I have spoken to a lot of distributors in Northeast Ohio and some in surrounding states. Without question, local distributors will be attending the Fastener Fair USA show in Cleveland. Questions about it being a “first time show” or the fact that end users could be walking the show do not seem to be diminishing the interest. I have probably spoken with 15-20 distributors and only one told me they were not planning to attend. A few were not aware of the show but appreciated the fact that I made them aware by asking about it. I wish I could get a pulse on how many attendees will be coming from other parts of the country. Will “national”, multi branch distributors be sending people? Will distributors from Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Columbus, Detroit…Chicago be attending? If there is attendance data available I would be interested in hearing about it. Regardless, people from my back yard will be there and I will too. Looking forward to the show.
April is just a few short months away and the Fastener Fair USA will be taking place in Cleveland. That’s where I live so it is a no brainer for me. Because it is the inaugural Fastener Fair USA I probably would have gone anyways just out of curiosity to see how it goes. I have never attended Fastener Fair shows in Europe, Mexico or Asia so I am very curious to attend. The list of exhibitors is on the web site so you can check out the companies who are exhibiting. I know there are several companies who might not attend this year but want to walk to show to determine if they want to participate in it the next time it is held which I think will be in two years. So, there will be exhibitors, prospective exhibitors and…who else?
I’d like to hear some feedback from distributors to gauge their interest in the show. Many companies east of the Mississippi might hesitate to send their staff to Vegas because they have to purchase plane tickets and hotel rooms. If you are within driving distance to Cleveland will companies be sending more of their staff that they might not ordinarily send to a National Show? Then again, the Fastener Fair shows in other countries draw people from different countries, not just different states. Maybe west coast companies will be traveling to beautiful Cleveland because is is being marketed as a national show.
End users, particularly engineers and people who specify fasteners, are encouraged to attend which gives this show a different twist. Some distributors may see it as an opportunity to talk to these individuals while some might be turned off that their customer’s personnel might be walking the show. It will be interesting to hear from distributors as well as individuals who have attended Fastener Fair shows in other countries. Please share with the rest of us some of your experiences.
The North Coast Fastener Association has some events in the works for the day before the show so keep posted for that. There will be a reception at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame after the first day of Fastener Fair, and that is a cool thing. So, hope to see you in Cleveland and please do share if your coming to town and also if you’ve been to other Fastener Fair events!
I was paging through the most recent copy of Fastener Technology International (December 2017/January 2018 edition) and made my way back to the Fastener Focus section. I was surprised and pleased to see myself in a picture with a long time industry friend and someone who I consider one of my most valued industry mentors. We worked together most closely sometime between 1986 and 2000. Somewhere in that general period. I was in my mid 20’s to mid 30’s. I feel lucky that I have continued to see this gentleman regularly over the years at trade shows and I have shared with him the deep influence he had on my fastener career. Some people don’t get the opportunity to thank their mentors but I do it just about every time I see him. The funny thing is, I’m not sure how he became such a valued “mentor”. He was a National Sales Manager and I reported to him, though certainly not on a daily basis or anything. There were people at his company that I worked with on a daily basis, but he was not one of them. We talked periodically, met up at sales meetings and trade shows, and still I know that I learned a lot from him. One particular lesson he stressed was that we needed to know our customer’s customer as well or better than they did! At the time, his company sold exclusively through distributors and the distributors were not always anxious to share information about THEIR customers. But we knew buying habits, and we could tell when certain parts were not moving at the same rate as they had in previous years. So, while we did not always specifically KNOW their customers, we could point out “Hey we are sitting on a lot of M36 locknuts and you haven’t released any for a few months now. Can you check with your salesman or the customer and see if things have slowed down?” Oftentimes, our customer would thank us for pointing this out and they would check with their sales team to see what was up and to see if they were losing business. Know your customer’s customer better than they do! That was one of his lessons.
The NFDA and YFP have launched their own mentorship program. The NFDA has recognized the importance of good mentors, or role models. I’m not sure how the program works exactly but I believe mentors and mentees sign up and then are matched up to work together. I would be interested to know how the program is working. The NFDA also sponsored a Leadership Academy a few months ago. I hope the program has the affect they hope for. I suppose it cannot hurt. But, I cannot say that my mentors have necessarily been the people that you might expect them to be. I feel like I’ve picked up pieces and parts from a whole host of different people and each of those individual pieces and parts left an impression on me or taught me something.
The first time I met Ed Lecerra ( a dear friend who has left us, but has left a strong impression) was in a rep sales meeting. Another rep was asking why he was not being credited with a sale in his area but rather the credit was going to Ed who lived several states away. Slowly and strongly, Ed went through the entire sales process, from start to finish, and explained that it was he who had tracked down the business, made all the contacts and, in fact, had done all the work to secure that piece of business. As Ed told the story his voice grew louder and stronger and, while he remained professional, in the end no one was confused about who had landed the business. It was awesome. Learned a few things. Don’t mess with Ed, first and foremost. Also, don’t bullshit. Know your stuff before you open your mouth or someone like Ed will call you out. Ed and I became friends after that meeting and a lot of folks from our industry who were close to Ed miss him dearly. Was Ed a mentor to me? I don’t know if I would have called him that but certainly I learned quite a few things from him so I guess he was. Any rep who has met Bill Robb has got to feel similarly. And, while Bill is a mentor, I’ve never worked with him a day in my life.
The mentorship program might work out really well. I hope it does. But, my personal belief is that getting your young people in front of as many people as possible might be a better method. Send them to the shows, get them involved in the fastener associations, let them get in front of the people from the industry. Have them visit customers. You never know where your next fastener or life lesson will come from.
I was looking over information on the upcoming STAFDA show and saw their list of “Session Speakers”. These speakers will be speaking on Sunday, November 12 which I think is the first day of the show.
David Avrin – “Blink and they’re gone” – author of It’s Not Who You Know, It’s Who Knows You!
Eric Chester – author of On Fire At Work: How Great Companies Ignite Passion in Their People without Burning Them Out
Jill Geisler – author of Work Happy: What Great Bosses Know and also has a podcast Q&A: Leadership and Integrity in the Digital Age
Jason Young – After 10 years in senior management with Southwest Airlines, Young launched LeadSmart, Inc. to develop successful corporate cultures for forward-thinking companies. His clients include Starbucks, IHOP, Tyson Foods and Southwest Airlines
Thomas Schoenfelder Ph.D. – senior vice president, Research & Devlopment at Caliper Corporation, has over 20 years of experience in high-impact performance improvement initiatives, organizational diagnostics, assessment design, intervention implementation and evaluation.
Then, on Tuesday, November 14, Alan Beaulieu president of the Institute for Trend Research will look at recent economic trends and provide a three-hour update on the economy. I know the Beaulieu brothers do presentations at NFDA meetings and also some regional fastener association meetings so that is a familiar name to some in the fastener industry.
I wonder if the Fastener Community would attend these types of presentations if they were offered at one of our industry trade shows? Would we have the interest or do we prefer industry specific topics?
These STAFDA speakers do not really focus on industry specific topics. The speakers are not aimed at the construction market or tools or special fasteners. They seem to be more about corporate culture, selling and leadership.
I pulled out my copy of the program from the Vegas Fastener Show, AKA the International Fastener Expo and took a look at the speakers. Pac-West offered a session “Trunped! What Does It Mean for the U.S. Economy”. And WIFI offered “Working With the World”, which I believe focused on today’s global business environment. The Young Fastener Professionals held a panel discussion with this year’s and last year’s Fastener Hall of Fame inductees as well as this year’s Young Fastener Professional award winner. They also had a presentation on engaging millennials in today’s workplace. There were a couple different presentations on computer systems offered by InxSQL and Computer Insights and two put on by NFDA on using Excel for Customer Satisfaction Surveys and Using Microsoft Find Time To Schedule Meetings
Additionally, there were fastener related topics including “Boltology 101”, “The absolute least you must know about hydrogen embrittlement” and a Fastener Technology Workshop put on by the Fastener Training Institute. There was also a presentation put on by MANA regarding “Uber, AirBNB & Sales Reps”.
One difference I think is that many of the Vegas Show speakers are doing presentations DURING the trade show, which means you need to leave the exhibit area to attend. Not sure if that hurts attendance. I would like to hear if anyone has numbers out there as to how many attendees showed up at each of these events. Just my opinion but sometimes it feels like there is some meeting going on all the time and sometimes they overlap.
STAFDA show tickets are quite a bit more expensive than that for the fastener show. You might get more nationally recognized speakers, but you might also be paying for them. Just curious what people think about the content, timing and amount of speakers at each of the shows.
Good traffic for 1-1/2 Days Convention Hall was pretty good, very spacious Traffic slow 2nd day afternoon, good time for suppliers to walk the show and talk to other suppliers and competitors You’ve got to work that last half day and not expect it to come to you
Based on most feedback I’ve heard, those who stayed at the Westgate will gladly trade that in for Mandalay Bay
The Vegas Show is expanding to 2-1/2 day’s next year There will be a collective groan from many suppliers but a few will be OK with that Some companies were working their booths and entertaining guests right up till show closing Many thanks to Umeta of America for hooking up a bunch of Cleveland folks with some tasty German beer right up to the last minutes of the show!
Show will be taking place on Halloween next year Quite a few people groaning about that, especially those with small kids at home I just need to make sure someone hands out candy back home so my house doesn’t get egged
Checked in several times on the “classroom/conference “ area Attendance did not seem robust and I’m not sure what you can do about that Hard to leave the show when it’s in full swing
The Hall of Fame / Young Fastener Professional award ceremony was excellent I think it is one of my favorite parts of the show Great listening to the industry movers and shakers You shouldn’t miss this next year, it really is good Might start it at 3:00 or earlier so the event doesn’t end after show hours
If Show is 2-1/2 Days next year then the show needs new, fresh programming ideas We All like hearing the most current industry news from those people with the best, most up to date information And we like networking with industry peers more ideas on this later
Gotta stop now, time to catch a flight See you next year Vegas
Whoops, one last thing If I’m to believe what I heard in the aisles we will see lots of mergers and acquisitions in the upcoming months and next year Lots of money burning holes in corporate pockets Mentioned by at least 5 or 6 companies
It’s getting close now. Everywhere I visit it seems the International Fastener Show is coming up in conversations. Kind of odd to be going to a new location and only for one year but, it is what it is. See you at the Circle Bar?
Just in case you have not heard, the press release below was sent out to suppliers (at the least the one that shared it with me – thank you Ross Shepard). I confirmed with show personnel that this was announced before I decided to share it here. All that being said, I’ll see you in a couple weeks at the Las Vegas Convention Center for the 2017 show!!
The International Fastener Expo is getting you BACK ON THE STRIP at the Mandalay Bay Resort in 2018 with an even bigger venue that brings attendees and exhibitors that much closer to all the action that Las Vegas has to offer.
In 2018 IFE will be held over three days: October 30 – November 1.
Mandalay Bay is conveniently located just 2 miles from the airport, located in the southern section of the iconic Las Vegas Strip. Not only is Mandalay Bay the “gold standard” in accommodation and meeting space – it offers everything you need under one roof including a Poolside Beach Club with a wave pool, Shark Reef Aquarium and underwater viewing area, and multiple award-winning restaurants and bars like The House of Blues and Skyfall Lounge. Of course, there are four Hotel options within walking distance of the show floor.
The Mandalay Bay is going to be “the place to be” for the Fastener Industry again in 2018!
Dinner and lunch plans are being made, flights are being booked, hotel reservations are made. Just one question. Where are people hanging out at the new show venue?
Recently, on Twitter, I asked where the hospitality suites were going to be this year. It did sound like there were going to be several in the Westgate Hotel, which is the “official” host hotel. I went a step further and spoke with Morgan Wilson from Emerald Expositions and he put me in touch with their Marketing Specialist, Daniel Acuna. Daniel sent me a press release that suggested the International Bar (aka, The Fastener Circle Bar) would be the official, unofficial bar for fastener people to mix and mingle amongst their peers. It is located just off the steps of the main lobby in the Westgate.
To support this spot as a central meeting location, Emerald will have a “Whiskey Night” and also beer and drink specials on October 18-19. According to Daniel the bar is open 24/7 and that ought to work out well with the fastener crowd. I’m going to check it out a little further online.
Some folks will still be staying down on the strip and there could be some gatherings down that direction, I imagine. In case any of you are wondering what happened to the old Bourbon Room, here is a little update on what is now called “The Dorsey”:
It’s not been announced officially where the Fastener Show will be located in 2018 but I’m sure that announcement will come before, or certainly at the show.
Where are you going to be hanging out in Vegas??
I recently attended an out of town wedding for a young lady who grew up in my home town of Strongsville. When I was entering the church I pointed out to my wife, “there’s the mayor of our town”. I quickly recalled that the father of the bride worked for the city and consequently he invited his “boss” to attend. Later, at the wedding reception, I was introduced to the mayor as a citizen of Strongsville and also as a small business owner there. The mayor asked about my occupation and I told him I worked in the greatest industry known to mankind – the fastener industry.
Before he became our long tenured mayor, Tom Perciak was President of a local bank. He came to the office with a very strong business background that has served our city very well and he will most likely be reelected until such time as he decides he no longer chooses to run for office. So, did I talk about the city, his banking background, or something else to do with the city?? No sir! Our conversation went like this:
“Mayor, in my industry, three of the country’s largest importers of fasteners are Brighton Best, Stelfast and XL Screw. Across the country and throughout the industry, those are three of the biggest industry names and all three of them are located within our city limits. Also, I know that Applied MSS (former Parts Associates & UZ Engineered Products) is moving its headquarters to Strongsville by the end of this year. Interestingly, Strongsville has become a landing spot for several top companies from my industry. ” I also mentioned that there was going to be a national trade show taking place in downtown Cleveland in April, 2018, Fastener Fair USA. The mayor responded by asking for my phone and email and asked me if I would join him and the city’s Director of Economic Development for lunch. He said he wanted to learn some more about our industry. We went to lunch on Friday, September 1.
Our city is a nice community and a great place to raise a family. We have a mall, loads of great restaurants, plenty of shopping, access to the Cuyahoga Country Metropark system, a Cleveland Clinic Hospital branch location and countless other conveniences including a terrific recreation center. But the mayor and his Economic Development team know what makes the city’s engine run – busineses. Manufacturers, distributors and all businesses in between. Strongsville sits at the cross section of Interstate 71 (running north & south) and the Ohio Turnpike (running east & west), both highways that extend well beyond Ohio into several other states . The city has several business parks. There are a couple screw machine operations, a manufacturer of ceramics, a manufacturer of truck latches and several other manufactures. And, Strongsville also happens to be the home base, and international headquarters of the R.L. English Co.
With a combination of industry and civic pride, I frequently see trucks roll through town with logos from fastener distributors located throughout Northeast Ohio. They are all picking up parts from the above mentioned importers located in town. I enjoy seeing the fastener trucks rolling in and out of Strongsville . If you are a fastener supplier looking to locate a warehouse somewhere in Northeast Ohio, you should take a look at Strongsville. Your customers are already driving into the area to pick up other parts.
Lunch with the mayor was great. He has done a terrific job in office and it was a very enlightening opportunity to sit down and hear firsthand about some of the things going on in my hometown. And I give him credit for taking an interest in the fastener industry and trying to find out a little bit more about it. He appreciates those business that have located here and recognizes the importance of retaining them. Who knows, maybe you’ll meet him or his economic director walking around Fastener Fair USA in April.