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VDTA•SDTA Convention Recap

The 2017 VDTA•SDTA Trade Show and Convention – February 12-14 in Las Vegas – marked another
exciting year for retailers and exhibitors alike. With inspired booth designs, outstanding classes, and business specials, this year's show was a prodigious success. The 48 New Product Showcase entries, the 45 new exhibitors, the 2 brand-new panels, and the countless new seminars proved that 2017 is a year for out-of-the-box thinking geared toward success!

Convention 2017While the Trade Show opened Sunday, February 12, select classes began the Friday before. RNK Distributing hosted a series of classes for pre-registered dealers highlighting the Floriani brand in addition to other profit-building topics. Brother International Corporation also hosted private service classes that tutored authorized Brother dealers on several new Brother products. Throughout the convention, other sewing machine manufacturers and distributors such as Janome and BERNINA also held trainings specifically focused on software. For dealers wanting more schooling in repair work, Norm Himebaugh of Himebaugh's Sewing and Vacuum Center taught 2-day courses for
in-depth sewing machine and serger repairs.

Several manufacturers including Brother International, SVP Worldwide, AccuQuilt, and RNK Distributing also coordinated dealer meetings and receptions on site at the Convention Center. At these events, the vendors shared their latest developments, recognized dealers for their accolades, and demo-ed new product.

As Saturday afternoon rolled around, more dealers arrived at the Convention Center to attend the Powerhouse Roundtable by Dealers for Dealers. Panelists included Brian Ladson of Country Stitches, Cathy Daum of Quilt Beginnings, Ron Goldkorn of Sew Much More Austin, Ryan Strauss of Ryan's Sewing and Vacuum and the 2015 VDTA•SDTA Dealer of theYear, Karen Reese of Galesburg Sewing Center, Dave LaValley of Bittersweet Fabric Shop, and moderator Paul LaPonte of Quality Sewing and Vacuum. Attendees listened and learned from their peers about successes, the occasional failure, and how they are moving forward toward more profits in 2017 and beyond.

Saturday evening, dealers and exhibitors gathered at the Westgate Resorts for the VDTA•SDTA Awards Presentation and Industry Cocktail Reception. Amongst those honored were 2017 Hall of Fame Inductees, 2017 VDTA/Epstein Scholarship winners, the 2016 Dealer of the Year, and VDTA•SDTA 20 and 30 Year Members. Immediately after the awards ceremony, the cocktail reception sponsored by Brother International and Domel motors opened in the ballroom next door. Attendees enjoyed catching up with old friends while also making new ones. The Nostalgics Band, sponsored by Tacony Corporation, played into the night and gave dealers the perfect excuse to get on the dance floor and have fun.

Sunday – the first day of the Trade Show – began with the VDTA Keynote Address by Bob Phibbs, The Retail Doctor®, whose interactive and motivating presentation set the perfect mood for the next three days. At 11 AM, the doors to the Exhibit Hall opened for dealers, and the energy on the floor was palpable. Dealers were excited to see the new products and new deals, and vendors were equally excited to demo them.

The buzz continued throughout the show, as dealers strolled back and forth between seminars and the exhibit hall. With over 70 classes and 150 exhibitors – including 45 new exhibitors – there was plenty to see and do! While all of the seminars offered great advice and fresh ideas, dealers particularly enjoyed panels like The Sewing Industry's Executive Forum, The Vacuum Dealers' Town Hall Meeting hosted by Blaine Austin, Everything Has Changed hosted by Josh May, and COSPLAY: The Mega Sewing Market You're Missing sponsored by Janome, Famore Cutlery, and VDTA. In addition, popular new seminars to VDTA this year included "Leases and Landlords," "Maximizing Profits in a New World of Floorcare," "Slay Goliath: 7 Ways to Thump Your Competition," "How to Close on High-end Machines," and "The Power of Online Marketing."

Monday hailed another busy day of business, but not without fun. Around 3 PM, those in the exhibit hall enjoyed Dealer Appreciation Social Hour with an open bar and hot-out-the-oven desserts in addition to prize giveaways that included a cabinet by Fashion Sewing Cabinets of America. Around 4 PM, New Product and Best Booth awards were announced on the Demo Stage. Congratulations to Brother International, Eclipse Quilting, Laundry Jet, Hizero Technologies, and TADgreen/e-cloth for winning New Product of the Year awards, as voted by dealers. Turn to page 44 for more details. Also, a big congrats to Steel City, Arrow Cabinets, SEBO, Sulky of America, and Laundry Jet for receiving Best Booth awards in their respective categories. Look to page 42 for more information.

Monday evening, while the exhibit hall was closed for business, attendees could stick around to participate in the VDTA/Epstein Charity Night, which raises funds for the VDTA/Epstein Scholarship. Good times ensued as attendees could spin to win one of 100 different prizes generously provided by industry manufacturers and distributors. Those who love the culture of Vegas also had the opportunity to play at a charity table and test their luck and skill. The evening ended with much laughter and unforgettable memories.

The Trade Show officially closed Tuesday at noon. We hope everyone had a wonderful time. We'd also like to thank Shepard Exposition Services for their hardwork. We at the VDTA have listened to our members and did a little "out-of-the-box thinking" ourselves. As a result, we are excited to announce that the 2018 VDTA•SDTA Trade Show and Convention will be in Charlotte, North Carolina.

We can't wait to see you March 24-26, 2018 in Charlotte!

Reprinted from Floor Care & Central Vac Professional & SQE Professional, April 2017