NHLA Wins International Booth Competition at IHLA

April 12, 2024
Association BenefitsAssociation ResourcesHardwoodIndustryNewsJohn HesterNetworking EventsNewsNHLA Chief Development OfficerShared Resources

Well, we would have if there had been a competition. Ray, Ashley, Liz, Denise, and all others involved at IHLA had, yet another, fantastic convention. I tip my literal, and metaphorical, cowboy hat to them. There are so many great shows we all attend. IHLA, AHMI, OFA, HMA, KFIA, NWFA…Whooo, I’m tired of typing letters and that’s just brings us through April.

“John, what are you getting at?” Kidding. You know where I’m going with this. There are SO many meetings, so little time, and only so much money built into everyone’s travel and marketing budgets. Pick an exhibitor, any exhibitor, and ask them what shows they have coming up. It will sound like they’re reading off dates for Ozzy’s “No More Tours, For Real This Time, No Joke” Tour. It’s insane. 

Every association serves a purpose, unique to them. If they don’t, you should drop your membership as soon as you’re finished reading this. There aren’t too many associations. There are too many conventions, conferences, meetings, shows, expos, etc. Is it time for us, the associations, to sit down and see how we can join forces with some of these events? In my opinion, which nobody asked me for, the answer is yes, for several reasons.

1. Cost Efficiency: Shared costs of venue, logistics, and marketing of the event. Typically, larger events have better negotiating power because of what you bring to the table. This all should result in savings that can be passed on to the attendee.”
2. Enhanced Resources: Combined, we can bring together a wider range of expertise and resources. Imagine the diverse speakers, workshops, and exhibitors we could bring together at one time. A unified event can attract a larger and more diverse audience, providing all of us with new prospects as members, sponsors, and partners and customers.
3. Networking Opportunities: Attendees can connect with a broader range of potential customers, from around the world. And, associations would benefit from enhance collaboration, which should lead to new partnerships and initiatives that benefit all association’s members involved.

I can go on and on. Combined efforts promote a more unified voice, streamlines communication, and increases the value to attendees. If you want me to, I can even swing left and tell you how one combined meeting has a more environmentally friendly footprint than multiple, smaller events. Please don’t make me go there though. So, what are your thoughts? I want to hear them. Do you want a 2028 North American Wood Expo? 2029? Never? Let me know at j.hester@nhla.com and I will share your feedback with our friends across the associations. Oh, and don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @nhla_networking.

Have a great April!

John Hester
NHLA Chief Development Officer
j.hester@nhla.com | 901-399-7558



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