Chairwoman’s Message: Preparation is Everything

Posted by Laurie Aronson on 7/30/19 11:18 AM

LA-headshot-2018-squareA water bottle. Granola bar. Sunglasses and a hat. Kleenex.  Cash and a credit card. Cell phone and headphones. And don’t forget a few business cards in case you meet someone on your hike. I’m all prepared for my morning exercise. It doesn’t take long to get ready because I’m in a routine of grabbing the same stuff day after day. I just wish there was a fanny pack that had a cup holder for my morning decaf too.

Now imagine climbing the highest peak on each continent. Or even better, traversing 600 miles across Antarctica to the South Pole -- on skis -- and lugging 150 pounds of gear on a sled that is harnessed to your waist.  Dear lord, not me. Numerous hours of preparation and countless months of training, if not more. But Alison Levine did just that, and I guarantee she was prepared. As if that wasn’t enough, Alison was also the team captain of the first American women’s Everest expedition. She received her MBA from Duke and she received the 2019 Ellis Island Medal of Honor. This honor is given to someone for their accomplishments in their field and service to our great Nation (one of the Nation’s most prestigious awards). And if you want to hear more of her amazing stories, you must attend the Appreciation Dinner at the NASGW Expo.

We expect a large crowd, so please purchase your tables and/or individual tickets now at:  You will not want to miss this exciting industry event which begins on Tuesday night, October 22, at 6:15pm with cocktails, dinner, and awards to follow.  (NOTE:  Tickets will not be sold at the door, so please purchase them in advance!)

Benjamin Franklin once said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail,” and that couldn’t be truer for the NASGW Expo. Success lies in the preparation! For exhibitors, that means reaching out to wholesalers far in advance to schedule a time to meet, having a strategy for networking and building relationships, and knowing how and when to follow up after the show. Just showing up is not enough. There are only so many buyers and if you want to get their attention, start early. We talk to a lot of manufacturers who say the NASGW Expo is the best show of the year for them. They are the ones who come in prepared, have meetings set, and get the most out of their time.

For wholesalers, we are preparing by making appointments in advance and we will be gathering data and reports in preparation for our meetings.  For all other attendees, they too do their homework in prep for the show.  It’s a busy one, and we all need to take full advantage of every minute of those few days we have together.

At its core, the NASGW Expo is an opportunity to build relationships. There is no better way to facilitate those relationships than in-person, face-to-face meetings in the setting that we have so carefully created.  No neon lights and Vegas show girls; save that for the SHOT Show. The  NASGW Expo is all about the distribution channel and how we can provide tremendous value to your company through service, sales, inventory, and credit. Where else can you have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with the handful of people who account for a large percentage (if not all) of your annual sales, with the flexibility to have meaningful conversations in a relaxed environment. That is the beauty of the NASGW Expo.

To help foster those relationships, we have a few opportunities that you will want to take advantage of:

  • The Annual Appreciation Dinner (that is a MUST!).
  • Happy Hours on Wednesday and Thursday afternoon (worth mentioning a second time). Rather than one networking event on Thursday evening, we are bringing the networking to the show floor with food and drink stations starting in the late afternoon. This is a great way to get people out of their booths to network and chat. Food and drink station sponsorships are available through Meg Pawelski if your company wants additional brand exposure.
  • New Exhibitor Passport Program. This program is designed to help our newer exhibitors connect with our wholesale partners in a fun and beneficial way.

As you can see, there is plenty for all of us to prepare for heading into October. And if you’re wondering why on earth I’d need a credit card for my hike – it’s now decaf iced latte time.

We look forward to seeing you all in Orlando!


Until next time,


Laurie Aronson
NASGW Chairwoman

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