During our most recent meeting we asked the folks at Lessiter Media to talk with several attendees to help us share their reasons for attending our conventions. Here are a few short clips of why these manufacturers and suppliers attend.
Matt Westendorf – The Bigger Picture
Westendorf knows members are busy, and it’s easy to find excuses not to attend a meeting.
But he says that when we step away from our day-to-day work, important things happen.
“Your mind clears, you hear what the industry is doing, you hear what your suppliers are doing, and it just gives you a broad approach and a bigger picture. I always talk about getting at a higher elevation, and that’s what the Farm Equipment Manufacturers Association does for you.”
Don Landoll – Building Industry Relationships
Don Landoll has been a member of our Association for 45-plus years and has only missed a couple conventions.
“I think it’s a great place for the members. I too was one of those that didn’t get there for the first couple of years, a small company, a lot of the new members are smaller, and you got work to do at home.”
Landoll encourages members to take the time to attend and see your counterparts. He even recommend getting to know your competitors. As for the Supplier Product Showcase, Don says he always finds something to pick up, as well as new ideas to further yourself.
John Tye – You Are Missing Out
Tye does not mince words when talking about our meetings. “If you’re not coming to the meetings, you’re missing out on one of the great benefits of being a member. If you think that you’re having to take 2 or 3 days out of your life to come here, and it’s not something that you really would look at as a reasonable trade off, I think you’re missing.
Tye also talked about the “ah-ha moments” he finds not only sitting in speaker sessions but also listening to people during a coffee break, or at a cocktail hour. Tye says: “You learn something from nearly everybody.”
Roger Murdock – Bring the Team
Here’s Murdock’s advice on who to bring to the Supply Summit & Showcase in Omaha:
“. . . companies who bring in a whole variety of people to the FEMA meeting, we find that very informative. You can sit down with the owner, maybe the sales manager, the engineer, the purchasing people, as a group, just try to understand a solution to a problem they might have. So many times, when you go to visit these people at their place of business, there’s different meetings involved and it’s hard to get everybody together as a group.”
Marc McConnell – Tremendous Value
MConnell says one of the biggest benefits in being part of the Association has been networking with other members that are going through the same issues, dealing with dealers in the same way that you are, and the ability to share ideas.
Always one to be looking for ROI, Marc tells us it great to be able to see a number of your suppliers in one place, spend time with them, talk about how to grow the business and work together.
He adds, “All around, just being with other people that are part of the association, either as peers, or suppliers, or as part of your sales network, it’s a tremendous value.”
John Brown – Networking & Growing Business
Brown calls the Association “a great networking organization. . . You feel like they really want you to succeed also. It’s definitely a win-win.”
In talking about our meetings, John added: “We’ve met a lot of decision makers here, we’ve grown our business from it. That’s why I keep supporting it and will, because Myers Spring has definitely grown, and it is a larger player in the Ag market; just because of FEMA, without a doubt.”
John finds the meetings a great place to meet face-to-face, with several customers all in one place. He adds, “We’re not distracted by the day-to-day. We can travel around the country meeting everybody, but by coming to the meetings, they’re all here and we’re able to work through that, and actually meet.”
Tim Burenga – Importance of Meeting
Tim Burenga believes the Association’s greatest resource are our members. We agree, and our Supply Summit & Showcase is the best place to start and build relationships that can provide the kind of resource that you can’t get anywhere else.
Tim told us, “Just from the amount of information that you get at these conventions, and from the different members, it’s paramount in our business to work with people in this organization, just because of their experiences and what they’ve been able to help us out with. Tim added, “The more you get involved, the more you put in, the more you’re going to get out.”
Roger Murdock – Speakers Making You Rethink
Roger finds one of the nice things about being at a Farm Equipment Manufacturers Association meeting is some of the speakers.
“Sometimes you might look at title and say, ‘Well, I already know everything about that subject.’ But, I think you’ll find out that the speaker that they have hired, (may have) a perspective that maybe you didn’t realize is out there. I always find that going to the different sessions is very helpful.”