STAFDA Virtual Convention: Transformation, digital acceleration & 225 demos

Last week saw members of the Specialty Tools & Fasteners Distributors Association (STAFDA) hold its Association’s Virtual Anaheim Convention & the 24 Hours of STAFDA’s Trade Show.

The online offering that took place 9-10 November, brought attendees together to network, see new product demos, take advantage of special pricing, and see the industry’s best speakers.

The Virtual Anaheim Convention kicked off with an information-packed General Session. STAFDA President, Greg Hughes, Kinnunen Sales & Rentals, Stillwater, OK, focused on how distributors remain relevant in turbulent times during his state-of-the-industry address. The Associate viewpoint was provided by Maria Ford, President of the North American Industrial and Commercial Sales & Marketing Team, Stanley Black & Decker, Inc., Towson, MD. She discussed transformation, digital acceleration, and cooperation between manufacturers, distributors, and industry partners. In addition, keynote speaker Guy Kawasaki delivered an online presentation and interview with STAFDA CEO Georgia Foley. He discussed his career in Silicon Valley, working with other technology icons such as Steve Jobs, what amazing tech discoveries await us, and creating a positive work environment.

The Virtual convention also featured a Networking Center which saw 85 exhibitors and 14 Tech Pavilion vendors reach out to distributor and rep members to schedule one-on-one meetings and create engaging demos. Meeting times were available for a full 24 hours to accommodate attendees in all time zones. More than 225 demos and 100 one-on-one meetings were held from Monday at 12:30 p.m. to Tuesday at 12:30 p.m.

Distributors raced to attend the most meetings and demos as the top three participants winning one of three $1,000 gift cards to their choice of a Richard Petty, NASCAR, or Mario Andretti racing experience.

Another hallmark of the STAFDA Convention is the Educational Workshops offering attendees a wide-range of timely topics from industry experts. Alan Beaulieu’s traditional Economic Update looked at the effects of COVID-19, the U.S. Presidential election, and other key economic indicators to give listeners insight into what the future may hold. Six concurrent workshops included Sales Force Compensation Plans (Ken Brown), the 10 Commandments of Distributor Marketing (Ian Heller), The Modern Distributor: Digital Transformation (Andrew Johnson), Financial Strategies in a Post-COVID World (Greg Knight & Steve Martin), Talk Triggers: Word of Mouth Marketing (Daniel Lemin), and How to Accelerate Your Competitive Advantage (Jim Pancero).

Attendees are able to access all of the on-demand recordings for 30 days after the Convention via the Networking Center. Those who missed the Convention may purchase access to the workshops for $75.

STAFDA’s 45th Annual Convention & Trade Show, will be held November 7-9, in Charlotte. Registration opens June 28 at 8:00 a.m. (Central). You must be a member to attend.

For more information, please contact Catherine Usher, STAFDA Member Services Director, at 262-784-4774 or by email.

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