This year’s Meeting of the Minds was another successful meeting hosted by The Rental Industry Buying Group. This Nashville event included our general session, educational sessions designed for both owners, marketing, and store management as well as a fun Hot Show buying event, the Expo, and networking events.
Our Hot Show was fun because every now and then something unpredictable happens. This year, one of our advertising specialty suppliers entered a product that will be a perfect giveaway item for our retailers this spring and summer. It is a group of branded sunglasses, a frisbee, and a coozie, all packaged and ready for the beach or pool. Our members loved this item and continued buying, driving the price down and orders up until over 21,000 units were sold! It was fun to see the incredible demand for this product as well as the look on Wade West’s face, who was thrilled to get this big order for his company, You Name It.
After the Hot Show, the group members and vendors were treated to an evening out at the Wildhorse Saloon, which is a fantastic venue for networking in Nashville. A barbecue buffet, a few cool beverages, music, pool tables and plenty of room for socializing made this another fun Meeting of the Minds event.
Our awards were really special this year, and we’d like to talk about the winners and why they have been honored.
First, the President’s Award was presented to David P. David for his significant contributions to the rent-to-own industry. David has been a member of TRIB Group for 18 years and has served on the Board of Directors for 3 years. “David has been a staple in the RTO industry since I joined APRO and TRIB,” said Daniel Fisher, president of TRIB Group. “He was a long-time member of the APRO board and since joining the TRIB board, has been a true asset to the TRIB Group. He has offered valuable insights into the formation of the RTO World show. As with so many people within our industry, David selflessly offers his time and support on an ongoing basis and is well deserving of this award.”
We also presented GE’s Paula Allison with the Lowry Shrader People’s Choice Award. This is awarded to the representative of a vendor who best exemplifies customer service and industry support. Paula has supported TRIB with GE for 23 years and we were pleased to present the award to her because she goes above and beyond to support our members. She greatly appreciated this honor and is excited because moving forward, she is pleased that she will be also representing the Haier brand to our members.
Other awards were given to Sachin Rama of Impact RTO who received the James B. Baber Vendor’s Choice Award. Ashley Furniture received the Top Gun Award. GE Appliances received the Soaring Eagle Award. And, United Lane received the Rising Star Award.
The event also featured a presentation from Benefit Marketing Solutions’ CEO Brad Dennison, who stressed the importance of APRO’s upcoming Legislative Conference, scheduled for April 9-11 in Washington, D.C.
APRO’s Executive Director Jill McClure also addressed the group on the importance of rental dealers attending APRO’s Legislative Conference to build relationships with lawmakers, and not allowing critics to define the RTO business.
Additional speakers covered a wide range of industry topics such as marketing plans, hiring & training, and new product strategies.
Meeting of the Minds is our primary buy fair in the Spring. This August (6-8) TRIB Group will once again be partnering with APRO for RTO World, a meeting and buy fair specifically for the RTO industry. The event will be held in Louisville, Kentucky. For more information visit www.tribgroup.com.