The GAWDA (Gases and Welders Distributors Association) 2019 Annual Convention begins here at the Marriott Marquis, Washington, D.C. on 28th September, with a range of presentations, events and networking opportunities and runs until 1st October.

With the theme “It’s All About Service”, the event begins with a reception on Saturday (28th September), followed by speaker presentations and a Young Professionals Event on Sunday.

In the first session, Brian Beaulieu, CEO of ITR Economics, will review Industry Analysis Report and provide further updates, and Admiral William H. McRaven will give what promises to be a fascinating presentation. McRaven is a retired US Navy Four-Star admiral and author, who has advised Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama and other US leaders on defence issues.

Monday morning will see the popular contact booth programme, with 120 companies due to be exhibiting. The contact booth programme is a major networking opportunity for distributors to learn about the latest available products to augment their businesses. The programme also acts as a major venue for suppliers, manufacturing and distributors to meet face-to-face and obtain information about new offerings directly and to build relationships.

GAWDA and participating exhibitors (active GAWDA supplier members) will host a prize programme this year. There will be a number of great prizes awarded at the end of the contact booth programme. Prizes are being contributed by suppliers and GAWDA.

On Monday afternoon, there is a sold-out Women of Gases and Welding event: a private yacht cruise down the Potomac River.

Phil Kornbluth, President of Kornbluth Helium Consulting and a member of the gasworld Editorial Board, is due to give an update to the Annual Convention on the latest global helium shortage and prices on Tuesday morning, and the session also includes a presentation from Don McMillian, a futurist with an engineering background.

The Annual Convention will end with a farewell gala at the National Building Museum - site of many presidential inaugural balls - on Tuesday evening.

gasworld will be there in Washington DC to provide a recap of the Annual Convention next week.