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  /  VPE   /  ​Virtual Propane Expo launches after COVID-19 cancellations

​Virtual Propane Expo launches after COVID-19 cancellations

The Virtual Propane Expo launched April 29 as a way for propane retailers and industry suppliers of products and services to meet through an online platform and overcome the restrictions created by the coronavirus pandemic.

During the first week, more than 2,500 unique visitors attended the online expo where they had access to more than 150 virtual exhibitors with interactive booths and 10 educational presentations, according to event organizers. Attendee registration was free.

“We kept it simple,” says Bill Stomp, the founder and president of the event. “There are presenters and exhibitors; each has a link that you can click to connect with them. So now in this coronavirus atmosphere, we can all still attend an important event for the industry but just do it through our computer.”

In addition to Stomp, who leads a software company, the event’s board of directors and advisory board members are Shane Sweet, a former state propane association executive who now leads a consulting firm; propane industry consultant Mike DiGiorgio; Stuart Flatow, formerly of the Propane Education & Research Council; and Peter Gilman, former vice president of propane industry companies.

Regular national online propane expos are planned this year, with the next event set for May 28, Stomp says. More than 175 exhibitors are registered for the event, and live presentations will run throughout the day. New presenters are scheduled.

Many events have been canceled since the outbreak, including the National Propane Gas Association’s Southeastern Convention & International Propane Expo, the industry’s largest trade show, which was scheduled for April 6-8 in Nashville, Tennessee.