Sep 09

Avoid Lines and Save an Trip to the Convention Center

Satellite Registration Areas Offer Extra Convenience for NECA 2014 Chicago Attendees

Avoid lines and save an extra trip to the convention center!

Arriving early for NECA 2014 ChicagoHere’s some great news! If you have already registered online by then, you won’t have to trek to all the way to the convention center at McCormick West and wait in long lines to pick up your badge, tickets and convention bag. We are offering satellite registration areas at two hotels where you can grab these items and be on your way. 

Temporary satellite registration will be available on Friday, September 26, and Saturday, September 27between the hours of 7:30am and 5:00pm both days, at the Hyatt Regency Chicago (at 131 E. Wacker Drive) and Palmer House (at 17 E. Monroe Street). We have selected these two locations because they are in close proximity to other 2014 NECA Chicago Hotels. That means, every NECA 2014 Chicago registrant who arrives early can take advantage of this offer of extra convenience! 

Our satellite registration area at the Hyatt Regency Chicago will be located at Skyway 261, Blue Level, East Tower. To collect your badge, tickets and convention bag at Palmer House, go to Bay 3 & 4.

  • FYI 1: Nothing beats the convenience of having immediate access to a one-stop shop for NECA 2014 Chicago information. Get the FREE NECA 2014 Chicago mobile app.
  • FYI 2: Our registration area at McCormick West first opens at 7:30am Friday, September 26. For hours of operation (and details on anything related to NECA 2014 Chicago), check the full schedule.
  • FYI 3: Complimentary shuttle service begins Saturday morning, September 27. Get full shuttle information. – See more at:

Aug 26

Plan Your NECA 2014 Chicago Schedule + Much More!

Looking for a place you can go for everything you need to know about NECA 2014 Chicago?

There’s an app for that.

The National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) unveiled its latest app for smart-phone and tablet users. The official app of NECA 2014 Chicago is now available for mobile devices to download from the iTunes and Google Play stores.

The free app, sponsored by NECA Premier Partner Graybar, is a one-stop shop for information on the association’s annual convention, September 27-30 in Chicago, IL.  Features include: a list of exhibitors, complete schedule of events and the ability to sort by educational track or topic, speaker bios and a detailed NECA Show floorplan.

There is also a function for planning. Users can make lists of “My Exhibitors” and “My Itinerary” to maximize their time in the Windy City. A directory of products will direct convention goers to the right booth armed with the information they need.

Finally, attendees can stay connected via Facebook and Twitter and catch up on the latest convention buzz. Information on hotels and restaurants and a walking map of Chicago can be found on the app as well.

Download the free app today for all your NECA 2014 Chicago needs.


Search for “NECA 2014 Chicago” or “NECA” via the iTunes or Google Play app stores to download from your mobile device.



Learn more about NECA 2014 Chicago »


Download for iPhone or iPads in the Apple app store »

Download for tablet or phone via the Google Play store »

Aug 20

Labor Relations Special Session Topic Announced; Education Focus

The topic for the Labor Relations special session at NECA 2014 Chicago has been set. It will be “Technology, Training and Addressing the Worker Shortage.”

The session will be held at 10 a.m. on Monday, Sept 29. Leaders in the electrical construction industry, including IBEW President Ed Hill and Electrical Training Alliance Executive Director Mike Callanan, will join us to showcase our new state-of-the-art training and delivery systems.

They will discuss how we can use these assets to attract and train more qualified workers to meet the projected growth in our industry. The IBEW has made organizational changes to increase their emphasis on organizing and recruiting new apprentices, skilled electrical workers and contractors in emerging markets.

For more information on NECA 2014 Chicago visit »

Aug 14

USA Today Reports: Chicago is the “go-to destination for meetings and events”

Industry leaders attending NECA 2014 Chicago – and those still considering it – have even more reason now.

credit: wikipediaChicago has been tabbed as the go-to destination for meetings and events, according to a recent report in USA Today. The Midwestern city will be home to NECA’s annual convention from Sept. 27-30.

According to the report, Cvent, a technology company that connects event planners with tens of thousands of venues, looked at its booking data from July 2013 to June 2014.00 The company found that Chicago had inched up to first place compared with the previous year, overtaking Orlando, which now is second, followed by Las Vegas.

“It’s an easy city to host a meeting, and it has a culture.”

- Heather Middleton, spokeswoman for the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation


NECA 2014 Chicago attendees will be able to meet and network with peers; discover thousands of product and service solutions; explore and prepare for new markets; grow their businesses and boost productivity; and train with the experts.

Register for NECA 2014 Chicago Today! »

Read the USA Today report »

Aug 07

Register Now! Today is the Last Day to Save With Chicago Early Registration Rates

Don’t miss out on this Exciting Opportunity – Save with early rates before August 7

Join us September 27-30, for the NECA 2014 Chicago convention & trade show at the McCormick Place West, Chicago, IL. Early registration ends tomorrow, Thursday August 7, save with early rates – don’t delay!

The NECA Convention is an exciting mix of opportunities for education, inspiration, networking, and fun!

Several Ways to Attend:


Why should you attend NECA 2014 Chicago?

NECA 2014 Chicago is your place to:

  • Meet & network with your peers
  • Discover thousands of product and service solutions
  • Explore and prepare for new markets
  • Grow your company’s business and boost productivity – train with the experts
  • Save time and money on the job and get more work!

What will you find at the #1 Electrical Construction Trade Show?

  • The best industry resources for executive management, project managers, purchasing agents
  • Best practices and compliance information
  • Thousands of new products, service solutions and live demos on the show floor


With NECA 2014 Chicago you will take home extensive industry knowledge that you can implement in your daily business.

Jul 23

Don’t Miss Out on this Exciting Opportunity – Register for NECA 2014 Chicago Today!

Join us September 27-30, for the NECA 2014 Chicago convention & trade show at the McCormick Place West, Chicago, IL. Registration is now open!

The NECA Convention is an exciting mix of opportunities for education, inspiration, networking, and fun!

The #1 trade show of it’s kind in the electrical construction industry. NECA is proud to present the largest gathering of manufacturers and distributors showcasing thousands of solutions contractors need to save time and money on the job, and grow their business.

Several Ways to Attend:

Register Now»

Jul 18

Chicago’s Must-See Sights: Part 5

Magnificent Mile

photo from

One of the most famous avenues in the world is north Michigan Avenue which is affectionately referred to as the “Magnificent Mile”.  Located in the heart of downtown Chicago, this 13-block stretch of road goes from the Chicago River to the south to Oak Street to the north extending a full square mile.  The stretch includes residences, retailers, boutiques, restaurants, museums, hotels, and education and medical facilities.  In 1909 local planners devised a plan to transform Michigan Avenue from an Indian trading post to a major commercial boulevard titling the plan the ‘Chicago Plan’.  The planners envisioned the ‘Chicago Plan’ as becoming similar to the Champs Elysees in Paris.  They started the process by widening the street and building the Michigan Avenue bridge across the Chicago River.  The purpose of the bridge was to connect the older south section of Michigan Avenue with the new north section.  In a plan to draw shoppers and businesses to the new district, the city helped to build the Wrigley Building right next to the bridge in 1920 and the Tribune Tower just a couple of years later.  In 1947 real estate developer Arthur Rubloff who was the leader of The Greater North Michigan Avenue Association, which had been created in 1912 to develop and promote the project, began an extensive promotional campaign to revitalize the district.  During this campaign he coined the term “The Magnificent Mile”.  The most famous building on the stretch of road is the John Hancock Building.  Opening in 1970, the building rises 100 stories which, at the time, made it the tallest building in the world.  To build the structure, the John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company invested $100 million in the project.

Jul 07

Chicago’s Must-See Sights: Part 4

Historic Water Tower

img src:

Built in 1869, the Chicago water tower is 154 feet high.  The building was originally commissioned to hold the 138 foot tall standpipe that would help the water flow and pressure for the pumping station.  While the standpipe was removed in 1911, the pumping station is still in use.  The importance of the water tower and pumping station is that they are two of the only buildings in the city that survived the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.  The water tower’s importance is that it stands as a symbol for the rebuild of the city of Chicago which gave it the nickname “Second City”.

More “Second City” Happenings:

Join NECA for a very special lifestyle program presenting the best of the Second City, Monday September 29 at 10:00pm.


Celebrating 50 Years of Funny

The Second City, America’s first improvisational theater troupe, has helped launch the careers of countless stars, including Alan Arkin, Joan Rivers, Gilda Radner, John Belushi, John Candy, Catherine O’Hara, Eugene Levy, Mike Myers, Chris Farley, Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert and Steve Carell, just to name a few. This year’s Lifestyles program is a revue featuring the best sketches from their stages, along with improv games that will allow the audience to make suggestions that the performers will spin into comedy gold.

Jun 13

Behind the Best-Selling Memoir: The Pursuit of Happyness

NECA 2014 Chicago Guest Speaker: Chris Gardner

Gardner_Chris[1]Every convention has guest speakers but the Opening General Session speaker at NECA 2014 Chicago is not to be missed. Chris Gardner, who dragged himself from a life on the streets to the top of the boardroom and wrote the best-selling memoir The Pursuit of Happyness, will bring his passion to NECA attendees.

Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1954, Gardner grew up in a single-parent, poverty-stricken home. Without a father in the house, Gardner spent his childhood moving between foster homes and living with his mother. Following high school graduation, Gardner joined the Navy. After his discharge from the service, he moved to San Francisco, where he found work as a medical research associate for a scientific supply distributor.

In 1981 Gardner had a new responsibility, his son Christopher Gardner Jr. A new father, Gardner decided to make a dramatic change in his life.  Despite lacking a college education, Gardner decided to attempt to start a career in finance. Willing to sacrifice almost anything for his new career, he quit his job and applied for training programs at brokerage firms. Through his determination, Gardner earned a spot in Dean Witter Reynolds training program. At this point, Chris Jr’s mother decided to leave Gardner but the young father fought to keep his son. Gardner later said “I made up my mind as a young kid that when I had children they were going to know who their father is and that he isn’t going anywhere.” However, the salary of a trainee was not enough to support both Gardner and his young son, and the two ended up homeless.

After graduating from the training program at Dean Witter Reynolds, Gardner worked at Bear Stearns & Co. from 1983-1987 and became the company’s top earner. In 1987 founded the brokerage firm Gardner Rich from his home in Chicago with a meager $10,000. Gardner built his own stock brokerage firm into an international success adding offices in New York and San Francisco.

In May 2006 Gardner released his bestselling autobiography The Pursuit of Happyness which was made into a film starring Will Smith. Smith was nominated for an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, and the Screen Actors Guild Award for his portrayal of Gardner.

Today Gardner makes it his mission to help those who deal with similar issues that he did in his younger days. His philanthropic work includes a number of homeless initiatives and working on behalf of organizations such as the National Fatherhood Initiative, the National Education Association Foundation, and the International Rescue Committee. He is committed to helping others reach their full potential.

The NECA Convention is excited that Chris Gardner will be the keynote speaker for the Opening General Session at NECA 2014 Chicago. Gardner’s book will be available for purchase at the NECA booth on the show floor. He will be available to sign copies in the booth following the General Session.

Jun 10

NECA 2014 Chicago Schedule Changes

The following three events have been rescheduled to accommodate the meeting and to maintain convenience for those planning to attend Saturday’s events.

The Business Development Meeting, originally scheduled for Saturday afternoon from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm, has been rescheduled for 8:00 am to 9:30 am, the ELECTRI International Green Energy Challenge, originally scheduled for 2:30 pm to 4:00 pm, has been rescheduled for 9:30 am to 12:00 pm, and NECA’s inaugural Student Chapter Job Fair, originally scheduled for 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm, has been rescheduled for 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm.

  • Business Development Meeting: 8:00 – 9:00 a.m.
  • Green Energy Challenge: 9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • NECA Student Chapter Job Fair: 3:30 – 5:30 p.m.

Visit for Full Schedule of Events