Attendees from the US and further afield numbered almost 2,800 for this year’s STAFDA Annual Convention & Trade Show, held in San Diego.
The 46th edition of the event ran for three days, with more overseas visitors making the journey following years of pandemic travel restrictions. With 438 booths, the event included live demos, a buying show, networking, a student hiring event, and more.
Trade Show exhibitors offered special STAFDA-only pricing, and meeting one-on-one with decision makers from distribution companies of all sizes. The Trade Show footprint was 10% larger than STAFDA’s 2021 Orlando Show so attendees had more to see and experience.
Educational Workshops Sunday provided a curriculum easily customised by attendees who could pick two topics to meet their interests. Welcoming newcomers to the industry, the NextGen Networking Luncheon featured a buffet lunch and discussion for attendees under 35 years old.
Monday morning saw STAFDA President Allan Guthrie of DXP Enterprises, Omaha, NE open the General Session, focusing on the state of the distribution industry and the unique career paths people take to reach the STAFDA markets. Associate speaker Jude Nosek, Keson LLC, Aurora, IL, discussed the different suits people wear as they tackle running their companies – from marketing to sales to human resources. Extreme adventurer Bear Grylls gave the keynote speech discussing resilience and overcoming obstacles.
Tuesday’s Economic Workshop featuring Alan Beaulieu tackled hot areas of concern including inflation, supply chain issues, and the possibility of an impending recession. To keep the STAFDA economy booming, the Trade Show then reopened for four and a half hours, giving exhibitors and distributors more time to work together to bolster business in the construction world.
Two day tours for spouses/companions attendees took them for a cruise around the San Diego Bay or a private cooking class at the San Diego Wine & Culinary Center. The Convention opened in style with a ‘Boo at the Zoo’ opening party at San Diego Zoo and finished with a Some Like It Yacht Closing Party on the harbor.
STAFDA’s 47th Annual Convention & Trade Show will be 5-7 November 2023, in San Antonio. Registration opens 26 June at 8:00 a.m. (Central). You must be a member to attend.