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IFBA Rave Reviews for Top to Top

July 7, 2008 by Membership  
Filed under 2008 Q2, NARMS Today Archives

I trust your summer plans are underway and your business is fabulous. Since returning from Las Vegas, we have been very busy evaluating the conference for improvements and working on plans for next year’s event. Here is a snap shot of what has been going on recently with “Your” IFBA:
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Event Marketers Staying Ahead in a World That Won’t Stand Still

July 7, 2008 by Membership  
Filed under 2008 Q2, NARMS Today Archives

It was great to see so many friends in Virginia at the NARMS spring conference. Networking with demo agency and event marketing members and catching up with friends from other divisions within NARMS was enlightening and encouraging. I look forward to a productive year as your new Event Marketing Chair.
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It’s a Green World

July 7, 2008 by Membership  
Filed under 2008 Q2, NARMS Today Archives

We are just getting back from a few Trade shows the first half of the year. Everything is Green! Green packaging, Green cleaning supplies, Green recycling, Green paper, Green shopping bags, Green toys, Green light bulbs, Green cars (Hybrids), Green M&M’s, Green Beer…………

If you are in Retail, you had better have your Green products, and your Green designated categories, or you are missing the whole Sustainability Surge.
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Conference Reflections

July 7, 2008 by Membership  
Filed under 2008 Q2, NARMS Today Archives

The NARMS spring conference in Williamsburg proved yet again to be a great learning experience in several ways. Unfortunately, one of the lessons learned is that an exercise in gluttony may be an obstacle to participation. Although I frequently indulge in desserts; this time the idea relates to our Manufacturers’ group desire to be available for all the conference seminars.

This desire led us to believe that by staging our Manufacturer’s meeting the day before (Saturday) the conference really began would work better for us all. Instead, we discovered the extra night out prohibited the group from having the normal turnout. A lesson learned! Our Manufacturers’ group will carve out a time to meet during the regular conference time schedule next year at The Broadmoor.
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PICs Hit Especially Hard by Rising Fuel Costs

July 7, 2008 by Membership  
Filed under 2008 Q2, NARMS Today Archives

Rising Fuel Costs. It is the leading item in every newscast, so I don’t claim anything here as “news.” However, the many ways in which PICs are affected make our division of NARMS especially vulnerable. For those who also provide logistics, the need to account for surcharges is complex and critical (and easily forgotten).

Why, you ask? Doesn’t every division of NARMS get affected the same? Not when skill sets to do what we do often make travel a “given.” The higher the skill set, the more likely we will have to travel them to remote sites, rather than risk sending in a less-skilled person.
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Spring Conference Keynote Speaker Highlights

July 7, 2008 by Membership  
Filed under 2008 Q2, NARMS Today Archives

Conference Golf

A gorgeous morning on the links at the Gold Course of the Golden Horseshoe Golf Club was a highlight memory for a number of the active participants in the 2008 Synergy/NARMS Golf Tournament. Despite a scary accident involving tournament host, Synergy’s Bill Lecznar, the tournament was a giant hit (sorry, pun intended!). Lecznar was hit with a ricocheted shot and spent the balance of Sunday in emergency care with an eye injury. We’re happy to report Bill returned to the meeting Monday in time to announce the featured launch of Synergy’s collaborative platform at the morning general session.
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Spring Conference Keynote Speaker Highlights

July 7, 2008 by Membership  
Filed under 2008 Q2, NARMS Today Archives

Much has been written about the sharp increase over the past decade in promotional allowances, discounts, markdowns, fixed fees, and other investments – commonly known as “trade spend” or “trade funds” – consumer good manufacturers make with retailers, wholesalers, and distributors (collectively “retailers”). Trade spend has grown from an estimated 13% of manufacturer gross sales in 1997 to 17% of gross sales in 2007.
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Speakers’ and Program Highlights

July 7, 2008 by Membership  
Filed under 2008 Q2, NARMS Today Archives

Top to Top attendees were treated to an excellent presentation by Phil Smith, EVP and Procurement Officer for Unified Grocers, Los Angeles, CA. Integrated into Phil’s presentation was an interactive component; allowing session attendees the chance to participate via handheld device in several related survey questions dovetailing with his remarks on use of independent brokers and perceptions of them. Its clear Phil rated high with attendees, with many references as “best ever” in survey responses and on-site comments.
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B2B Is What It’s All About

July 7, 2008 by Membership  
Filed under 2008 Q2, NARMS Today Archives

Fundamental to the success of the annual Top to Top event are the scheduled B2B meetings which again kept brokers and manufacturers alike quite busy during this year’s event. Several companies reported over 20 scheduled meetings with another 30% of companies hosting a dozen or more.

New in 2008 and proving to be extremely popular, was the food snack and networking area adjacent to registration that we came to call our “IFBA Lounge” area. This allowed meeting participants to speed through breakfast and lunch times without the cost/time normally committed in hotel restaurants; yet at a comfortable pace with additional networking an added value.

Plans for 2009 summary

July 7, 2008 by Membership  
Filed under 2008 Q2, NARMS Today Archives

Tentative plans for 2009 find the IFBA member group staging a “stand alone” event in a return to downtown Chicago. Among the early plans for Top to Top next year is the staging of a “First Timer Orientation” session; prior to the opening night reception. Also, efforts will be made to provide a pre-conference flier on “How to Get the Most Out of Your IFBA Top to Top Experience”. This offering, in tandem with an “IFBA Mentor” program; should allow for more helpful communication ahead of the actual conference and insure maximum efficiency plus the comfort of a “welcome mat” for those in first time attendance.
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