AIA Hosts Multigenerational GenNext Summit
Last week, Neenah, Wisconsin-based AIA hosted its first GenNext Summit for its influential affiliates, providing the opportunity to familiarize them with AIA’s National Support Center to understand their needs and to share their visions for the future.
The event was the brainchild of AIA's field sales director Greg Armstrong. He recognized an opportunity to proactively engage the next generation of affiliates with the AIA community.
“We recognize that we have Gen X and Gen Y affiliates in our AIA community who represent our future," Armstrong said. "It is critical that we align our vision and strategies with their needs. This event intended to generate great synergy, help forge stronger bonds and begin developing collaborative growth plans.”
AIA brought in 11 members from its affiliate community. Most were the children of long-time AIA distributors, along with three representatives from sponsoring supplier companies: Marc Held with Bodek & Rhodes, Philadelphia; Aaron Gunderson of The Magnet Group, Washington, Mo.; and Brittany David with SnugZ USA, West Jordan, Utah. All three had the opportunity to openly discuss the changing market and share sales techniques designed to capture the interest of influential buyers.
"The GenNext meeting allowed for a great opportunity to connect with some of the younger—yet savvy—minds of AIA," David said. "Hearing about their concerns and challenges, what is top-of-mind when they are doing business and how they foresee growth within their own businesses was definitely a voice of a different generation. They shed light on some of the issues they face and provided a different perspective that was beneficial to everyone who attended. It was nice to see AIA take the initiative to tap into a representative sampling of this millennial audience to figure out how to best work on key issues together to ensure our efforts are in alignment with their needs."
The open forum discussions also included many AIA employees and department leaders, who all had the opportunity to discuss future goals and to strategize improvements for growth.
“It’s wonderful coming here and piecing it all together … not just putting faces to the voices, but learning the inner workings of AIA and understanding how the moving parts come together to help my business thrive,” said Seth Cysewski of Seattle-based Kreativo, one of the newest affiliates with AIA.
AIA sandwiched the day of collaboration with networking events, starting with a competitive evening at a shooting range, and concluded with an elegant dinner and a night on the town.
For more information on AIA, visit www.aiacommunity.com.