An important part of what I like about my job covering the wholesale distribution sector for the past eight years is the in-person industry events. I said several times in the content produced from the events I attended this past spring that there’s no better way for me to stay alert to the industry’s trends, challenges, concerns and opportunities than getting out and seeing the companies and people who are directly involved. It’s always great to put a face to the names I’ve been emailing with, and they are good branding opportunities for MDM.
That, and I love to travel. I didn’t get to do much of it all prior to my first editorial position in this industry in 2014, and it quickly gave me the travel bug once I got started. It’s allowed me to see cities, states and parts of the U.S. and the world that I otherwise may have never set foot in — at least for a while. Even though industry events tend to cycle through the same major cities year after year, I’m always up for getting out of the office (the home office, in my case).
Summer and winter are the “offseason” for such events, and after more than three months since my last one (NAHAD’s Annual Convention), I certainly have the itch to get back out there.
Even so, these events aren’t a picnic for me. For the editorial coverage and networking we want out of them, they often involve a lot of notetaking during speaking sessions and interviewing; and for the ones with an expo, I often end up with at least 20,000 steps during each day while making my way from one meeting to another throughout the day. Plus, though it may not seem so when you meet me, I’m an introvert, so mingling and chatting with strangers at reception events doesn’t come naturally to me; but I make it work.
All of that said, I’m very much looking forward to attending several events this fall. Below, I’ve compiled a list of the in-person industry events that are on MDM’s radar of the distribution verticals we cover. To do so, I perused the events pages of various industry associations and buying groups to accompany the ones I already had top-of-mind. This certainly isn’t an all-encompassing list, and I’m sure I’m missing a few, so feel free to let me know if you think I missed something important or one you’d like to see added. Keep in mind that this list also doesn’t account for virtual events. I also included a couple of major industrial manufacturing-based events — IMTS and FABTECH — given that they tend to have good distributor representation as well.
Of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t promote MDM’s own SHIFT | The Future of Distribution conference that is one month out from the time of me writing this blog. To be held Sept. 25-27 in Broomfield, Colorado, it will bring together distribution attendees and over 30 industry expert speakers for an opportunity to learn and network about topics in digital transformation, hybrid sales and data analytics. I’m biased, but I’m truly impressed with the roster of speakers we’ve assembled — some who I’ve been able to meet several times over the years, and others who I’m excited to finally meet in-person.
Broomfield is a suburb just northwest of Denver, which is a gorgeous area year-round and especially in late September, so there’s also plenty of great scenery to take in while attending SHIFT. I hope to see some of you there.
Other events I know I’ll attend this fall include NetPlus Alliance’s Annual Meeting Oct. 2-4 in Las Vegas and PTDA’s Industry Summit Oct. 27-29 in Nashville. There’s potentially others, and we’re always open to invitations. And yes, I know that fall technically doesn’t start until Sept. 22, but unofficially, much of the U.S. population considers Labor Day (Sept. 5) as the start of fall, and that’s what I’m going with.
So, here’s our list of fall industry events, including the what, when and where:
Fall Industry Events
September 12-17: IMTS – Chicago, IL
Sept. 16-21: National Safety Congress & Expo – San Diego, CA
September 19-21: AD Electrical North American Meeting – Aurora, CO
September 25-27: SHIFT | The Future of Distribution – Broomfield, CO
October 2-4: NetPlus Alliance Annual Meeting – Las Vegas, TN
October 2-5: FPDA/ISD/ESA Industry Summit – Snowmass, CO
October 5-8: GAWDA Annual Convention – San Diego
October 9-11: IBC National Conference – Orlando, FL
October 10-13: ISSA Show North America – Chicago, IL
October 17-20: AD PHCP North American Meeting – Kissimmee, FL
October 23-26: AD Industrial & Safety – US North American Meeting – Aurora, CO
October 27-29: PTDA Industry Summit – Nashville, TN
October 30-November 2: STAFDA Convention – San Diego, CA
November 1-3: NAFCD + NBMDA Annual Convention – Chicago, IL
November 1-4: AHTD Fall Meeting – La Quinta, CA
November 2-5: AD Gypsum Supply Fall Meeting – New Orleans, LA
November 8-10: FABTECH – Atlanta, GA
November 14-15: B2B Online – Orlando, FL
November 30-December 2: ISA Fall Summit – Orlando, FL
December 3-6: HARDI Annual Conference – Houston, TX
December 5-7: AD eCommerce and Marketing Summit – San Diego, CA