Guest Column: 2013 NAHAD Convention Readies Members For Success

This article first appeared in Industrial Distribution's March/April issue. To view it, click here.

The 2013 event will be held April 20 – 24 at the Gaylord National Harbor Resort near Washington, DC.

Since 1985, the Annual Convention of NAHAD (The Association for Hose & Accessories Distribution) has served as the premier industry event, worldwide, for hose and fittings distributors and suppliers to connect, learn, and conduct business while building powerful professional and personal relationships. Even in this age of social media and e-everything, the importance and value of maintaining face-to-face relationships among trading partners is more critical than ever, and NAHAD serves that role exceptionally well.

The NAHAD Convention has always provided an excellent opportunity for hose manufacturers and distributors to come together over three days to conduct serious business and nurture valuable networking relationships that directly benefit their businesses in the coming year. The combination of top-notch educational and business sessions and presentations, coupled with the Showcase of Hose Solutions exhibit program, as well as great opportunities for socializing and business networking, has always been a hallmark of the NAHAD annual event. This year’s program will be no exception. The 2012 Convention met last April in Las Vegas, breaking a record for highest attendance in its 28-year history. Final attendance figures totaled over 1,000.

As NAHAD President, Don Fritzinger of the industrial distributor RW Connection, Inc. stated, “The NAHAD Annual Convention presents a forum for the top management of our large vendor community to meet with the owners and management of our distributor membership in a relaxed environment, away from the pressures of our offices, to maintain and grow business and personal relationships. Many vendor members use our Showcase of Hose Solutions exhibit program as the launching pad for new product announcements, including the latest in new hose and fitting constructions and styles, as well as the latest in hose assembly, tagging, and testing equipment in our evolving marketplace. The vendors meet the decision makers within the distributor network to influence their trade purchases as well as their capital spend.”

The Showcase event has expanded over the past few years, now encompassing over 140 exhibit booths for the nearly full day program. Many suppliers use the event to introduce new offerings, while also making private appointments with distributors to initiate or expand business opportunities.

Educational sessions this year include the popular University of Industrial Distribution-in-a-Day programs, with three experts offering two different half-day presentations. Sessions will be led by HR expert Nancye Combs, sales guru Don Buttrey, and inventory and warehouse specialist Jason Bader. Keynote sessions will include Eaton Economist Jim Meil, author and consultant Brent Grover, and National Association of Wholesale-Distributors Fellow Michael Marks. Andrew Card, former Chief of Staff to President George W. Bush, will highlight the members’ luncheon on April 21. Convention attendees will earn nine continuing education credits toward their complimentary Certificate in Industrial Distribution from Purdue University.

Attendees also connect with the latest information available from NAHAD’s Hose Safety Institute, encompassing the association’s Hose Assembly Guidelines, online exams, and marketing resources. Members of the Institute Advisory Council, comprised of expert end-users, safety directors, and agency leaders will also be on-hand to offer insights for Institute members to explore new markets and business opportunities.

And the highlight of every NAHAD Convention is the presentation of the George Carver Award for Industry Excellence. This year, the award will be presented to Richard L. Goodall, CEO of Dixon Valve & Coupling Company, headquartered in Chestertown, MD. Goodall will be recognized for his long-standing commitment to the industry and his support of NAHAD since its inception in 1984.

Joseph Thompson is the executive vice president of NAHAD. Complete details on the 2013 NAHAD convention are available at or by calling 1-800-624-2227.