With so many conferences and exhibitions in the solar/PV calendar, it can be tough to decide which to attend. PES is committed to showcasing the very best the industry has to offer, which is why in this issue we’re previewing SPI – North America’s largest B2B solar event. Background Previously known as the Solar Power Conference and Expo, SPI was created in 2004 when the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) joined together in partnership to fill an obvious void: North America was missing a business-to-business solar conference and expo.
With an industry growth rate of more than 40 per cent per year, there was a need for a single event where industry could come together with potential customers, policymakers, investors, and other parties necessary for continued rapid growth. It didn’t take long for the event to establish itself as the premiere solar event in the US, growing from 1,100 attendees to over 24,000 in just six years.
The reasons for attending this industry event are manifold. Firstly, Solar Power International is now established as the only ‘must attend’ solar event in the US. It is the largest solar conference and expo in North America – currently by a factor of more than five – and attracts the widest range of professional attendees. The event also educates consumers through a one-night public opening of the expo hall.
Secondly, the money you invest to attend Solar Power International is used to support the industry and grow US solar markets. Proceeds from the event go to SEPA and SEIA, the two non-profit presenters, and are used to support the organisations’ year-round activities. (Many other solar events in the US are put on by for-profit groups.)