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Archive for December 11th, 2011

EDPA Access 2011 Review: Word on the Street — Dec. 5th thru Dec. 9th

December 11th, 2011 1 COMMENT
EDPA Access 2011

Word on the Street by Kevin Carty

EDPA Access Review

Success! The one word that describes EDPA Access this year!

This year’s event was set at the beautiful J.W. Las Vegas Marriott Resort and Spa. It not only provided a beautiful setting, but also a nice venue for the Supplier Showcase, the networking events, and the conference sessions.

Kudos to everyone responsible for pulling the event together.

Day One started with the golf outing and the fishing event. While I did not participate in the fishing event, I heard it was very successful and that Lake Mead was beautiful. I did, however, participate in the golf outing and the TPC Las Vegas was quite the golf course. And congrats to Chris Clark playing in the group behind me. He hit a hole in one! Stealing away any chance for my “Closest to the Pin” prize. 🙂

Later that evening I had to leave the event, heading home early for the 5th birthday of my beautiful twins, but Mel, Reid, and Jim stayed to take in the rest of the event. And from their accounts and the accounts of countless others, it was the best EDPA Access ever.

Highlights included the Speed Networking Event. A cool idea in which, like speed dating, you get two minutes with another attendee to get to know one another and learn about their business. Several sessions focused on doing business with Chinese companies both in America and in Asia . Many attendees found these sessions very insightful with the growing trend of Chinese companies participating in shows in the States. At the Silent Auction benefiting the EDPA Foundation, I heard from organizers that they raised much more than they had expected. Thanks to all of you who helped out and donated. Overall education still remains the primary focus of the Access event and this year the curriculum as a whole was by far the best in recent history.

EDPA Access 2011Just to mention a few of the sessions:

  • Management Issues Forum
  • Building and Maintaining Your Sales Pipeline
  • Social Media 201
  • A Dozen Technologies to Bet On
  • Designing and Installing Retail Experiences
  • Global Design Trends to Bet On

There was a terrific session moderated by Jay Burkette about “New Systems and the Hybrid Trend” which generated a lot of conversations about hybrid trends, the definition of “hybrid,” and whether aluminum extrusion is a fad or a long-term fixture in our industry.

Networking is always a big focus at EDPA Access. In addition to the golf and fishing outings, networking events included:

  • First-timer’s Reception
  • Welcome Reception
  • President’s Gala
  • Poolside Reception
  • Breakfast Roundtables

The only criticism I heard was that  the venue was too far from the Vegas Strip. And to that all I can say is . . . That’s the point!

On Tuesday afternoon, I attended the EDPA Board meeting. As a proud member of the board, I really appreciated the time we spent together reviewing what I can only say is a very healthy industry on a really positive growth pattern. Building quality partnerships with other associations both here in the States and in Europe and Asia to broaden the reach and depth of the EDPA and its members.

Thanks to all the Classic and ClassicMODUL distributors who came to this year’s event. I hope and trust that you found the event educational and beneficial for you and your organizations. You represent a very important and growing segment of the EDPA membership. Please share your experience with others who have been on the fence as it relates to attending this annual event.

Mark your calendars for next year. The meeting will be held in Palm Springs, CA at the Renaissance Resort and Spa the week after Thanksgiving. And it is sure to  even better than this year’s event.

Thanks again to Jeff Provost, Kelly Cingari, and Anna Lawler to name a few for all the hard work they put in to making the event a huge success!

If you attended, please share your thoughts of the event.

Be Well.

–Kevin Carty