Hose Industry Leaders Reflect On NAHAD's 2018 Annual Meeting & Convention
NAHAD recently hosted its 34th Annual Meeting & Convention at the JW Marriott in Marco Island, Florida. In addition to offering attendees white sand beaches with breathtaking sunsets overlooking the Gulf, this year’s Convention also served up some changes to the program to meet the changing demands of NAHAD attendees. So how did we do? NAHAD recently surveyed its attendees to find out what they liked, and what they didn’t, about this year’s Annual Convention.
Overall, the Program Exceeded Expectations!
NAHAD prides itself on offering its members exceptional business and networking opportunities with great educational sessions available. This year’s Annual Convention did not disappoint, with almost 60 percent of respondents saying this year’s program “exceeded or highly exceeded” their expectations.
Member comment: “…excellent venue, great networking, entertaining/informative speakers, and overall great people!”
Changes to the Program Were Well Received
Last year attendees provided feedback that they would like more time to host company meetings and interact directly with customers. Based on this feedback, NAHAD designed a schedule with time specifically allocated to interact with customers. We sold out company meeting space with a record 40 room time slots reserved, and overall, 54 percent of respondents stated they preferred this format because it allowed more time to engage with their customers. A total of 23 percent would have liked more educational programming, so we will make sure to plan additional sessions in 2019 to meet this request.
Member comment: “I honestly didn't know what to think about the new agenda... too many "holes" I thought. We filled them in with pre-planned customer meetings and "It was probably our best NAHAD in years!”
Speakers Were Excellent
Overall, NAHAD speakers scored excellent marks this year, with Herb Meyer earning top billing, with 75 percent of respondents rating him as “good or excellent,” and Economist Alan Beaulieu also receiving strong ratings with a 62 percent rating of “good or excellent.” While not everyone attended Judy Hoberman’s Women In NAHAD workshop, the majority who did rated it as “excellent.” Over 70 percent of respondents also rated the George Carver Award presentation highly, which was given to Jim Parrish with PT Coupling.
Hands Down Respondents Loved More Time in the Showcase
NAHAD’s Showcase of Hose Solutions is the cornerstone of NAHAD’s Convention each year and attendees asked for more time to meet with the exceptional suppliers who filled this year’ sold-out Exhibit Hall. As a result, we planned an Opening Cocktail Party in the Showcase the evening before the Showcase opened for business. A whopping 73 percent of respondents stated they liked having extra time in the Showcase and think NAHAD should consider doing this again. We will certainly look to add this formula to future events.
Member comment: “Great changes included moving golf to the beginning of the event, having the cocktail reception for the Showcase of Hose Solutions, and cutting down on the Classroom time/allowing more time for company meetings.”
One Day We’ll Return to Marco Island
Let’s be honest, part of what made this Convention work so well was great weather and a beautiful venue. When asked about returning to the JW Marriott Marco Island for future NAHADs, 73 percent of respondents would like to do so. We will absolutely keep this in mind when booking future conventions.
Member comment: “As a first timer to the NAHAD convention, I was amazed at the value I received in four short days. The speakers were informative and entertaining. The networking opportunities were phenomenal. All in all it was a great experience with real value that I can bring back to my business.”
So, What Didn’t Attendees Like?
We heard from many of you that you would like NAHAD to improve speed networking and one of the best suggestions (in my opinion) was to host it all in one room to make sure all manufacturers and distributors can meet with one another. We know that the hotel selling out (and construction delays) proved challenging for many of our attendees and we appreciate your patience (and flexibility) to be willing to stay in Airbnb’s and overflow hotels. Many of you asked for even more time in the Showcase and we will work to see what’s possible for 2019. And we did hear you want a hot breakfast every morning and free WIFI in the Convention area. 😊
What’s In Store for NAHAD 2019?
Looking ahead to 2019, we are excited to host NAHAD’s Annual Convention at the Bellagio from April 5-10 in Las Vegas. We know that Vegas brings lots of entertainment options and potential distractions, and we will work to build a program that provides you with the value you expect from NAHAD. Look for premier educational content, exciting networking opportunities, unique tours, and plenty of quality time for meetings with customers in the Showcase of Hose Solutions. Every year we want to try something different that matches the needs of NAHAD’s members, and our venue and location. But we need to hear from you. Please email me anytime to share your thoughts on the Convention, or NAHAD’s programs and services in general. I promise we read every comment and I will personally respond to every email and suggestion.
Thanks for being a part of NAHAD and I’m looking forward to seeing you at future Conventions!
Molly Alton Mullins is the Executive Vice President of NAHAD. She can be reached at email@example.com or 410-940-6360.
About Molly Alton Mullins
Molly Alton Mullins has been in the association management field for more than 15 years, specializing in program development, strategic planning, board development, communications, marketing, and partnership development. She has served NAHAD for almost three years, becoming Executive Vice President in June 2017, and has enjoyed every minute working with the exceptional members and leadership of this fantastic association.