Last month, I had the pleasure to travel to Sandusky, Ohio for this year’s Ohio Parks and Recreation Association (OPRA) annual conference and trade show at Kalahari Resort and Conference Center. Even though the weather was grey and gloomy, the conference was anything but that.
The event kicked off with a Pre-Game Mixer on Sunday before the Super Bowl, where I had the opportunity to meet and network with some of the finest individuals that make up the Ohio Parks and Recreation Association. Kalahari Resort was a spectacular location for this conference, having a wealth of activities to partake in and many dining stops. The best part was that the event hadn’t even technically begun yet, and the networking and memories that I have already made in those few hours were second to none.
The next day, many attendees stopped at my booth to get information about our Fiberglass pedestrian bridges and walkways. Most were amazed that the bridges were only made of fiberglass. Many would ask, "Is that an aluminum bridge?" They were surprised when I told them the whole structure is made of fiberglass and will last longer than aluminum. A lot of the attendees were attracted to the fact that the fiberglass bridge members were very lightweight. Many of the attendees’ projects are in remote access areas, where it is hard, almost impossible, to get heavy machinery to these areas. They really liked the ability for the structural bridge members to be trucked/walked to the site, and then fully assembled on-site.
Another large selling point for the fiberglass pedestrian bridge that the attendees appreciated was the low maintenance required for the product and its long-life span. Many stated that the ability to sit and forget made this option extremely attractive. Since there are a lot of responsibilities that go into running and managing a park, owners appreciated that they could install the bridge and not have to worry about it for years. Also, since many park districts run on tight budgets, the savings associated with little maintenance and a long service life made this product very attractive.
To top it off, attendees were drawn to the product being extremely customizable. Since different criteria need to be followed for each design of a bridge, many attendees appreciated that we could follow their specific project needs. I have always said that no two bridges are the same, each one having a characteristic that makes it unique. E.T. Techtonics bridges can come in all shapes and sizes from spans up to 120’ to as small as 5’ - the possibilities are truly endless which, is something that makes many customers interested in our product.
The three days that I spent at this show seemed to fly by, and before I realized it, the show was over, and I was packing up to travel back to central Pennsylvania. The experiences that I made at OPRA and the people that I was able to meet made this trip valuable. I appreciate the time there with the amazing people from the Ohio Park and Recreation Association. I can say with certainty that I cannot wait until next year's event!