By Jade Moldae
The two-step distribution model continues to serve an integral role for hundreds of companies in our unique industry. Dealers interact with wholesale distributors on a weekly (if not daily) basis, counting on them to deliver in-demand inventory on time — and, in some cases, provide insights on broader trends impacting the industry and how they can be better equipped to meet the needs of customers.
For more than 60 years, the National Association of Sporting Goods Wholesalers (NASGW) has been bringing shooting sports buyers and sellers together, sharing educational, marketing and communications best practices with its members. Later this month NASGW member wholesale distributors, manufacturers, sales rep organizations, importers, suppliers and other industry executives will convene at the Gaylord Palms in Orlando, Fla., for the 46th NASGW Expo & Annual Meeting, Oct. 22–25.
Due to its timing in the calendar year, this annual event represents an early preview for New Year business. NASGW President Kenyon Gleason shared this is a significant draw behind the Expo.
“For many, this is the first opportunity (sometimes behind closed doors) to see and touch the new products being released by manufacturers for the upcoming sales year,” he said. “The NASGW Expo is unique in that it allows manufacturers, distributors and manufacturer representatives to come together, without the distractions of some of the larger shows, and get a jump start on the new year.”
“If our members better understand what
the demand is at retail, at the distribution
level and what supply is available in the
two-step distribution channel, this can really
help companies make better decisions.”
NASGW Presidenton the NASGW SCOPE Program
The Expo also serves as a forum for attendees to formalize the launch of new programs.
“Participants have an opportunity to put together pricing plans, project sales and, of course, strategize the delivery of products into the channel so retailers can get access right away in 2020 when most of the major public product launches take place. In effect, it gets the team all working from the same playbook,” Gleason continued.
Getting The Most Out Of The Expo
“Because the NASGW Expo is a meeting-driven show — and a rather busy time for most distributors and manufacturers — the number-one thing we tell people each year is to get on top of scheduling your meetings before you arrive,” Gleason advised. “If you just show up and expect to be inundated with meetings, unfortunately you’ll be disappointed. Pre-planning your meetings is critical to success.”
In an effort to expand networking opportunities, NASGW is introducing a happy hour on both Wednesday and Thursday during the Expo.
“We’re bringing the ‘fun’ to the Expo show floor this year,” Gleason informed. “In the past, we’ve held an evening reception and networking event. We’ll actually be doing that on the show floor this year on both Wednesday and Thursday afternoon, which should make for a little more lively environment.”
“Data is everything today.”
As NASGW’s signature event of the year, the Expo gives the association a platform to update members on new opportunities to improve business. The NASGW SCOPE data program was formally unveiled last year, and has been further refined.
“The new SCOPE data initiative, currently gathering statistical information from 20 of our member distributors, is giving us a revealing window into the marketplace,” Gleason informed. “Each distributor sharing data in the system can now see — at a moment’s notice — what types of products are moving, and where. Manufacturer subscribers can likewise compare their own data to the rest of the marketplace. It’s a powerful tool to help the distribution channel better understand buying and production decisions.”
Gleason provided an update for those who subscribe to the program.
“We’ve made some amazing adjustments forthcoming to our NASGW SCOPE business data and analytics tools,” he said. “We’ll be launching these enhancements to our existing subscribers, and any new subscriber will get access to the tools as well.”
2019 NASGW Expo Agenda/Hours
Tuesday, Oct. 22
NASGW Appreciation Dinner
6:15 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 23
NASGW Expo 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
(Expo Happy Hour 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.)
Thursday, Oct. 24
SCOPE 2.0 Update 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
NASGW Expo 9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
(Expo Happy Hour 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.)
Friday, Oct. 25
NASGW Expo 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
(Editor’s Note: NASGW is hosting a SCOPE 2.0 update for members Thursday, Oct. 24, before the opening of the Expo from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.)
Gleason highlighted SCOPE’s prowess in providing live, data-driven decision making, which has become increasingly important in today’s sales environment.
“We all wish we had a crystal ball, so we could better predict what’s going on in our marketplace. But with an ever-growing number of political factors and outside influences, it seems to have just grown more challenging,” he stated. “The organization, especially the group of distributors who make up our voting members, has placed an incredible focus on ‘data-driven’ decision making. We’ve worked very hard to bring solid data and analytics tools to our industry and our channel in a way that makes sense. If our members better understand what the demand is at retail, at the distribution level, and, of course, what supply is available in the two-step distribution channel, this can really help companies make better decisions.”
This shared data initiative is a sign of the industry’s progress to make better, informed decisions, and NASGW will continue its efforts to improve it, Gleason said.
“Data is everything today. It brings power to businesses like never before. I really believe our industry is advancing very rapidly into this area and NASGW will continue to work hard to be a strong partner to all our members seeking this type of business information,” he concluded. Visit www.nasgwexpo.org