CISCA’s Growth Continues!
Intercon 2002 in Phoenix was a tremendous success! With more than 900 people signed up for the full convention package, it was one of the best attended CISCA Conventions in many years! This, despite the tragedy of 9/11.
The Rep Activities of Intercon 2002 were “kicked off” on the Saturday prior to the official opening of the event with The Annual Rep / Manufacturer Cocktail Party. Four years ago we were concerned that there would be sparse attendance for this new concept. It has grown each year, however, and this year was attended by more than 100 people, who gathered for complementary Hors D’oeuvres and Cocktails. This has been such a success that the board is considering a similar event for distributors and manufacturers in future years.
Sunday included eight Manufacturer Sales Meetings, a Newcomers Reception, Grand Opening Reception and many private meetings and dinners between principal companies and Independent Manufacturers’ Representatives. The concept of the manufacturers meetings has changed somewhat over the past few years. They tend to be intimate, personal and very productive in the presentation of new and potentially new products.
Monday saw a continuation the aggressive schedule with the Intercon Opening Breakfast. An overflow crowd of more than five hundred people attended this annual event. The highlight of The Intercon Opening Breakfast was the presentation of the CISCA Awards of Excellence. There were nine awards this year, in three categories;
- Non Metal Acoustical Walls and Ceilings
- Drywall and GRG Walls and Ceilings
- Metal Acoustical Walls and Ceilings
And within each category Two Honorable Mentions and One Overall Winner. Independent Manufacturers’ Representatives were apparent in most of the entries, and the complexity of the projects impressive. What a great opportunity to introduce your work to a National and International Audience! It was upsetting to note that not a single entry was made by an Independent Rep!
The keynote speaker was the nationally acclaimed Amanda Gore. Her message was enthusiastic and uplifting and left the audience literally singing as they exited the room.
Immediately following the opening breakfast was the Grand Opening of the exhibits. There were more than ninety-five exhibitors this year, with the introduction of numerous new products, and systems. Exhibits were open from 1:00 PM until 5:00 PM and the crowds were impressive! Monday concluded with a traditional Western Rodeo and Dinner at the acclaimed Corona Ranch!
Tuesday kicked off with several additional Manufacturer Sales Meetings and the second day of Exhibits. Many of the Reps present commented on the benefit of mingling with competitors and customers in a relaxed setting, with the opportunity to get to know each other better. It seemed everywhere one looked there were groups of individuals catching up on current industry news and trends, sharing ideas and planning for the future!
Tuesday evening consisted of many traditional manufacturer parties. Entertainment, food, music and even a few famous personalities highlighted the evening’s events.
Throughout the convention there were numerous excellent educational opportunities for Contractors, Distributors, Reps and Manufacturers. Many of the topics applied to all of our businesses, and were presented by nationally recognized professionals. CISCA is committed to the expansion of the educational programs as an integral part of future Intercon Conventions!
A few short years ago, CISCA Membership included roughly four hundred and fifty members. Today there are more than seven hundred and fifty members and growing, 15 % in the last year alone! There are now almost sixty Independent Manufacturers’ Representative Members, up from seven four years ago! Due to our increased membership, the organization really listens to our suggestions, and offers many opportunities for us to improve our businesses’! Contractors and distributors realize that if they want to be in the specialty ceiling business, CISCA is the organization of choice. It is also obvious that most of the small to medium sized specialty ceiling system manufacturers belong to CISCA and utilize Independent Manufacturers’ Representatives as their sales force. What better place to meet and discuss your business?
We have a new Independent Manufacturers’ Representative Board Member this year, Bill Leon from Design Sales Associates, Bayside, New York. Bill is committed to the continued growth of our group within CISCA and our solid representation on the CISCA Board. Design Sales Associates have been CISCA Members for more than thirty years, one of the original Independent Manufacturers’ Representative Firms! We look forward to working with Bill to continue our hard work to help improve our industry.
Hopefully this year will be exciting and productive. Please submit your projects for next years Awards of Excellence. Make your plans now for Intercon 2003 in Las Vegas! All of the major players in our industry attend Intercon, you should be there, and it’s your best opportunity to have an impact upon your industry!
William L. Shannon CSI, CISCA
President of Shannon Corporation
Recipient of the 2004 De Gelleke Award