Do you know the absolute best way to get the most out of BrandSource membership? There are many things to choose from, but attending your regional meetings is right at the top of the list.
Region meetings bring together members who share a geographic location for a scaled-down few days of education, vendor interaction and networking.
One example is the South Atlantic region, which meets every January. Member Ron Daniel of Daniel Appliance in Columbus, Georgia wouldn’t miss it.
“It’s always very informative for me,” Daniel said. “I look forward to that meeting and I treasure it. It’s a real key to getting my year started.”
Like all the region managers, Harry Buntyn and Roy Brown from South Atlantic work hard to put together a gathering that will be useful as well as enjoyable for members because it has to be worthwhile to justify their time away from the store.
“I’m pretty proud of the meeting,” Buntyn said. “We throw a lot at them but they get a lot out of it. Members love to talk to one another and I know they get a lot out of that.”
Bob Dickerson, manager for the North Central and Great Plains regions, said that opportunity for members to rub shoulders and talk about what’s working for them and what new ideas they’re considering is the biggest plus.
“The networking with other dealers is probably the biggest thing,” Dickerson said. “I’ve got dealers who have known each other over the years. They’ll call each other, talk about different situations.”
Most region meetings include vendor roundtables, where every member in attendance gets a few minutes with every vendor there. That’s a hugely beneficial part of the meeting, because it gives members the chance to ask their questions, get their problems heard by the right people and learn about what new things are coming down the pike.
Other buying groups don’t do things the way BrandSource does, and the region meetings are one thing that sets the nation’s largest buying group apart, said Midwest and Mid-American Region Manager Roy Radloff.
“It separates us from other groups out there, because they don’t have region meetings,” he said. “We bring it down to more local level. It feels like more of a family atmosphere at region meetings than it does at national shows.”
If you couldn’t attend your region meeting this year, get in touch with your RM to find out what you missed. If your region’s gathering is ahead, try not to miss it! You never know what you’ll learn from your fellow members.