While in Indiana for last week’s PPAI Women’s Leadership Conference (WLC), attendees and PPAI staff took the opportunity to meet with member companies in the area.
PPAI President and CEO Paul Bellantone, CAE, visited industry supplier EMT (UPIC: EMTEASY). Over the past year, he and members of the PPAI Board and staff have met with numerous industry members, companies and regional associations around the country in order to engage with and learn more about them, and better understand what PPAI can do for them.
Steven Weinstein, CAS, EMT’s president, hosted Bellantone during his visit. He says: “I enjoyed Paul’s visit and learning more about PPAI’s initiatives for 2013 and beyond. I am impressed by the legislative agenda and encouraged by the SAGE partnership. SAGE being involved at such a grassroots level with PPAI member distributors can only enhance the value of membership and offer a less biased solutions set.”
Bellantone’s time at EMT was an opportunity to get a closer look at its facility and operations, and learn more about the business philosophies of its management. “I took a lot away from my conversation with Steve,” says Bellantone. “He is an engaged member of our industry, and I appreciated his insights on our business and his approach to managing his company. He has a compelling approach to measuring the value and success that tradeshows bring to his company, and I think it’s something PPAI can learn from.”
Numerous tradeshows, so close in time and place, offer diminishing returns for suppliers, Weinstein says. “Mitigate to the extent possible the proliferation of tradeshows, many of which are duplicative. Too many shows concentrated in the same time frame and in the same geographic areas serve only to dilute the impact and increase suppliers’ marketing costs.
“I see raising the level of professionalism among distributors as a key role of PPAI,” adds Weinstein. “Others in the industry seek to increase the number of distributor salespeople at any cost. My experience on both sides of the industry demonstrates that a smaller number of results-oriented and ROI-focused salespeople develop superior relationships. This breed of salesperson will get the results that raise the perception of our industry as more than SWAG peddlers, a distinction that is desperately needed.”
Bellantone also joined PPAI Editor Tina Filipski and a group of WLC attendees at St. Regis Crystal, Inc., located in Indianapolis (UPIC: stregis) on the morning of Monday, July 23, before the conference opened that afternoon. They met with Jeff Firkser, company principal, who took the group on a tour of the factory to observe the crystal decorating processes performed there and meet the skilled craftspeople who work there. The group also discussed St. Regis’s products and the services they offer.