So, What Did Attendees Think of NAHAD 2019?
Last month, more than 1,000 hose industry professionals attended NAHAD’s 35th Annual Meeting & Convention, held at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. For four days, top manufacturers and distributors networked with each other, attended informative educational sessions, and previewed the latest industry product innovations in the Showcase of Hose Solutions. So, what did attendees think of this year’s show? Overall, it exceeded expectations and offered the quality business interactions that NAHAD is known to provide. Watch the recap video below and hear for yourself!
NAHAD 2019 Exceeded Expectations
When asked how well NAHAD’s 2019 Annual Meeting & Convention met expectations, 95 percent of respondents said the Convention “met to highly exceeded expectations” with 43 percent falling into the “exceeded to highly exceeded” category. One attendee stated, “Attending NAHAD's Annual Convention is invaluable when it comes to education, best practices and the platform to network among peers from around the world.” Another said, “Always a great investment for my business, with opportunities to connect with so many suppliers and fellow distributors in one location. Always take away new insights and information from the NAHAD Convention.”
Educational Sessions Were Well Received
NAHAD’s Luncheon Speaker Mike Staver was the highest ranked of the Convention, with 70 percent of respondents ranking him as “good or exceptional.” Opening Session Speaker Ken Gronbach also received high marks, with almost 57 percent of respondents placing him as “good or exceptional.” When asked about future educational topics, lots of examples were offered which NAHAD will investigate for 2020. Topics included sales training, economic outlooks and forecasting, as well as future distribution strategies and how to digitalize businesses.
That Doesn’t Mean There Isn’t Room for Improvement
Despite lots of positive feedback, NAHAD 2019 was not without criticisms, many that were valid. The Las Vegas location was a concern for many people (me included). There are plenty of distractions and huge venue locations often make keeping attendees together difficult. To help counteract this, NAHAD planned more education this year, maximized all available space to host company meetings, and provided more evening networking events. The Bellagio, while a beautiful property, is expensive. Many respondents commented that hosting the Convention at less expensive properties would benefit the membership at large, as well as shortening the show by a day. I promise you the board hears and understands your concerns, and takes this into account when selecting future NAHAD venues.
One of the Best Showcases in Years
There was lots of feedback – in the survey and in conversations – that this year’s Showcase of Hose Solutions was one of NAHAD’s best, with 75 percent of respondents ranking it “good or excellent.” A respondent wrote, “The showcase was the highlight [but I] ran out of time to visit everyone.” This comment was shared by many, so as a result, NAHAD will host the Showcase Party again next year the night prior to offer more time to interact with manufacturers.
New Initiatives Announced at NAHAD
We also received tons of positive feedback about NAHAD’s kiosk which unveiled NAHAD Academy and NAHAD’s Hose Safety Institute training which is now available through an online interactive format. More than 30 percent of respondents visited the kiosk, and found the material presented to be useful to their businesses. Comments included “Excellent improvement to HSI!,” “Great new fresh approach,” and “Wonderful addition to NAHAD,” among other sentiments expressed.
NAHAD is Ready for 2020
Looking ahead, almost 70 percent of respondents have NAHAD’s 2020 Annual Meeting & Convention on their calendars already. Next year’s event, taking place April 24-29 at the Atlantis in the Bahamas, will offer NAHAD attendees a Convention experience – at a beautiful beach location – but with an emphasis on networking, education and making business connections to benefit the future of your businesses. One respondent said, “Attending NAHAD's Annual Convention is invaluable when it comes to education, best practices and the platform to network among peers from around the world.” I want to ensure that EVERY attendee feels that way after each Convention and we will not stop until we deliver a program than meets – and exceeds – your expectations.
Thank you to everyone who attended NAHAD 2019 and I welcome your feedback on the Convention, and any of NAHAD’s programs and services, any time throughout the year. You can read the full survey results here. I cannot thank you enough for the opportunity to serve this exceptional industry, and this association.
Molly Alton Mullins is the Executive Vice President of NAHAD. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org 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.