Nearly 1,800 delegates, prospective members and guests attended the recently completed annual ISA Convention in Cleveland.
Overall attendance jumped by 12.6 percent percent compared to 2014, with larger numbers of attendees in every membership category.
Distributor attendance improved by 6.7 percent compared to 2014, supplier attendance increased by 8.2 percent and attendance among industrial manufacturer’s representatives surged by 115 percent. The increase in attendance demonstrates that association members have responded positively to changes to the convention format ̶ such as providing greater access to distributors, and improving the professional development offerings ̶ according to ISA chairman Tommy Thompson, executive vice president of Turner Supply Company in Mobile, AL.
“The recent inclusion of the Distributor/IMR Day continues to resonate well with our suppliers, and there was a lot of buzz on the floor about the increased activity and opportunities to meet new distributors and suppliers,” he said.
Convention delegates agreed that the event provided ample opportunities to network with channel partners, uncover new business opportunities and pick up ideas for improving their personal and company performance.
“The show was very productive. I thought the committee did a great job maximizing all that Cleveland had to offer,” said Ryan Esposito, vice president, metalworking product management, for MSC Industrial Supply, Davidson, NC.
“It was a great show,” said Carl Persson, client partner for Codifyd, Cleveland, OH. “I am having good follow up calls with many distributors and suppliers. Thanks for the great event, location, and the Rock Hall closer!”
“Chicago Pneumatic and I have been part of ISA for many years. This year the show was excellent,” said John Scardino, business line manager for Chicago Pneumatic Tool Company in Rock Hill, S.C. “Myself and my management team had some of the best interaction with customers in a long time. Look forward to next year’s show and many more to follow.”
“I thought it was one of the better meetings; hotels were close to the convention, the format was well done. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was a blast and the food was exceptional. Very well done,” said Dave Weitzel, Tucker-Weitzel & Associates, Seattle, WA.
Suppliers exhibiting during Supplier Booth Day increased by 7 percent compared to last year, providing delegates with multiple opportunities for meeting with existing and new suppliers.
“Face-to-face business meetings generate opportunities for all of us to grow our business while building on and creating new relationships,” said Thompson.
Thompson added that the professional development sessions planned by the ISA Education Foundation were well received by convention attendees.
“Our future as an industry depends on each of us leading the next generation. This will require us mentoring them while providing leadership and education training opportunities. ISA should be the destination place for all of us, including our next generation of business leaders and managers,” he said.
The convention was the first held by ISA under the direction of new president and CEO Jeff Hughes. He appreciated the opportunity to meet many association members in person.
“With my first ISA Convention under my belt, I am reaffirmed that this is a great industry because of the great people in it," said Jeff Hughes, ISA president and CEO. “The Convention demonstrates how, at ISA, companies of all types can collaborate and enjoy one another's point of view and social conversations. This experience was powerful proof that ISA members enjoy and welcome the opportunity to participate in the community of their association.”
Association volunteer leaders and staff are working on preliminary plans for the 2016 convention, scheduled for April 16-19 in Rosemont, IL.