“Moving on from the Baby Boomers to the Millennials!”

November saw Torque Magazine tune into the latest STAFDA Virtual Anaheim Convention and Trade Show, which featured talks from industry experts, an online networking centre, and meeting and demos for attendees…

Members of the Specialty Tools & Fasteners Distributors Association (STAFDA) held its Association’s Virtual Anaheim Convention & the 24 Hours of STAFDA’s Trade Show on 9-10 November.

The online offering brought attendees together to network, see new product demos, take advantage of special pricing, and see the industry’ leading 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.

Additionally, Hughes also stressed the need for manufactures & distributors to produce online and social media campaigns aimed at the new generation of buyers, further emphasising the need for the industry to move on “from the Baby Boomers to the Millennials!”.

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.

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 technology discoveries await us in the future, and creating a positive work environment.

Makita U.S.A Inc. opened the 2020 STAFDA show with several new product announcements including new drilling and fastening solutions, multiple angle grinders, brushless shears, lighting solutions and a concrete scanner. These new products include additions to the LXT System, reputedly the world’s largest compatible lithium-ion system.

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).

In addition to the variety of industry speakers and informative demos, STAFDA also elected new leadership for 2021 during the online trade show.

Brian Gersten, Owner of On Time Supply, Suffern, NY, was elected as STAFDA President. On Time Supply specializes in pneumatic and electric power tools, fastening systems, packaging materials, and specialty items for construction and industrial manufacturing and have been a STAFDA member since 1996.

Allan Guthrie, Director of Strategic Sourcing at DXP Enterprises, Omaha, NE, was elected STAFDA Vice President. A STAFDA member since 2005, DXP has grown into an Industrial Distribution Top 20 Company. Guthrie heads up a group of Sourcing Specialists providing information to the Supply Chain Services Division nationally.

Two new Directors, each serving a three-year term, were also elected: Phil Cerminaro, Industrial Products Limited, New Orleans, LA, and Ed Stebbins, Northwest Contractors Supply, Inc., Casper, WY.

New members of the Rep Liaison Committee were also announced: Kevin Kennedy, Mountain Borders, Centennial, CO, and Doug Ozolins, Tier2 Group, Inc., Indianapolis, IN.

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.