For the second consecutive NAED regional, the Western Regional Conference hosted a new vendor showcase. And for the second time, the hosts report it was a success.
NAED allows new manufacturing members the opportunity to get a table top near the main registration desk to meet with distributors or show off products. At the Eastern Regional Conference in Orlando last November, 5 manufacturers took part. For the Western Regional Conference in Phoenix, thanks to word of mouth and some manufacturers seeing it in Orlando, the number of tables doubled.
“We will take some learning away from this,” said Drew Mapleback of Innovo. “And then we will set up some specific times in the future to have some meetings.”
The vendor showcase allows the new manufacturers to get an audience because of where it is set up. Each day, hundreds of people will pass by, giving the vendors a chance for name recognition.
“They see the name over and over again, and it resonates,” Mapleback says.
David Jordan of iToolco out of Knoxville, Tennessee attended the Eastern Regional Conference and saw the vendor showcase first hand. He knew for this conference, he was going to be a part of it.
“I got to show off some of my equipment here at the Western,” Jordan said. “Now we are going to expand on this for the next meeting at the South Central in Tampa next February.”
Jordan set up some of his equipment on his table, which helped attract distributors. “They would stop and ask what it was or how it worked, so that was the best part.”
Jordan added that this is a great opportunity to expansion into the West, and without the showcase, he was unsure how many meetings he would get with distributors.
“I am going to take the contacts that I made here, follow up with them, and then get ready to meet with them and more in Tampa,” Jordan said.
Mapleback said the same thing about Innovo plans for future conferences.
“We are going to expand on this be doing some marketing that we will be in the vendor showcase well before the South Central, which should make that conference even more successful for us,” Mapleback said.
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