Tampa was Fantastic!
InterCon 2001 in Tampa is history, but the positive comments continue to flood CISCA Headquarters!
There were many excellent changes this year, but for the Independent Manufacturers’ Representative Group the most exciting development was our new membership total of 59 member firms! The highest number of Independent Manufacturer Representative Firms in CISCA’s 51 year History! Incredible!
As you may recall, we introduced a new function at InterCon a few years ago, the Tuesday Evening Rep / Manufacturer Opening Cocktail Party. It is hosted by the CISCA Rep Director. This year we had more than eighty people attend. The event was scheduled for two hours, but actually lasted almost three hours; we had to turn out the lights to end the evening! Individuals had the opportunity to chat with their principal companies and to foster new relationships with potential new principal companies. Several Reps indicated that they secured valuable new lines at this event!
Wednesday morning kicked off the annual manufacturer sales
meetings. There were seven sales meetings this year, all very well attended and fruitful for the participants. What a great way to attend a number of different meetings without the need to travel all over the country. These meetings have become a very popular feature of The New InterCon Format. We are considering adding another new feature to InterCon next year, meeting rooms and facilities for Reps, Manufacturers and contractors who are working on particular projects in different parts of the country or the world and need time and space to discuss and plan strategy. The players are all at InterCon, why not maximize the potential interaction for the benefit of all?
The facilities for InterCon 2001 were incredible from the spanking new Marriott Waterside Hotel to the outstanding Tampa Bay Convention Center. The facilities were new, fresh, open and comfortable. The lobby area of The Marriott was an exceptional venue to sit and chat with associates or just watch the people! The weather was incredible, with bright sun, and a beautiful tropical breeze!
The opening reception was in the exhibit hall, another chance to meet with principal companies, as well as, distributors, contractors and fellow Reps. There was an orchestra, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres; the booths were all open and the atmosphere very conducive to conversation. A number of manufacturers hosted private dinners for their Reps following the event. What an enjoyable and practical way to meet and greet old friends and make new acquaintances!
Thursday was an event filled day starting with The New Opening Breakfast Extravaganza. The breakfast was highlighted with music, CISCA Awards of Excellence, an outstanding keynote speaker and even a marching band from the world-renowned Busch Gardens. Virtually all of the winning projects had a Rep as part of the winning team and Reps were prominently mentioned again this year!
Following the breakfast was the grand opening of the Exhibit Area. More than ninety-five booths occupied the enormous convention hall, which included refreshment areas and more music! The new hours enabled participants to attend the exhibits and partake of other business and non-business related activities. Thursday evening comprised of several manufacturers’ get togethers and many individual dinner meetings.
Friday morning kicked off early with the re-opening of the exhibit area at 8:00 AM and our Annual Independent Manufacturers’ Representative Business Meeting at 1:00PM. Our meeting was very well attended, including three new potential members. Many ideas and concepts were discussed, and the overall opinion was that CISCA’s InterCon Convention & Trade Show has become a very valuable tool for our members and an ideal location to conduct business, trade ideas, and develop new relationships. Friday evening was spent at the Spectacular Busch Gardens.
Saturday was for golf and the closing banquet. The culmination of a very hectic and busy week.
Next year, InterCon 2002 is in Phoenix, Arizona. Based upon early information, there will be more than 100 booths, membership of CISCA will top 750 member firms and, it is likely that we will have more than 70 Independent Manufacturer Representative Firms as members. These numbers are unprecedented and make the CISCA InterCon Format even more valuable to all members.
There will be numerous manufacturer sales meetings, and many new opportunities to interact with other CISCA Members. At this years opening breakfast, one of the CISCA Contractor Board Members indicated that his firm has added more than $6,000,000 in new work this year from relationships developed as a CISCA Member.
Many CISCA Member Reps have added exciting new lines, developed new relationships, or even resolved long standing conflicts with principal companies at InterCon. Now more than ever belonging to CISCA makes sense! CISCA Members like to work with CISCA Members!
William L. Shannon CSI, CISCA
President of Shannon Corporation
Recipient of the 2004 De Gelleke Award