Overcoming the logistical challenges that come with being one of the first shows in a new hall at the mammoth Las Vegas Convention Center isn't easy, but Electric West show organizers and most of the 200-plus show exhibitors were happy with the turnout at Electric West 2002, Feb. 11-13 in the South Hall of the recently expanded Las Vegas Convention Center.

The fact that the facility's recently opened South Hall was unfamiliar territory for Las Vegas cabdrivers and even many workers at the convention center was complicated by a lack of signage for the new hall and its location in the far back of the convention center.

But attendees who did find their way to the show were treated to jam-packed seminar sessions and a show floor loaded with new product introductions. Generally, exhibitors were happy with booth traffic during the first two days of Electric West, but said traffic was slow on the last day of the show.

The show drew attendees with upgraded conference tracks in voice/data, changes in the 2002 National Electrical Code, lighting and business basics for electrical contractors.

Richard Loyd, cables and standards consultant, R&N Associates, Perryville, Ark., kicked off the first day's power-quality session with a presentation on grounding, harmonics and EMF design. He demonstrated the latest software technology for designing new and evaluating existing installations of power wiring for electromagnetic compatibility in industrial, commercial and residential facilities. In addition, David Pereles, power-quality products manager, Fluke, Everett, Wash., led a hands-on course for troubleshooting power-quality problems using portable, handheld test tools.

BICSI instructor Ron Shaver gave a presentation on voice/data cabling systems, and Paul Rosenberg, contributing editor, CEE News magazine, presented a class titled “Instant Fiber Optics: 90 Minutes to Proficiency.”

In their sessions, Mike Holt, president Mike Holt Enterprises, and James Stallcup Sr., Grayboy Associates, Forth Worth, Texas, helped attendees interpret changes in the 2002 National Electrical Code.

Roy Sierleja, senior lighting product specialist, GE Lighting Institute, Nela Park, Ohio, discussed recent developments in light sources and fixtures, with a special focus on extending product life and improving efficiency. James Benya, principal, Benya Lighting Design, West Linn, Ore., discussed how to provide better lighting designs for high-end residences through the use of specialty low-voltage lighting, fiber optics and new control systems.

Joe Knisley, senior editorial consultant for EC&M and CEE News magazines, rounded out the session track with a presentation on commercial lighting installation techniques and maintenance issues. Technologies discussed included electronic ballasts, compact fluorescent and metal-halide lamps, LEDs, fiber optics, occupancy sensors and T-5 lamps.

On the business side, Paul Rosenberg gave sessions called “Guerilla Marketing for Electrical Contractors” and “Developing Superior Foremen. ” Another popular business seminar at Electric West was “Electrical Estimating in the 21st Century,” where a panel discussion explored key trends in estimating software for electrical contractors. The panel spent quite a bit of time discussing the integration of estimating software with other business software. The panelists were George Hague, ConEst Software Systems, Londonderry, N.H.; Todd McCormick, McCormick Estimating, Chandler, Ariz.; Steve Bowman, TradePower/Estimation, Blue Bell, Pa.; and Giovanni Marcelli, Accu-Bid, Toronto, Ontario.

Many of the 200-plus exhibitors used the show to launch new products, and some of these products were finalists in the CEE News/EC&M magazine 2002 Product of the Year Platinum Award competition. Our Product of the Year coverage begins on page 16.