Considering that we’re in prime horse racing season, as I reflect on another spectacular MHEDA Conference in Orlando, it seems fair to frame this blog with some wagering context! While California Chrome notched a win in Kentucky two Saturday’s ago, the Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association galloped towards Florida and their 59th annual Convention.
The winners we’re countless. After four days of camaraderie, workshops, illuminating seminars, and an abundance of networking fun, you’ll be hard pressed to find any attendee returning home from the MHEDA Convention with a lack of ideas on how to improve their business. Some of the biggest winners at the event included:
- Membership. MHEDA members were once again blessed with a tremendous balance of valuable information through varied seminars and workshops, advice on best practices and business improvement. The keynotes were awe-inspiring, the entertainment mesmerizing, and the impact should be outstanding.
- Liz Richards and the staff at MHEDA posted a big win. It’s a giant undertaking to assemble such a quality event. No stone was left unturned, attention to detail was very apparent, and the show wowed us all in every sense, not just on the roller coasters.
- Mark Milovich of Lift Atlanta, and Chairman of the 2014 MHEDA Convention, spearheaded a fantastic event full of quality sessions and world class speakers while leaving time to let his own hair-down (in more ways than one.)
Loews Portofino proved to be a great host for the Superhero-themed convention. From the picturesque setting complete with water taxi rides from the harbor, to the opening party at Universal Studios, this venue wowed us throughout. The full glory of the host site stretched well beyond the following highlights:
- The facilities and staff at the hotel were extremely accommodating for both exhibitors and attendees.
- The venue provided ample space both indoors and out to compliment the varied mix of keynote speakers, receptions, meals, parties and seminars.
- There was a lot to do for spouses and convention attendees. From planned activities, to simply enjoying the hotel pool and amenities, one could immerse in the moment and find time to relax.
- Universal Studios. Super-charged, Super-Fun, Superhero’s! If you indulged in any of the coasters throughout Universal, you know how awesome having access to the parks for a few days really was.
This really was a show, and I’m not just referencing the exhibitor’s efforts either. Trade show elements can be dry at times, but the folks orchestrating this year’s Exhibitor Showcase built in prizes, entertainment and refreshments, not to mention a talking tree! Yes, the week was not short on ways to entertain and enthrall us. A short list of the most memorable elements include:
Linda CarterMark Milovich’s opening remarks and fully immersing himself in his role, as any great host should. Kudos to Mark!
- Sal Giunta’s incredible and heroic story of his time in combat in Afghanistan, where his unwavering commitment to his team earned him a Medal of Honor.
- Author and keynote speaker, Steve McClatchy, asked us to “Gain and/or Prevent Pain,” leaving us with his bestselling book “Decide” along with many compelling reasons for working smarter, reducing stress and leading by example.
- MHEDA favorite Alan Beaulieu returned to mesmerize us with his unfathomable accuracy on economic forecasts, while encouraging us all to “think big” and “get aggressive.”
- Finally, this show was full of mixed emotion. We were all reduced to tears by Sal Giunta’s story, and falling off our chairs in laughter with the closing party entertainment. And like me, you’re probably still bemused and confused by Michael Anthony’s Mental Makeover session. How on earth does he pull off those tricks, I hear you ask?
So as “Post Time” for this blog nears and we reflect on an incredibly successful event, we now approach the end of the first full week back in the office. I hope you’ve all had the chance to download your Poken contacts, upload your professional headshots and take advantage of a complimentary website audit. The MHEDA Convention was truly energizing and extremely valuable. If you’re in the industry and not yet a MHEDA member, you’ll want to edge your bets and get involved. For the 2014 MHEDA Convention attendees, I hope the show provides you the motivation and focus to run a great race through the balance of 2014!