Coordinating events around the 2016 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show and 2016 Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo in Las Vegas led to improved attendance among Automotive Distribution Network (Network) members at other industry events.
The group’s Parts Plus and Auto Pride program managers meeting allowed members to review their successes in 2016 and plan the Network’s marketing initiatives for the coming year.
The program managers broke into roundtable focus groups to share plans and create a consensus of the direction for 2017. Topics included a new training site, shop marketing and business programs, Repair America product promotions, and NHRA marketing opportunities tied to Parts Plus’s sponsorship of Top Fuel driver Clay Millican.
“When planning the group’s future marketing and product initiatives, it’s important the Network listens to a variety of opinions from within the membership to understand what’s happening locally with our WDs across the country,” says David Prater, Network president. “This also enables the group to grasp the bigger picture of what’s going on in the industry so that the Network continue to develop programs that are relevant in the marketplace.”
Two days later members attended the Automotive Warehouse Distributors Association (AWDA) conference, and took part in 21 meetings with individual manufacturers over a two-day span. They were joined by member CEOs representing all branches of The Network, including Canada, Puerto Rico, and Mexico.
“In years past, when the program managers meeting was held elsewhere, the Network might have had 10 to 15 individual members at AWDA,” says Prater. “In 2016, the group had more than 40 individual members meeting with manufacturers about Network programs and issues as well as concerns that were specific to that particular member and that manufacturer.”
The AWDA recognized the Network as a major force behind this year’s 30% increase in attendance. After AWDA, the Network’s members had the option to attend the AAPEX and SEMA Shows.
The Network also hosted the largest of its invitation-only receptions during AAPEX. A record 1,400-plus guests were on hand for the Network festivities.
“I’m pleased that our Network gathering continues its reputation as one of the show’s hottest tickets,” says Prater. “Along with our manufacturer partners, this event helps ensure excellent ongoing relationships as the Network continues to grow throughout North America.”
“All in all, it was a very productive time for the Network’s members, who were able to participate in multiple meetings without an additional trips, reducing time away from the office. The response from the group’s members and manufacturer partners has been very positive. Along with the recognition from AWDA, this tells me the Network will schedule future program managers meetings in the same fashion.”
Operating under the brands of Parts Plus, Parts Plus Mexico, IAPA and Auto Pride, the Automotive Distribution Network is one of the largest, most diverse program groups in the industry. For more information, contact Steve Tucker at the Network at (901) 682-9090.