The Vacuum Dealers Trade Association (VDTA) and the Sewing Dealers Trade Association’s (SDTA) 2015 International Trade Show wrapped up yesterday, Tuesday February 10, at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Austin Air sent representatives Michael Domon (VP of Sales) and Monica Headd (Lead Account Representative /Government Liaison) to the front lines of this annual trade show and convention. As members of the VDTA-SDTA, we are proud to be a part of this yearly conference of independent dealers from both of these industries, where we are always pleased to learn new things and see so many of Austin Air’s dealers.
The VDTA and the SDTA are associations dedicated to supporting independent vacuum cleaner, sewing machine/quilting supply retailers and other member of those industries around the world. The two associations exist to educate and promote independent dealers of home cleaning and sewing equipment in order to increase their market share. They promote programs designed to enable the industry to be more competitive, and improve the trade as a whole. The association provides avenues to increase communication, service, and sales for all of their members. The association provides the latest information on products and services, sales and marketing trends, training techniques, and support through monthly publications and yearly conventions. The VDTA and SDTA are the independent dealers’ voice in the home cleaning and sewing industries. Independent dealers are those retailers that are the opposite of big box stores, the mom and pop shops or small chains – dedicated to providing their customers with service in a way that super retailers can’t. The association’s history dates back to 1981, when it was founded by J.R. “Dick” Beall and Charles M. Dunham.
With 14,000 independent dealers in the United States alone, members of both organizations come from a variety of backgrounds along the supply chain, meaning wholesalers and manufacturers (like Austin Air) in addition to the many dealers who join. Members receive education related to changes and progress in the industry, and learning new ways to meet daily challenges. By joining together, dealers have the opportunity to share secrets of the trade, and can better accomplish their own goals. If you’d like to learn more about the specific benefits of becoming a member of the VDTA, you can navigate to the membership information page on the VDTA website.
The 2015 VDTA-SDTA trade show was great for Austin Air’s visibility, as our machines were on display at the trade show thanks to two of our distributors (ESSCO of Twinsburg OH and Steel City Vacuum of Pittsburgh, PA) who graciously invited us to join them in their booths. Not only did Mike and Monica spend their time speaking with other VDTA/SDTA vendors, they had the pleasure of meeting with the many representatives from our dealer network who are also members. It was especially nice to meet face to face with our dealers located on the West Coast whom we don’t get to see too often, being that we’re based in Buffalo.
Here is picture Michael took for us from this year’s convention…
The show began this past Sunday, February 8th and wrapped up midday Tuesday, February 10th. During the show, many association-sponsored programs and services were made available to independent dealer members to improve their business using the code of ethics, member standards, special programs, and sales tools. Some of the events at the 2015 Trade Show included:
- a keynote speech by Barry Maher (“the best sales trainer in the business”)
- over 524 exhibit booths including over 44 new exhibitors
- over 87 classes/workshops led by a variety of members
- daily stage demonstrations and trainings led by the industry’s finest experts?
- a model store of the future, helping to advise retailers how set up or remodel their own stores (see image below)
- the opportunity to rub elbows with countless other members and attendees
- bag giveaways and raffles at every turn
- the 10th Annual Dealer Town Hall Meetings (one for each association)
- New Product Showcase featuring over 35 new products and a contest for best new product
Next year’s event is scheduled to take place January 28th – January 30th, 2016 and once again will be taking place in Las Vegas. We look forward to meeting with our dealers again at next year’s show, but for now we’ll wish them success in the year ahead. If you’re interested in learning more about Austin Air’s medical grade air purifiers or if you’d like to become a dealer of our machines – send us an email at email@example.com.