Members of the Specialty Tools & Fasteners Distributors Association (STAFDA) registered for the 41st Annual Convention & Trade Show at a record pace.
Nearly 4,500 attendees gathered for the November 2017 event, which included a 650-plus booth Trade Show that also introduced 50’ x 50’ island booths.
The opening Sunday focused on education, with workshop topics including Customers Leave and How to Win them Back, Reviving Work Ethic, Feedback with Impact, Creating Successful Teams, and the Evolving World of Sales. A new Young Professionals Luncheon gave those members under 35 a chance to network with peers and enjoy a programme on The New Diversity. That afternoon, another new initiative, Speed Interviewing, provided students majoring in industrial distribution, supply chain, or construction management the opportunity to meet with members seeking to hire new employees or interns.
Spouses and companions hand-crafted guitars for Pick with Austin, a non-profit organization who donates the instruments to teens battling depression, are in juvenile detention centers, or identified as “at risk.”
Following the Opening Party inside and around Austin City Limits (ACL), Monday morning’s General Session featured industry speeches from STAFDA President, Tom Leahy, Border Construction Specialties, Phoenix, AZ, and Associate speaker, Joe Smith, Metabo Power Tools North America, West Chester, PA, and “STAFDA Pride” an uplifting new song representing the Association’s members and their dedication to the industry.
John Ratzenberger, the voice of Pixar characters Hamm the Piggybank and Mack the Truck (also Cheers’ Cliff Clavin) took the podium to promote careers in the skilled trades and helped open the Trade Show. Due to record demand, two halls were available this year. The Tech & Consultants Areas provided business-improvement opportunities for those looking for advice, services, software, and more.
Tuesday began with Alan Beaulieu’s annual Economic Update, providing in-depth information to members with insights into what the US and Canadian economies can expect. Two day tours – a shopping jaunt to South Congress Street or to Fredericksburg – gave attendees’ spouses and companions unique views of Texas. The Trade Show floor opened again for five and a half hours before a buffet dinner at the Closing Party.
STAFDA’s 42nd Annual Convention & Trade Show will run over 28-30 October in Phoenix. You must be a member to attend.