STAFDA 2010 Convention Registration up 51% with Sarah Palin

This year the annual STAFDA (Specialty Tools & Fasteners Distributors Association) trade show will be November 7-9 in Phoenix, Arizona. In a recent Contractor Supply article it said registration was up 51% from last year at this time. There may be several reasons this news is not surprising first off because last year we saw a 38% decrease in sales for the construction supply industry. It is pretty easy to cut a trip to the less than desirable vacation spot of Atlanta when your business is taking hits like that. Also the keynote speaker in 2009 was Herman Cain, a very respected businessman in Atlanta but not a nationally recognized name who will draw a crowd.

Fast forward to 2010 and the outlook is a little brighter. The STAFDA shows in some cases are treated like vacations by some distributors. With spouse activities planned during the show and plenty time for golf and other activities so it’s no wonder attendance is going to pick up in more leisurely destinations. Also this year the STAFDA show will have Keynote speaker Sarah Palin, which is definitely a reason to attend all on its own for some. Whether you think she’s super duper or a complete moron, either side of the coin almost everyone we’ve talked to wants to see her speak in person at least once in their lives.

The increase is a good sign for the economy (even without the Palin factor), construction suppliers go to these shows to speak with manufacturers about buying products, learn what products are new and possibly find new products/manufacturers they can carry in their stores. Traditionally these folks are frugal and are not going to add inventory unless they are actually selling more products right now, as well as optimistic about the coming year. If attendance is on a rise you would have almost got to assume so is purchasing.  


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