April  2004

The Show Scoop
Convention Previews and Reviews

AHMA Descends on Chicago

Nuts and Bolts
The nuts and bolts of it. We all know from this age-old cliché that those are the important parts. And these parts are celebrated at the annual American Hardware Manufacturer Association’s (AHMA’s) annual event, which this year will be held in Chicago April 18-20 in McCormick Place.

This year, the show will run 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday and Mon-day, April 18-19, and from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, April 20.

The show, which the AHMA hails as “three shows in one,” encompasses the World of Hardware & Tools™, the World of Lawn, Garden & Outdoor Living™ and the World of Home Decorating™. It includes both a trade show and several days of seminars.

The three-day show’s lengthy seminar schedule kicks off with “The Training Challenge”—which will be held before the main event even begins on April 17 at the Hyatt McCormick. Running from noon to 4:30 p.m., Jim Paluch of JP Horizons will provide attendees with information on how to hold weekly training sessions for employees.

School Days
Concurrently, from 1 to 1:45 p.m., Dr. Allen Konopacki will present “Winning Strategies for Successful Exhibiting.” He’ll discuss how to attract customers during the trade show, which will kick off on April 18, including how to make demonstrations that encourage attendees to purchase your products.

On April 18 from 11 a.m. to noon, Scott Wright, editor/associate publisher of DIY Retailing magazine, will hold “Trading Retail Spaces.” He’ll talk about the results of two hardware retailers in Racine, Wis., who toured each other’s stores and, with the help of a professional designer, provided suggestions for improving the store surroundings—a play on the popular TLC Show, “Trading Spaces.”

Sunday’s Seminars
Next, a panel moderated by Jack McGreevey of LGMDA will debate “What are the Benefits of Partnering Among Distributors, Manufacturers and Retailers?” Several experts and industry partici-pants will participate in this discussion of how each part of the industry adds value to the supply chain.

During “Exporting Success Strategies,” Carl Rudman of the U.S. Department of Commerce will moderate a panel of international trade specialists, who will discuss the export services and new programs occurring at the Department of Commerce. In addition, they’ll talk about some experiences—both positive and negative—that some companies already exporting have had.

At 5 p.m. on April 18, an industry networking event and reception will allow everyone attending the show to network, enjoy hors d’oeuvres and cocktails while discussing industry issues.

AHMA members will be able to attend the association’s annual membership meeting bright and early on Monday, April 19. The meeting will feature an industry speaker and will provide an update on the association’s plans for the coming year. The meeting will begin at 7:30 a.m. and breakfast will be served.

Monday’s Seminars
At 11 a.m., “What Buyers Want” by Kevin Hohman, publisher of DIY Retailing magazine and executive director of the Home Center Institute, will moderate a panel of top retail buyers/merchandise managers discussing what they are looking for in new products, how they evaluate new items and what it takes to do business with their companies.
At 12:30 p.m., the “Retailers’ Choice Awards” will be held by Scott Wright, editor/associate publisher of Do-It-Yourself Retailing magazine, will present the awards, honoring some of the most innovative products on display at the AHMA trade show.

Following the awards ceremony, Rich Byme of the Hardware Tools Institute will be moderating a panel called “What Has Happened to Hardware on the Internet?” Members of the panel will discuss what companies have seen surges in the days of the Internet and which have fallen away altogether.

At 3 p.m., Kevin Hohman will moderate the “International Forum 2004,” a roundtable discussion about initiatives moving forward in today’s marketplace, along with a question-and-answer session.


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