by Robert Wagner
For three days in November, the North American Association of Floor Covering Distributors (NAFCD), will be breaking with tradition.
Don’t worry. The annual conference will continue to offer you everything you value—networking, education, the distributor’s marketplace—but what is changing is that NAFCD will be joining another leading organization, the North American Building Material Distribution Association (NBMDA) for this year’s conference.
To be held Nov.16 to18 at the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs, Colo., the joint event will feature a unique blend of networking functions, distribution management education, exhibits and business-to-business appointments while keeping the same feel of the conference you know and value.
NAFCD members will have the opportunity to network with distributors in the building materials industry and expand knowledge and experience. Members will be able to visit with peers and suppliers in a related field, who rarely compete directly with us. These companies distribute products to the same construction sites and jobs where our products are offered. While our customers may be different, our problems are similar.
In addition to the annual meeting, NAFCD is also holding its fifth annual distributor marketplace, a face-to-face environment designed to make buying and selling easier and more efficient for both manufacturers and distributors. The convention, paired with the distributor marketplace, offers a unique avenue of opportunity that fosters the exchange of ideas and solutions among industry peers. Currently, it is the only event of its kind in the industry and it has been well received since inception.
With your support, NAFCD leadership has refined the show and made every effort to provide a more valuable experience. By joining with the NBMDA, we can enhance your experience by pro- viding an atmosphere to visit with suppliers who are selling in a related industry. The expanded show will also provide an opportunity to learn how others deal with issues and problems with related customers.
Business Enhancement Day, a popular feature of our conference for manufacturers to hold private meetings, training sessions and social events during non-competing hours, will continue at this year’s convention on Tuesday, Nov. 16. Also in place are the annual Industry Leadership Panel and the always-popular round- table sessions.
As you know, one of the core pillars of our organization is education. Building our relationship with NBMDA will help expand our educational offering by providing a more diverse group to interact with. Also, pooling our resources will attract the finest quality speakers for our general sessions.
During the planning stages of NAFCD’s 2010 conference, we were intent on keeping our organization’s values in place. We want to make something clear: NAFCD is not becoming part of another organization. It is sharing costs while attempting to improve the conference experience.
One of the great things about the association is that NAFCD leadership wants to hear from you before, during, and after the conference. We value our members’ opinions, and it is our intent to exceed your expectations for value and content in a conference.
We will all learn from our conference this year. What will you take away?