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Sunset on San Diego: STAFDA’s 46th Annual Convention & Trade Show

Members of the Specialty Tools & Fasteners Distributors Association (STAFDA) sailed to a spectacular finish for the Association’s 46th Annual Convention & Trade Show, October 30-November 1, in San Diego. Nearly 2,800 attendees came aboard in the San Diego Convention Center to get the absolute most out of the three-day event featuring live demos, a buying show, networking, a student hiring event, and more. STAFDA’s two-day Trade Show was bustling with 438 booths, including four islands.

Educational Workshops Sunday provided a curriculum easily customized by attendees who could pick two topics to meet their interests. Subjects included “Building High Performance Remote & Hybrid Teams” (David Burkus); “The Bold Gold Standard” (Dr. Kevin Elko); “What was your Pandemic Pivot” (Ken Rutkowski); and “Ditch the Pitch: Influence Through Improvisation” (Steve Yastrow). That afternoon, STAFDA’s Online Marketing Consultant, Bob DeStefano, conducted a Targeted Workshop focused on “Online Marketing Moves in a Post-COVID World.”

Welcoming newcomers to the industry, the NextGen Networking Luncheon featured a buffet lunch and discussion for attendees under 35 years old.

Monday morning, STAFDA President, Allan Guthrie of DXP Enterprises, Omaha, NE, was suited up and ready to get the General Session rolling as he focused on the state of the distribution industry and the unique career paths people take to reach the STAFDA markets. Associate speaker Jude Nosek, Keson LLC, Aurora, IL, discussed the different suits people wear as they tackle running their companies – from marketing to sales to human resources. As you might expect, Bear Grylls’ keynote speech was riveting. The extreme British adventurer discussed the elements he considers essential for resilience and overcoming obstacles: failure, fear, fire, and faith.

Trade Show exhibitors kicked out all the stops bringing new products to demo, offering special STAFDA-only pricing, and meeting one-on-one with decision makers from distribution companies of all sizes. The Trade Show footprint was 10 percent larger than STAFDA’s 2021 Orlando Show, so attendees had more to see and experience. Within the exhibit hall, attendees could also visit the Tech & Consultants Pavilions.

Tuesday’s Economic Workshop featuring Alan Beaulieu tackled hot areas of concern including inflation, supply chain issues, and the possibility of an impending recession. To keep the STAFDA economy booming, the Trade Show then reopened for four and a half hours, giving exhibitors and distributors more time to work together to bolster business in the construction world.

STAFDA’s 47th Annual Convention & Trade Show will be November 5-7, 2023, in San Antonio. Registration opens June 26 at 8:00 a.m. (Central). You must be a member to attend.

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