NAHAD Convention Reflects Tone of Business Uptick
When over 875 NAHAD members from around the world converged on San Diego for the association's 27th Annual Convention last week, they came prepared to do business.
The newly-named Marriott Marquis Hotel and Marina served as host property for the annual event, where 234 distributors networked with 376 suppliers while enjoying a powerful array of business sessions, panel discussions and one-on-one connections. An upbeat spirit and sense of business optimism permeated the four-day program which featured presentations by Eaton economist, Jim Meil, sales expert Jim Pancero, distribution guru Bruce Merrifield, extreme explorer Jamie Clarke and the latest NAW Facing the Forces of Change report.
The Convention kicked-off the first afternoon with the highly-regarded NAHAD Speed Networking program, providing attendees with rapid-fire one-on-one introductions. Quoted several attendees, "This idea seemed a bit silly at first glance, but it was one of the best events I've ever attended. What a great way to connect with lots of members and first-time attendees!" The second day featured the very popular concurrent UID-in-a-Day sessions, providing six different business sessions offered by three faculty members from NAHAD's University of Industrial Distribution.
Many companies also utilized the Convention to conduct their own business meetings with suppliers and customers, maximizing the opportunity to strengthen their partnerships in 2011 and beyond.
Members gathered onboard the USS Midway aircraft carrier for an outstanding opening reception, featuring great food and beverages, tours of the historic ship and, for the brave ones, use of the aircraft flight simulators.
A business highlight of the Convention was the Showcase of Hose Solutions exhibit program, featuring a sold-out hall of over 140 manufacturer booths, displaying the latest products, services and solutions for the attending distributors.
Continuing a NAHAD tradition initiated in 2007, the George W. Carver Award for Outstanding Commitment to Industry Excellence was presented to NAHAD past President Robert A. Lyons, Sr. of TIPCO Technologies, Ownings Mills, MD.
"A sense of enthusiasm and positive attitude was very evident at this year's Convention," noted NAHAD Exec. V.P., Joseph Thompson. "The members really came ready to use their time together to get business done and to enjoy building new relationships. The combination of business programs, supplier exhibits, education, networking and social activities seems to provide the right mix to support their needs."
In 2012, the 28th NAHAD Convention will travel to Las Vegas for the first time, hosting the event at the Venetian / Palazzo Hotel on April 18-22. The preliminary schedule will be available in mid-June.
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