Are You Getting the Most Out of Your Trade Association Meetings?

With the NAED show coming up in May and the ISA show coming up the first part of June, it got me to thinking about trade associations and how they try to get the distributors and manufacturers together so it’s a win-win for everyone.

Most associations are stuck doing things the way they have for years. I wonder if it’s because they’re afraid of change or don’t know how or why to try something different.

Two models that I think work well are the National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED) and the Industrial Supply Association (ISA). They both have tried different things that seem to be working.

naed_logoThe NAED for years now at their regional meetings have a dance card format that Manufacturers need to get on to get, I believe, 20 minutes with key folks from the distributors they want to talk to. Most manufacturers like this as they know who they’re going to see and can prepare accordingly.

iSA logo

The ISA, a few years back, initiated the FastMatch program in which the manufacturers are in the booth, but set up their dance card with the distributors they want to see. They like to have 20 minute intervals in which to have one-on-one meetings. This year, they are trying, “Take an exhibitor to lunch,” in which the distributors set up a lunch in the hall and invite select manufacturers to lunch. I’ll be curious to see how that works out.

I guess the point I’m trying to make is these associations are trying different things to bring more value to the table.

I’ve put together a quick poll to see what your thoughts are on this. Please take a minute to take and see the results.

For those going to San Diego, I’ll see you there.

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  1. Joseph Thompson

    NAHAD – The Association for Hose & Accessories Distribution, has had great success over the past 29 years in building stronger and more valued relations between distributors and manufacturers. The association strives to innovate continuously, creating new services and benefits for members that help them to strengthen their relationships with end-users. The NAHAD Hose Safety Institute is a great example of this, delivering the latest information on hose assembly safety, quality and reliability to the various industrial markets served by its members. More at and at

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