National Electric, Albuquerque, N.M., has taken a contrarian approach to the economic slowdown — instead of cutting back on services, the company is expanding its service offerings to better support its customer base. To launch the effort, the company gathered 250 electrical professionals from the area for a day of fun in a trade show setting. National Electric hosted its very first Way Out West Oktoberfest event showcasing the latest products and trends in the electrical marketplace. Key vendor experts were on hand to answer questions and provide product information, equipment demonstrations and product samples.

“I believe this event is an important reflection on the many changes we have made here at National, “said Skip Lenfest, vice president of sales and business development. “We've worked real hard this year to seek out our customers' needs and understand the challenges they face in today's economy. As a result, we've changed our core focus to serving the industrial and commercial markets more closely. We've added product lines to support these market segments and we've added new personnel in a time when others are tightening their belts.”

Attendees gathered product information at vendor booths and participated in a poker event, collecting playing cards throughout the show. Top winners received a jackpot scratch card which revealed a special discount opportunity. Attendees also had the chance to win a variety of prizes including tools, electrical products, shirts, golf items and more. The prize offerings culminated in a grand prize giveaway of a large Sony flat screen TV, sponsored by Philips Lighting.

No Oktoberfest event would be complete without an authentic German meal. Guests were also served a traditional beer brat lunch along with German chocolate cake.