By Kaitlyn Longstaff

The 2023 Water Quality Association (WQA) Convention & Exposition took place in Las Vegas April 17-20. With over 35 hours of educational opportunities, more than 180 exhibitors (25 percent more than last year), more than 35 speakers, and over 2,500 attendees, this year’s convention and expo was the highlight event for water-treatment professionals.

Before the official start of the convention, more than 80 water treatment providers participated in the fifth WQA Business Boot Camp with a full day of intensive training that focused on finances and marketing skills. The WQA/Water Quality Research Foundation PFAS Symposium, an inaugural event, hosted over 100 water industry leaders, researchers, and regulators, who came together to share ideas and research about PFAS. The ever-popular RO Sizing Workshop was also held before the convention.

During the first keynote session of the convention, WQA honored 12 individuals and one business with WQA Leadership and Excellence Awards. In her opening speech, incoming WQA President Amanda Moore, CWS, described the role of water treatment in the future of public health and safety. “When I look to the future, I can think of no industry or membership more poised to have a major impact on public health and safety than the water-treatment industry and WQA,” she said.

The 2023 WQA Convention & Exposition was well-attended, with increases from last year’s numbers across the board:

A 25 percent increase in exhibitors.
A 25 percent increase in attendees.
A 30 percent increase in first-time attendees.
A 50 percent increase in new members.

Additionally, attendance by international exhibitors and attendees tripled this year. WQA also saw a 49 percent increase in the number of volunteers over the last three years.

During the convention, the 2023 WQA Consumer Opinion Study results were released. Highlights show that consumers are:

Paying more attention to their home’s water quality and realizing their role in making sure it is the best it can be.
No longer assuming that it is the government’s job to make sure their home water is safe.
Understanding that it is important for the water-treatment industry to act ethically and honorably in providing knowledge and expertise.

Keynote speakers throughout the event included Mae Stevens, an environmental and water infrastructure policy expert; WQA Executive Director Pauli Undesser, MWS; outgoing WQA President Jim Stern; and incoming WQA President Moore.

Dozens of educational seminars were offered during the convention, with wide-ranging topics that included ethics, PFAS, deciphering on-site water-treatment problems, and adapting water needs for current building designs.

The expo hall was packed with exhibitors sharing new products and cutting-edge knowledge with attendees. WQA facilitated new connections between participants at a networking reception, as well.

To see more from the 2023 WQA Convention & Exposition, watch the highlight video at https://youtu.be/DokCez3BqEA.

Mark your calendars now for the 2024 WQA Convention & Exposition March 5-7 in Orlando, Florida.

About the author

Kaitlyn R. Longstaff is associate editor at Water Conditioning & Purification International Magazine. She studied English at Southern New Hampshire University and publishing at The George Washington University. She can be reached at [email protected].

 

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