By Liz Peuster
Last week, I had the opportunity to attend the NAFCD/NBMDA Distributor Convention in Chicago. The networking opportunities, education, and overall program create a palpable energy.
One of the best aspects of this convention is the education. This is my third year attending this event, and the speakers never fail to overwhelm me with food for thought.
This year, Ken Gronbach, President of KGC Direct, focused on navigating the demographic storm. His keynote was far from just another presentation about millennials destroying the world as we know it. In fact, millennials are going to keep our industry busy for a very long time as there are more of them than any other generation in front of them. They all need to live somewhere, which means new construction, and new construction means new floors. Good news for the entire supply chain.
Other topics included HR, marketing with technology, and transportation, leaving attendees buzzing with ideas to enhance their business strategies. Last, but never least, was Alan Beaulieu of ITR Economics, who never fails to trick me into thinking that I understand complex economics.
Moving beyond education, the table top show seemed far bigger than last year. NAFCD reported more than 200 exhibitors on the floor. This part of the show for NWFA provides a chance for our distributor and manufacturer members to stop by, see what is new, and discuss ways we can further partner.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the pure excitement of Wednesday night. To be in Chicago on the night the Cubs would win the World Series was electric. As a born and bred Cardinal fan, I will admit that my cheers leading up to Game 6 were for the Indians, but it was difficult to not get swept in the excitement of Chicago’s anticipated win.
Congratulations to the teams at NAFCD and NBMDA for another great show. NWFA looks forward to participating again in 2017 at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs.