AIA Set the Stage For Owners at Annual Convention
With summer over, Neenah, Wisconsin-based Adventures In Advertising (AIA) kicked off the second selling season with its 13th annual convention held at the Gaylord Opryland in Nashville, Tenn. Using the theme “The Stage is Set For You,” the two-and-a-half day event featured education workshops, business updates, a fashion show, an awards dinner, a supplier trade show and entertainment from comedian Buzz Sutherland.
More than 200 AIA owners and 150 supplier representatives attended the convention, an almost 10 percent increase when compared to 2007 numbers. “We surpassed attendance from all previous years we’ve had this event,” said Rebecca Kollmann, MAS, AIA director of marketing. “This is significant due to how the [economy] is affecting our industry and the overall business environment.”
The company believes education is the key to not only surviving but also thriving in the current sea of change. This year’s convention featured 21 hours of educational training in 14 workshops with topics such as online store solutions, 21st century apparel-decorating techniques, small-business management and adding incremental revenue with print solutions.
“In today’s market, knowledge is more important than ever,” said Nancy E. Hales, owner of AIA/The Hales Agency. “Knowledge impacts every component of what we do on a daily basis, from being competitive and developing effective marketing campaigns to understanding supplier lines and keeping up with technology. Success comes down to our knowledge and then applying what we know. We should never stop learning,” concluded Hales.
Education wasn’t limited to the classroom. Owners had five hours to spend with 150 supplier representatives during the exclusive supplier show to learn about the latest product introductions, case histories and sales techniques.
Recognition is also a significant facet of the annual convention. This year, 52 owners were honored in seven award categories from hitting the multimillion dollar sales mark to billing the largest dollar volume during the last calendar year. Additionally, 14 suppliers were recognized for being the best in their respective categories, and two staff members were honored for outstanding service to the owners.