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A Unique Conference Shows the Importance of Leadership in a Variety of Ways

Having strong leadership is important for shaping an organization. AED knows this, and because of that we host our Leadership Conference every year. This year, we partnered with the Equipment Dealers Association (EDA), and traveled to Sonoma, Calif., to host a unique experience for our Leadership Conference attendees at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa. The Leadership Conference is designed specifically for emerging leaders in the industry to get ahead in their career and accelerate their future within their dealership.

Having been with AED for about a year now, this was the first time I got to attend the Conference as an AED staff member.
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Being able to see the benefits of attending this conference firsthand while also meeting with our members made this experience a unique one for me.

My first conference activity was joining AED members on Sunday afternoon for an experience unique to Sonoma: a wine tasting tour! This was an optional activity for Conference attendees that included visits to Imagery Estate Winery, VJB Vineyard & Cellars and Kunde Family Winery. We couldn’t help but see the connection between these wineries and many dealerships, as we heard stories about the wineries being family-owned-and-operated businesses.

As an AED staff member, attending this event gave me the opportunity to meet AED members I had not met before. I look forward to continuing those relationships and to meeting more of you as I attend other AED conferences. Attendees that joined us got to network and meet with peers before the conference started, with the added bonus of being able to experience something unique to Sonoma. An important aspect of the Leadership Conference is to create networking opportunities for attendees to meet and share experiences and ideas with one another, so receptions were held on Sunday and Monday evenings.

The conference’s educational programming was offered on Monday and Tuesday. This conference had a mix of high-quality educational offerings, where attendees sat through sessions that challenged them to create their idea of the perfect leader, showed them how to best forge relationships with customers and coworkers, explained the importance of creating a business culture that helps their organization, and sponsored a collaboration session to discuss hot topics in the construction equipment industry, to name a few. The conference also included government updates straight from representatives in the area who discussed things happening in their districts and took questions from the crowd. The blend of informative, engaging and collaborative workshops kept each session feeling fresh and distinct. The mix of speakers, including a lawyer, a police officer, an acclaimed author, state representatives, construction equipment professionals and many more, provided great insight into the different kinds of leaders and leadership there are in all professions. I know that the sessions I was able to attend offered great ideas that even I could take back to AED and use.

We are already hard at work creating another exciting Leadership Conference for next year, one that we are sure will be just as successful and beneficial for attendees as this year’s was. Make sure to keep an eye out for more information that we will release as it becomes available.

AED works hard to ensure that our conferences combine educational and networking opportunities, with a little fun mixed in, so you can be confident that your time away from the office isn’t wasted. With conferences focused on government affairs, financial and HR topics, leadership, industry drivers and more, there are plenty of options for professional growth for all AED members.

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