Build Connections, Get Motivated at PestWorld 2018

Convention Extra - Pestworld Preview - Cover Feature

Four days of educational programming, a packed exhibit hall and social networking among highlights of this year’s event.

October 3, 2018

Orlando is a place that can’t help but draw people in for its shiny skyscrapers, boardwalks lined with palm trees and waterfront views. It’s the perfect location for PestWorld 2018, the National Pest Management Association’s annual tradeshow and conference. From Oct. 23-26, PestWorld 2018 is expected to be attended by more than 3,000 industry professionals and feature 70 educational sessions. Here's a look at some the expected highlights of this year's show.

The Tuesday Opening Ceremony features Street Breakz, a talented group of street performers from the Orlando area that has gained worldwide acclaim. The group has been performing for more than 10 years and has been invited to appear on Monday Night Football and the Ellen DeGeneres Show. PMPs will watch Street Breakz perform a variety of street dancing, acrobatics and routines filled with humor. This event is sponsored by Bayer.

INSPIRING SESSIONS. Throughout the conference, attendees will be able to participate in educational sessions by talking with experts, listening to different perspectives and gaining new ideas for their business and the pest control industry. The sessions generally last around 1 hour and 30 minutes and cover a range of business and technical topics. On Wednesday, PMPs can learn about survival and perseverance by attending PestWorld’s Opening General Session, sponsored by Corteva Agriscience. This portion of the conference will feature Yossi Ghinsberg, a world traveler, motivational speaker, entrepreneur and humanitarian. Ghinsberg’s book, “Jungle: A Harrowing True Story of Survival,” describes the events of Ghinsberg’s life when he was stranded in an uncharted section of the Bolivian Amazon jungle for three weeks in 1981 and will be the basis for his talk.

In his session, titled “Amazon Survival Skills for Business,” Ghinsberg will share how the survival skills he acquired in the Amazon jungle are important for pest management professionals to learn and practice. The goal of his session is to inspire critical thinking and encourage PMPs everywhere to discover what Ghinsberg calls your “Day-to-Day Hero.” Ghinsberg teaches others to follow the natural survival skills everyone is born with while inspiring them to step up their business game.

Dennis Snow (left), Street Breakz (right) and Yossi Ghinsberg (bottom) are highlighted speakers/acts at PestWorld.

PMPs will have another chance to get motivated about their business with the Industry Awards and General Session on Thursday. This talk features Dennis Snow, a full-time motivational speaker, trainer and consultant who uses his expertise in customer service to help numerous organizations and businesses reach their employee development, customer service and leadership goals.

Snow will share how he developed his skills from more than 20 years with the Walt Disney World Company. He began his career at Disney as a front-line attractions operator in 1979, and worked his way up through managing several operations areas. Learn about what leadership and service skills Snow used to launch a division of the Disney Institute, which is responsible for consulting with worldwide companies like AT&T, Coca-Cola and General Motors and how you can apply the same skills to your pest control business. This session is sponsored by Syngenta.

CONSTANT NETWORKING. PestWorld wouldn’t be complete without multiple opportunities for PMPs to network with one another. At each PestWorld, NPMA holds an Annual Membership Meeting to encourage PMPs to form connections with other professionals in the association. On Thursday, NPMA members can meet with leaders of their association and hear what events and resources NPMA has planned for the future.

Later that evening, attendees have the option to join other PMPs at the “In the Mix Reception,” which is sponsored by ServicePro, Corteva Agriscience, Ecolab and FMC Professional Solutions. Here you can network or simply chat socially while learning about NPMA’s various committees, including the Professional Women in Pest Management, the Leadership Development Group, PestVets and the Diversity Committee. This reception offers a great chance to meet PMPs who share your interests, whether you’re a first-time PestWorld attendee or a seasoned NPMA member.

At the center of PestWorld is the Exhibit Hall, the place to learn about the latest and greatest pest control technologies, services and techniques. Open throughout the week, the Exhibit Hall displays countless aisles full of distributors and manufacturers ready to tell you about a specific product or discuss tried-and-true pest management practices. PMPs should make sure to stop by the Exhibit Hall on the last day of PestWorld, Friday, for the Black Friday event. During this time, exhibitors will offer specials on various products and services to all PestWorld attendees, so you can enjoy some more networking while finding great deals on your favorite pest management technologies.

Your last chance for networking will be at the PestWorld Final Night Party on Friday. Join your fellow PestWorld attendees for a casual and private reception at Epcot Center, sponsored by BASF. The event will include delicious food and conversation with other attendees about all your PestWorld 2018 experiences. Make sure you stay to enjoy a front row view of the renowned illumination show.

And don’t forget that you can always network online. For the convention, NPMA provides a PestWorld mobile app available for Android, Windows and iOS devices so you can connect with other attendees and plan out what sessions to visit. Whether you’re an owner of a pest management company, a pest control product manufacturer or a student of entomology, PestWorld can offer you hundreds of opportunities to have fun, expand your knowledge and dive deep into every aspect of the pest management industry.

The author is an Ohio-based writer.