More than 7,300 contractors, electricians, and other members of the electrical construction industry converged on Chicago’s newly renovated McCormick Place Convention Center this week for the 49th annual NECA Show. Despite hard economic times, almost 240 exhibitors showed up to show off their wares to the attendees.

Emilio Rouco, NECA’s director of public relations, was happy with the turnout and even a little surprised it surpassed last year’s attendance. “The attendance level is very impressive, especially in light of the tough economic year our nation has suffered,” he says. “Last year we celebrated a very special occasion – our centennial anniversary – with many special events, which drew higher-than-usual numbers. The fact that this year’s numbers are higher is amazing.”