The North American Association of Floor Covering Distributors (NAFCD) and North American Building Material Distribution Association (NBMDA) recently brought together 940 distribution professionals throughout the floor covering, specialty building material, cabinetry and woodworking industries to network, engage, learn and grow their businesses.

The event took place at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago, where attendees participated in an increased number of education sessions covering more topics than ever before: economic trends, technology-driven marketing, demographics, freight and logistics, employee retention and developing successful sales professionals.

The 2016 Distribution Management University (DMU), held in conjunction with the annual convention, was an interactive workshop where distribution managers learned proven techniques and tools to build relationships and enhance their personal brand.

Attendees were able to take advantage of many new enhancements to the NAFCD + NBMDA Annual Convention. The new partner pavilion featured seven experts who are top in their field and provided attendees with valuable ideas, insights and best practices in their individual areas of expertise. Attendees were able to participate in complementary one-on-one fifteen minute consultations in the pavilion over two days of the event. The consultations covered the following topics: economic resources and forecasting; marketing strategy and digital content; attracting entry level personnel and managing millennials; transportation and freight management; family business management; human resource management; and social media best practices.

NAFCD and NBMDA developed a matching program for first-time exhibitors. They facilitated connections for new exhibitors with a number of their top distributor targets. This program improved first-time exhibitors’ introduction to the association and event.

Panel discussions were introduced in the 2016 program, offering peers insights at an enriched level with questions lead by the panel moderator as well as an open Q&A.

Finally, the event boosted a new level of multimedia featuring video vignettes throughout the convention providing exposure to valuable NAFCD and NBMDA member benefits.

“Enhancements to this year’s event not only improved the attendee experience, education and networking, but it contributed to the overall success of the event,” said Kevin Gammonley, NAFCD and NBMDA's executive vice president. “We received positive feedback and, as always, are excited to help attendees expand their network and grow their business here are the annual convention.”

The 2017 NAFCD + NBMDA Annual Convention event will take place Nov. 14 through 16, at The Broadmoor, in Colorado Springs, Colo.

For more information, visit nafcd.org.