The calendar reads March and that means the seasons are changing. Of course we know that Spring is right around the corner. But more importantly for GAWDA members, Regional Meeting Season is upon us. The season stretches from early Spring to late Autumn. A quick check of the GAWDA calendar shows that nine meetings have already been scheduled.
Regional meetings are a vital part of GAWDA membership. They nurture the symbiotic relationship between member and association. The meetings are better when you attend, and you get more out of GAWDA by attending a regional meeting.
At the meeting, you have the opportunity to visit with distributors in your area and hear what is working for them and share ideas for tackling common challenges. You get to put a face with a supplier who is in your area and is eager to help you grow your business. And GAWDA provides an update on the latest benefits provided to its members and issues that are important to our industry.
This year, the Birmingham-Dixie regional meeting is first on the docket. We kick off our event with an evening dinner and cocktail reception Sunday night. On Monday we start with breakfast and an update from GAWDA. We then have three great speakers who will deliver “take-home value.” We will hear from a Morgan Stanley analyst for an economic update, an industry executive on the state of consolidation and a university professor who is training the next generation of industrial distributors. We will wrap up the meeting with a tournament on Birmingham’s finest golf course to determine the region’s best sand baggers.
Since 2008, I’ve attended regional meetings in Hattiesburg, Mobile, Fort Myers, Biloxi, Houston and Birmingham. Each meeting is unique in its content. But all have in common the rich camaraderie of industry friends and partners convening to make this industry better. So do yourself a favor, make GAWDA better, find a regional meeting near you and make plans to attend.
|Guest Blogger James Cain is vice president of Atlas Welding Supply in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He is chair of the Birmingham, Alabama, GAWDA Regional Meeting.|