and sodas. I stayed to the end and actually got a much needed refresher course. I also learned a lot about what the newest circulators are capable of. I was also fortunate to get an education on the few problems we faced in the field over the years as the technology changed and we tried to keep up. At the end of the seminar I thanked the speaker and the two other pump people, shook hands and headed home. On the ride home I couldn't stop thinking about the difference in attendees at seminars as compared to what I remember from my first seminars thirty years ago.

I suppose the other attendees in the room just recently got into the trade and their bosses figured some education is better than none. I disagree with this philosophy and my approach is to teach them the basics first, then teach them the more advanced subjects once they understand the basics. Is the only way to present a "high tech" subject with an online course these days? If you really want to learn more about a brand of boiler, pump, piping practice, controls issue, etc do you have to go to the factory to be trained? I did not get a chance to speak to the
supply house when I was leaving, but I'm dying to know how many people they invited. I cannot imagine that I'm the only contractor that purchases, installs and services ECM type circulators in this populated area of NJ.

Finally, I've been visiting the WALL since it's inception, but rarely posted until recently for a variety of reasons and realize this topic has likely been covered many times before. I'm fortunate to have attended many seminars from some of the greats (yes Dan H. himself a few times) and many others.

Comments

  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,888
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    I've been to a few seminars where some guys in the back of the room fell asleep- and snored. Amazing..............
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,612
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    As long as the people we have now are breathing they will never be without work.

    As far as the future goes the manufacturers better build everything bulletproof
  • Tim McElwain
    Tim McElwain Member Posts: 4,628
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    They have just about stopped coming to my training as they say it is too expensive, too far or too much information. It is easier to sell them a new one instead of fix the old one so what do we need any training for.