AIA Wraps First-Ever Virtual National Sales Meeting
Canceling was never an option. Instead, more than 250 members of the AIA community went online and got up-close and virtual at the AIA 2020 National Sales Meeting. Themed “2020 Reimagined,” the virtual event brought together AIA owners, employees and MVP suppliers for four days of collaborative, peer-to-peer conversations and learning.
The packed agenda included inspirational keynotes and educational training sessions aimed at helping AIA owners reignite their brands, elevate customer relationships, leverage company stores to maximize sales and learn about trends that have emerged since the pandemic.
In her opening keynote, AIA CEO Nancy Schmidt acknowledged that there’s no greater moment to unite than now.
“We’ve weathered hard times before, and as a community we’re stronger and better for it,” she said. “Now it’s time to reimagine how we successfully move forward.”
Paul Bellantone, president and CEO of PPAI,; and Jonathan Isaacson, CEO of Gemline, underscored this sentiment during the “Present and Future of Promo” panel, and spoke to the importance of building relationships that go beyond procurement, and discovering opportunities to solve new problems by listening and adjusting solutions to create value and build ROI.
While owners were physically distanced, the camaraderie and strength of the community could still be felt as they took time to learn and re-energize.
“This meeting provided me with so many new ideas and a more positive outlook for our industry in this trying time,” said Yvonne Morrison, managing partner of MVP Video & Promotions.
“The entire meeting was conceived and delivered so well,” said Paula Perilli, owner of P3 Perilli Promotional Products. “I left with new inspiration for engaging with my customers now and as we look toward the holiday season.”
To close out the meeting, AIA celebrated 2019’s successes with their annual awards ceremony recognizing owners and suppliers who exemplify AIA’s core values. Recipients of this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award, which honors former AIA CEO David Woods and recognizes individuals who show passion, leadership and commitment to the AIA community included:
- Bob Simmons, NDS
- Maria Perez, Effective Promos
- Mindy Moss, Moss Marketing
- Larry Schendelman, A&J Graphics & Promotions
- Joy Smith, Joy of Advertising
In addition to embodying AIA’s ore values, more than 60 owners also received the following awards for achieving sales milestones, including:
AIA Hall of Fame Award - Recognizes individuals who have been a part of AIA for 15 or more years. Through their exceptional work and achievements, they have made a significant contribution to the promotional products industry and a profound difference living through AIA’s core values.
Multimillion Dollar Summit Award - Recognizes owners who billed more than $2 million in the past calendar year.
Million Dollar Circle of Excellence - Recognizes owners who billed between $1-1,999,999 million in the past calendar year.
Newcomer of the Year Award - Recognizes an AIA newcomer who has shown outstanding integration of the AIA core values.
Heavy Hitter Award - Recognizes the salesperson who had the largest dollar volume of sales in 2019.
Velocity Award - Recognizes the top three fastest-growing owners, represented by at least 20 percent year-over-year growth.
“Execration” Award - Recognizes the top three owners who increased their sales by 10-19 percent year-over-year.
Momentum Award - Recognizes the top three owners who have increased sales by 5-9 percent over the previous year.
AIA recognized MVP suppliers with awards to celebrate the largest dollar or percentage growth from 2018 to 2019 within each MVP level. Additionally, Peerless Umbrella received the Workplace Engagement Award for fully embracing and utilizing AIA’s business collaboration platform with product suggestions and insights to help all AIA owners. AIA recognizes suppliers are part of the pillar of success in navigating the promotional products industry, and is proud to celebrate this year’s winners:
Platinum Supplier Awards
- Largest year-over-year percentage growth: WOW Line
- Largest year-over-year dollar growth - PCNA
Gold Supplier Awards
- Largest year-over-year percentage growth - The Hershey Group, Custom Importers
- Largest year-over-year dollar growth - Fields Manufacturing
Silver Supplier Awards
- Largest year-over-year percentage growth - Midnite Snax
Largest year-over-year dollar growth - Midnite Snax
For more information on AIA, visit www.aiacommunity.com.