By Steven Feldman
Orlando, Fla.—When the North American Association of Floor Covering Distributors (NAFCD) held its annual convention here two weeks ago, attendees witnessed one noticeable change: The Distributor Marketplace—in essence a mini trade show—had been reborn as the Executive Net-working Forum, designed to facilitate more strategic networking opportunities between distributors and industry suppliers.
The change stemmed from NAFCD’s extensive member research survey, which suggested members were looking for “something different,” according to David Williams, vice president of Horizon Forest Products and NAFCD’s outgoing president. The Distributor Marketplace was more of a traditional trade show format, and though members enjoyed the interaction with suppliers, most were not there to purchase anything. “However, they liked the networking part, especially when there was an opportunity to talk to high-level executives.”
Hence, the marketplace was transformed into the Executive Networking Forum. The idea was to take products out of the booth and replace them with tables and chairs to encourage upper-level manufacturer and distributor interaction. Overall, the forum was a success. But some with whom FCNews spoke looked at the forum as a work in progress. Continue reading NAFCD: Networking takes center stage as event evolves