So just how big was this year's SMACNA convention on the Big Island of Hawaii?

The biggest ever, said executive vice president John Sroka, adding, somewhat facetiously, "the biggest dating back to last year in Palm Desert (California)."

SMACNA's conventions are in the habit this past two years of setting records. The association is at its highest membership level since 1992, and convention attendance is up accordingly. Two reasons: the economy and the locations. Almost everyone is doing well in today's continuing strong economy, and Hawaii is always an enticing draw for attendees. Next year's convention is in Boca Raton, Fla.