July 14, 2023
I recently had the opportunity to attend the 2023 National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED) Adventure Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah. The conference was packed with excellent opportunities to learn from industry experts, network with other professionals, and find new business opportunities. I was inspired by the keynote speakers, who shared their insights on the future of the electrical industry. I also enjoyed the networking opportunities, which allowed me to connect with people from all over the country. The conference was an adventure of learning, growth, and inspiration.
Wednesday, June 14
The conference kicked off with the Adventure Happy Hour. This was the perfect opportunity to mingle with fellow attendees, connect with industry experts, and build valuable relationships. Later that evening a joint Keynote and dinner with Women In Industry took place. This session featured inspiring speeches and engaging discussions, highlighting the significant contributions of women in the electrical and industrial sectors. It was an evening dedicated to celebrating diversity and promoting inclusivity in the industry.
Thursday, June 15
As an NAED preferred provider, Infor sponsored the keynote address, and I was honored to introduce the entertaining and informative speaker Brian Carter. Brian is a Bestselling Author and Chief Growth Officer at Gerson & Associates. In his keynote address, he shared his insights on how to grow your business. His 21 secrets of B2B marketing were very informative and insightful. He emphasized the importance of customer-centricity and of using data to drive decision-making using tools like Infor’s CRM.
Following the keynote address, we attended the General session workshop "Harnessing Marketing for Unmatched Distinction." Guided by Andrea Belk Olson, a distinguished TEDx speaker and consultant, the workshop delved into the art of crafting a marketing approach that distinguishes you from competitors. Olson stressed the importance of understanding your target audience and formulating a unique value proposition. She concluded by emphasizing the effectiveness of customer-centric marketing strategies and imparted insights on positioning your brand for success by identifying and fulfilling unmet customer needs.
After lunch, our adventure continued with the "Proving Value to the C-Suite" session. Esteemed speakers Joanne Moss, Narissa Grufferman, and Lindsey Watts shared valuable strategies for effectively demonstrating the impact of marketing efforts and linking them to sales achievements. During this session, we gained knowledge on presenting the value of marketing initiatives to top-level executives who may only sometimes grasp the inner workings of marketing. The speakers emphasized the significance of setting SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time bound) to showcase the effectiveness of marketing investments and positioning marketing as a revenue-generating function rather than a mere cost center.
In the afternoon, attendees choose from two intriguing sessions. The first session, "Boosting Sales through Marketing Automation: Nurturing your Customers and Driving Leads through LinkedIn Automation and Cold Email," was presented by Mike Mayer, CEO of Main Event Digital. Mike discussed the best practices for automating your marketing strategies and discovering how to measure campaign success through key performance indicators (KPIs). Bob DeStefano, President & CEO of SVM E-Marketing Solutions, presented the second session. In his session, "Old Dog, New Clicks: How to Transform Your Marketing to Thrive Online," Bob explored the importance of online marketing strategies in the digital age and learned how to transition your marketing efforts to the online realm successfully. I was genuinely inspired by the fantastic marketing campaigns these outstanding professionals showcased.
After an exciting day filled with knowledge and connections, it was to relax and engage with fellow participants at the Happy Hour Networking Event. This was a chance to form new connections, exchange ideas, and establish enduring relationships in a laid-back and enjoyable environment. The evening was concluded on a high note with the Social Crawl from 6:30 PM to very late! It was an incredible opportunity to experience the local scene and continue networking with fellow conference attendees. We explored several of Salt Lake City’s best pubs and were entertained by some fun karaoke.
Friday, June 16
The conference’s final day began with a presentation by Mark McGready, Data Insights Advisor at NAED, on "Customer & Product Profiles." Attendees gained valuable insights into data-driven customer profiling and how it can empower their marketing strategies and drive growth.
The Adventure Committee members lead Industry Roundtables the rest of the morning. The discussions focused on Digital Marketing, CRM & Marketing Automation, Customer Events, Co-Op/MDF Funds, and Product Launch & Promotion. The teams deeply explored these industry-specific topics and gained practical insights to enhance their business strategies.
Key insights gathered from the conference
- Emphasizing customer-centricity and leveraging data-driven decision-making. This involves placing the customer at the core of our operations and utilizing data to gain insights into their needs and preferences.
- Developing distinctive value propositions for our businesses, enabling us to stand out from competitors in ways that truly matter to our customers.
- Staying abreast of the latest industry trends through active participation in industry events, keeping up with industry publications, and networking with fellow professionals in the field.
- Prioritizing networking with other industry professionals, including electrical distributors, manufacturers, and suppliers, to establish valuable connections and foster collaborative relationships.
- Ensuring our technology infrastructure is equipped to utilize data effectively. Transitioning to cloud-based solutions represents a crucial initial step in leveraging the power of artificial intelligence and machine learning tools.
- Additionally, we gained insights into the significance of CRM software for electrical distributors. Implementing CRM software can enhance efficiency and profitability by effectively managing customer relationships.
If you are an electrical distributor, it is worthwhile to consider investing in CRM and ERP software. Click here to learn more! These technologies have the potential to elevate your business to new heights. See you at next year’s event!