The American Supply Association’s resurgence has been on full display in recent years with record-breaking crowds at its annual NetworkASA event.

How does ASA plan to keep the momentum rolling at NetworkASA 2014 Sept. 9-11 at the Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas?

The plan is simple — by keeping its foot firmly on the gas pedal.

NetworkASA 2014 is once again loaded with educational and networking opportunities throughout the three-day event. NetworkASA attendance has doubled over the last four years, ASA officials say, and another record-breaking turnout is expected for the show’s return to Las Vegas.

“We’ve established programming that people can’t get anywhere else,” ASA Executive Vice President Mike Adelizzi says. “Our goal with NetworkASA is to exceed expectations and continue to build curiosity moving forward. The word is out. NetworkASA has become the place to be. People have heard good things and the curiosity factor is stronger. More people are saying, ‘Yes, I will be there.’ This is the result of multiple years of hard work, developing good programming and providing a good experience that gets bigger and better every year.”


Educate and network

Convention goers will notice a greater amount of educational sessions at NetworkASA 2014. In fact, ASA has doubled the amount of educational programming at this year’s convention.

One of the show’s most well-attended events is the industry forecast provided by ITR Economics’ Alan Beaulieu. Last year’s forecast drew a standing-room-only crowd in Washington, D.C.

“ASA members are engaged, ask great questions and have a positive outlook combined with a solid level of awareness of the world around them,” says Beaulieu, who will deliver his forecast on Thursday morning Sept. 11. “The feedback I’ve received from ASA members has been positive and is generally wrapped around the accuracy of the outlooks and the applicability of the forecasts and information I provide.”

Beaulieu says he’ll have plenty to talk about in Las Vegas.

“Attendees this year will see a quick review of how we did vs. what we said last year, as well as a look at the industry factors/trends that will influence their lives over the next one to two years,” he says. “There is an interesting balance of good news and worrisome news in the U.S. and the world. We’ll work together to see that, in balance, the world is on their side and they should be profitable over the next year if they stay realistic in their forecasts. Unwarranted optimism will cost cash and result in lost opportunities down the road.”

Evangelist Marketing Institute CEO Alex Goldfayn details a dozen marketing behaviors that can be immediately implemented in his “Marketing for Revenue Growth: How to Increase Your Sales With Simple, No-Cost Marketing Techniques” general session seminar on Wednesday, Sept. 10. Goldfayn will repeat his seminar during the ASA Education Foundation-sponsored educational sessions later that same day.

ASA Education Foundation’s Doug Dillon talks about preparing employees to perform their best and meet business objectives, while Dirk Beveridge, president and CEO of 4th Generation Systems and the founder of the UnleashWD distribution conference, will present two separate educational sessions. On Tuesday, Sept. 9, Beveridge will talk about how distributors can unleash the spirit of innovation to create a relevant, stronger and more profitable future.

He returns on Thursday, Sept. 11 to outline the researched best practices of a holistic model for integrating a company’s guiding ideas (vision, mission, values and purpose) with defined sales-management and sales-process systems.

Also on Sept. 11, columnist, author and small-business owner Gene Marks discusses business valuation, and how to grow shareholder value and responsibility to generate a profit. Chicago Tube and Iron President and CEO Dr. Don McNeeley closes the convention with his “Policies, Politics, Economics and the Industry” presentation.

“I’ve enjoyed seeing a good mix of educational opportunities at NetworkASA to include information critical to wholesaling and our industry, plus what’s needed for wholesalers to stay on top of their game in today’s distribution environment,” WinWholesale Vice President of Marketing Steve Edwards says.

Rob Raban, president of master distributor Industrial Valco, also finds the educational sessions worthwhile. “I enjoy the program speakers, particularly Mr. Beaulieu, as well as some of the non-industry speakers who give outside-the-box wisdom and insights that can be universally applied,” he says.

Another big lure of NetworkASA is the vast amount of networking opportunities throughout the convention. In addition to the popular wholesaler and vendor conference appointments, the ASA Plumbing and IPD divisions again will host open-house receptions. The ASA Women in Industry and Young Executives divisions and the Wholesalers Association of the North East also will host receptions during NetworkASA.

“The obvious advantage is the contact with top independent and national chains in one location at an industry-wide event,” Milwaukee Valve Vice President of Marketing Tom LaGuardia says. “NetworkASA allows us to keep a finger on the pulse of what is important to our distribution network, as well as the industry at large.”


Big star power

NetworkASA once again is loaded with a top-notch lineup of guest speakers. Longtime television personality Regis Philbin will speak at the highly anticipated Weldbend IPD Breakfast and has promised to bring a special guest.

“The Weldbend IPD Breakfast is way over the top,” says Merit Brass COO Alan Lipp, whose son, Kevin, also will attend NetworkASA and is an active participant in the Young Executives group. “The value of this one event is worth much more than the nominal fee ASA charges to also hold membership in the IPD.”

 Lipp adds: “NetworkASA enables us to interact with a growing number of our key customers in a first-rate setting that combines some of the industry’s best receptions and meals with tremendous speakers and opportunities to schedule formal conference booth appointments.  It’s also really cool that Kevin is the fourth generation of our family to realize great value through Merit’s membership in ASA.”

Seal Team Six member Robert O’Neill is the featured speaker at the Plumbing Industry Educational Forum and Breakfast brought to you by Kohler, while two-time Super Bowl champion football coach and current co-host of “Fox NFL Sunday” Jimmy Johnson headlines the A. O. Smith Future Trends Luncheon.

“In the past few years, attendance and involvement at NetworkASA have greatly improved,” Ferguson COO Kevin Murphy says. “This increased participation has made the show more valuable by providing additional opportunities to build new relationships across the industry, as well as the benefit of more vendor interaction. It also has helped build even greater speaking talent and more interactive breakout sessions.”

During the Weldbend IPD Breakfast, Industrial Valco Vice President of Business Development Robert Vick will be presented with the IPD Award of Excellence, while InSinkErator’s Joe Maiale will be honored with the Plumbing Division Award of Excellence during the Kohler Plumbing Industry Educational Forum and Breakfast.