President's Message: Bring Your A-Game

Posted by Kenyon Gleason on 6/14/21 1:59 PM

Kenyon Gleason, NASGW President

I played a lot of baseball when I was a kid. When we weren’t on the actual ball diamond, you could often find me and my brothers in the backyard playing whiffle ball. We had the diamond laid out so that if you were able to hit the ball over the house to right or center field, you were pretty much guaranteed a homerun and an easy trip around the bases.

That is unless you got extra “cocky” and took your time strutting and showing off your baseball prowess, bragging about your power swing. Meanwhile, one of my very determined brothers would hustle to get the ball, then sneak back around the corner of the house and make a beeline for home plate. If you were too busy showing off, they’d get to home just ahead of you and tag you out.

It wasn’t often that this happened, because after a few of these humble pie experiences, you’d get a bit smarter, but occasionally, and particularly with my older brother Jeff, he would put on the afterburners and make the tag just in time. Then he’d mock you and exclaim… “You’ve got to bring your A-Game if you want to beat me.” Honestly, he deserved to gloat.

I know, “Bring Your A-Game” is a bit of an overused cliché, but it’s also a good one because everyone knows what it means.

For attendees of this year’s 2021 NASGW Expo, it’s time to start thinking about your game plan and start thinking about how you can bring your A-game and get the most out of this year’s show.

I have received several calls from manufacturers who are already working to set appointments with distributors. If you are coming to the show, and you haven’t started calling to book appointments, well, it’s time to do so.

We’ve also started to see an influx of companies trying to reserve some of our remaining space, which is dwindling fast. Given that everyone has been home for over a year, the interest in the show is high, so I do expect we’ll sell it out. We’ve also started to see an uptick on hotel reservations so if you plan to stay at the headquarters hotel, you’ll need to get that booked soon.

If you’re reading this and you’re a distributor member, I’d like to also encourage you to step up your game this year as well, so please bring some extra team members to help with the increased demand for meetings. The demand for in-person interaction is high so even if your team members don’t stay the entire week, please bring them in for a day or two to help out with overflow meetings.

We’ll have a number of new exhibitors and members seeking meetings with distributors so please do all you can to schedule a meeting and take the time to get to know them and introduce them to the world of 2-step distribution.

A special note to our manufacturing representative attendees – we’ve adjusted the way we handle on-floor access. This year you’ll be able to get a special badge that allows you access to the show floor on Tuesday to do those training meetings with your manufacturer partners. Because there may still be a good bit of setup going on, please use caution.

One final note to everyone in attendance. Make sure you aren’t leaving before the show officially closes on Friday. Friday morning is when many distributors start to free up their meeting schedules and spend a lot of time walking the floor.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard stories of encounters that make a company’s entire sales year that happened on Friday morning, sometimes just by chance. That’s what’s so great about the Expo… you never know whom you’re going to meet, and you never know how far it’s going to take you.

The excitement is mounting for our return to normal at this year’s NASGW Expo in Columbus, Ohio. We’ve visited the city and I can promise you there’s plenty of things to do and places to see when you’re not busy on the show floor. Please check our Expo website for a list of great places to eat and gather with friends while you’re in town.

We look forward to seeing you in October. Have a great summer and get those A-Game plans in place.

Until next time,

Kenyon Gleason
NASGW President

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