While the economy seems to be teetering between recovery and slowdown, the Associated Equipment Distributors (AED) experienced a dramatic increase inattendance at the 84th Annual Meeting & Condex held in San Diego January 9-11.
The number of dealers attending the convention increased 23 percent from the previous yearas construction equipment distributors and manufacturers from the United States, Canada and abroad met to discuss the issues facing the construction equipment industry.
"This year’s numbers surpassed last year in every category we measure," said Toby Mack, executive vice president of AED. "Distributor registrations were up sharply, and on-site registrations were at an all-time high."
"We are extremely pleased with the attendance at the Annual Meeting," said Tom Wilson of United Equipment Inc., Memphis, TN, a division of Equipment Support Services.
"And even more pleased by the upbeat mood. This industry has had a couple of rough years, but if this convention is any indicator, we’re turning the corner." Wilson was elected 2003 president of AED at the event.
More than 150 equipment and service firms exhibited at the two-day Condex Show held during the meeting, and most echoed the comments of Larry James, Manager of Marketing Services for Gehl and a Condex exhibitor:
"We were exceptionally pleased with the traffic on Friday," said James. "We had the opportunity to visit with virtually all of our attending dealers and a number of dealer prospects."
In addition to the executive level seminars held during the convention, AED Universityoffered educational programming designed specifically for Sales, Rental, Service and Parts Managers. Each distributor manager who attended was able to take part in more than 10 hours of education focused on his specific field.
"I’ve been to a lot of seminars, and this is one of the most practical presentations on rental I’ve ever heard," said Thomas H. Stevenson, President, Hub Equipment in Toronto, after attending the Rental Managers Program. "It’s based on real experience, and there’s a lot of good information here. These sorts of seminars are more relevant than ever."
AED is an association of independent distributors, manufacturers, and other organizations involved in the distribution of construction equipment and related products and services in North America and throughout the world. AED members sell, service and rent equipment to markets that include heavy and light construction, mining, agriculture, forestry,
aggregates, engines and industrial.