There's Simply No Substitute for Face Time - From the Chairman
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SECTION: From the Chairman

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There's Simply No Substitute for Face Time

By Bennett Closner

Article Date: 11-01-2009
Copyright(C) 2009 Associated Equipment Distributors. All Rights Reserved.

Our AED Summit 2010 in San Antonio – Be There!

Although I am not a psychic, I think I am close on this one – you recently saw the announcement for the AED convention and your first thought was ''should I send fewer employees this year?'' 

The answer is no, and here is my logic: 

It is at times such as this that the purpose of AED becomes even more clear. Regardless of the growth in technology, webinars and teleconferences can never replace the personal interaction that occurs between our members.

It's true that one of the most important dimensions of AED's convention has traditionally been the networking, dealers with their manufacturers, and also dealers with dealers who haven't seen each other for a year. We recognize the value in this and we also recognize that over the years and for various reasons, many of our manufacturer partners have been absent from this major dealer event – it does make it rather challenging to meet face to face with someone who isn't there. This year, AED is pulling out all the stops to attract all the major OEMS of the industry to a brand new, completely reimagined AED event. Predictable is a thing of the past. But all the good things you come for will be present and multiplied.

As I was thinking about the extreme importance and power of what people accomplish when they are able to spend time together, I was reminded of a few other current examples that are playing out at AED:

  • AED and AEM have embarked on a massive campaign to enlighten Congress on the economic hardships now facing our industry. This was conceived in a face-to-face meeting between our staff, AED board members and our AEM counterparts. The scale of the program and the speed at which we implemented the Start Us up USA! campaign are a testament to the power of communicating face to face.
  • AGC has launched a similar campaign called “Build Now for the Future – A Blueprint for Economic Growth.” Steve Sandherr of AGC developed this in conjunction with his membership and other associations, such as AED and AEM. Again, there is a tremendous amount of personal interaction and planning between all parties.
  • AED Canada and AED are jointly investigating an evolution in our relationship. If approved, AED Canada will close their staff office and transfer their association functions to AED in Oakbrook, Ill. It took a lot of personal interaction from their elected chairman, Michael Christadoulou, to reach this point. And it will take much more face-time if we are to finalize a transaction that will have lasting enhancements for all Canadian members. Additional steps in this process will occur in San Antonio.

In closing, most of us have never been through an economic cycle such as this. For those few who have, I bet you were not in a management position at the time! AED can play a vital role in your decision making now. We are ''reinventing'' the annual meeting. It will be quite a bit different than prior versions. There will be much more time available for building relationships and meeting with individuals who have great solutions – your fellow AED members.

I encourage you to attend and to be part of this process. As always, Toby Mack and I welcome your comments, so write to us both at: and
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