AD Shifts 2 March Meetings to Virtual Format Amid Virus

It's the latest convention/networking event adjustment in the industrial supply sector amid precautions against the spreading coronavirus in the US.

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Editor's Note: This news item's headline originally and incorrectly stated AD's April meetings were the ones being shifted to a virtual format, when it is in fact the March meetings. ID apologizes for the error and any confusion it may have caused.

AD (Affiliated Distributors) announced Tuesday that it will be shifting its Industrial and Safety - US (ISD US) and PHCP spring network meetings — both scheduled for this month — to a virtual format after weighing the potential impacts of the new coronavirus on its members and supplier partners.

“We respect our attendees’ roles as leaders in their local businesses, homes and communities,” AD CEO Bill Weisberg said. “We recognize that good leaders need and want to lead from the front lines. As such, and although we know that our members and supplier partners place great value on AD meetings and networks, we believe that it’s more appropriate this year to enable them to stay close to home and focus on operations and business continuity efforts for employees and customers, as well as their families and communities.”  

AD said arrangements are being made for the virtual format, where ISD-US and PHCP will be conducting member business meetings, hosting Q&A sessions and facilitating conference calls for network sessions. 

Decisions are being tabled for AD’s Electrical and Gypsum Supply meetings, slated for later in April. As AD has done with ISD-US and PHCP, a cross-functional team will closely monitor the situation and make a decision later this month. 

“We look forward to delivering some great virtual sessions with our ISD-U.S. and PHCP participants over the next two weeks,” Weisberg said.

The announcement comes less than a week after MRO products distribution giant Grainger announced the cancellation of its annual Grainger Show, which was scheduled for March 15-17 in Atlanta. Fastenal has also cancelled its annual customer expo that was to be April 14-16 in Aurora, CO. The Industrial Supply Association and National Association for Hose Accessories and Distribution each gave updates regarding their upcoming April conventions, saying both are still proceeding as scheduled — with ISA April 20-22 in Atlanta and NAHAD April 24-29 in The Bahamas. On Monday night, ISA emailed group members a letter from president & CEO Ed Gerber reassuring potential attendees that their convention will be a well-attended event.

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