Tomorrow I will be heading to Marco Island FL for the 2010 Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association (MHEDA) Convention. As some of you may know I am on the Board of Directors for MHEDA and quite involved in association functions especially educational workshops, seminars and webinars. I am honored to be on MHEDA’s Education Committee helping to plan our educational calendar every year. This year’s convention looks to be a great educational opportunity for all attendees.
Every year I speak with members about the convention and if they will be attending. I receive quite a varied response. The member companies that have attended in the past usually always attend in one form or another. The economy is usually the barometer for the number of people from each company attending. New members aren’t quite sure what they will get out of it but when explained quickly see the value.
The one response I get that always disturbs me is, “That’s just a vacation for the dealer principal. We aren’t allowed to go.” I think maybe a half century ago that might have been closer to the truth but today it is different. Today the MHEDA convention is not just a golf vacation on the company. It’s a concentrated networking and educational function that just happens to be in nice places (let’s face it, who would go if it was in Minneapolis?).
We have many educational programs lined up that are geared toward sales, marketing, accounting, operations etc. The convention also provides a venue where you can network face to face with your industry peers. In many cases they have the same issues you do and may have found a solution to some of them.
I’m excited to get to the seminars and help my company move forward. In addition to economic forecasting and sales seminars I intend to sit in on the Strategic Planning seminar and the Profitability Improvement seminar.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m sure there is a little fun to be had in Marco Island FL. MHEDA offers several recreational opportunities as well such as golf, sailing and shelling. The opening and closing parties are also very well planned out and always a blast.
My point is; the focus of the convention has evolved over the last 59 years. Our views of the convention should evolve also. The MHEDA convention is a valuable educational and networking function for all areas of your company not just the top level.