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A significant milestone for any association is its 50th anniversary. Spending half a century together as an association calls for a major celebration.
AIM/R and its members have hosted conferences in major cities throughout the United States on an annual basis since 1973. Even as COVID-19 hit the world and changed business overnight, AIM/R adjusted and held its first virtual conference in 2020. Members were grateful to return to an in-person event in San Diego in 2021, while also offering several sessions to be watched remotely via a live stream.
Fiftieth anniversaries are most notably referred to as golden anniversaries. And AIM/R’s golden anniversary symbolizes the wealth of knowledge its membership shares and carries optimism for the years to come. This year’s golden event is scheduled for Oct. 12-14, 2022; please save the date, as you will not want to miss this event.
This year’s annual conference continues the annual tradition by returning to where it all began in 1973. Colorado’s appeal to host the 50th conference was an easy decision for Conference Chair Katie Hubach of Signature Sales and her conference team. The venue is located 340 miles from the exact center of the continental United States.
AIM/R traditionally tries to move the conference from the East Coast to the West Coast on an alternating basis, but this year AIM/R is returning to its roots. This year’s event is at The Gaylord Rockies Resort outside of Denver, just 10 minutes from the Denver airport.
The resort and convention center could be the set for a James Bond movie with its location at the edge of the highest peaks and along the eastern edge of the Rocky Mountains, referred to as the Front Range.
While “Mission Celebrate” is this year’s theme, AIM/R offers a balanced schedule of education and networking opportunities built into the agenda. Over the past 50 years, AIM/R strived to position reps and manufacturers together to cultivate new ideas, cross-learning and networking in one place each year.
Mission Celebrate is fitting after five decades of success within the industry; the Bond-style theme is also very fitting for this year’s event. This year saw the release of the 25th Bond film, “No Time to Die.” The movie starts off with James Bond after a five-year retirement. Bond was struggling with his new life in retirement; during the course of the movie, he is challenged in ways he would have never imagined.
Throughout the past year, the world and the rules of engagement have changed. Just like Bond himself, AIM/R’s membership faced and overcame unforeseen challenges. And like any good special agent, AIM/R has put together a plan of action and will see it through as a team to accomplish its goals.
As 007 shook things up a bit in “Skyfall,” switching from his straightforward vodka martini with a twist of lemon and replacing it with a dirty martini, Katie and her team are making some changes to this year’s schedule.
Rep-Only Day will be first this year, with the Rep & Manufacturer Day at the later part of the event. The conference will close with a gala, reception and dinner where all can celebrate AIM/R’s historic anniversary together.
The core content will continue to be as strong as ever for the 2022 annual event as the conference team has been hard at work developing it. Katie and her team secured industry leaders from within their fields to lead these sessions. While the content is still being fine-tuned, here are a few sneak peeks of what we have in store.
For this opening event, the plan is for three concurrent sessions from which rep members can choose. The “How to Build Rock Solid Contracts” session will be led by Dan Beederman with SFBBG. Beederman and his team at SFBBG specialize in rep/manufacturer agreements. They are heavily involved with both the AIM/R board of directors and many of its members with contracts and succession agreements.
The “Apps for the Modern-Day Rep” presentation will showcase cutting-edge technology that reps can use in their firms every day to keep their modern-day agents in the field connected. And a session on project tracking will address best practices to assist in market-share growth and explore the follow-up process implemented by some of our peers around the country.
This year’s RISE (Rep Information/Solution Exchange) topics include “Rep 2.0,” “The Balanced Line Card” and “The Future of Inside Sales.” Over the years, we watched 007 evolve throughout 25 films. This year, AIM/R is going to provide attendees with an outlook of what it envisions as the next evolution of the rep with Rep 2.0.
The remaining topics focus on the importance of a balanced line card, along with tools used to evaluate it, and the evolution of the inside sales role. The pandemic refocused and reimagined this position for both manufacturers and reps over the past two years. We will explore some of these changes/trends. These new RISE sessions will consist of a short presentation by fellow reps, followed by plenty of time for the roundtable discussions.
This year’s 50th celebration is set to end Oct. 14 with a gala, reception and dinner — an occasion Bond himself would not miss. AIM/R looks forward to celebrating with reps and manufacturers alike for a night of food, drinks and entertainment.
Remember to mark your calendars, save the date, and look for more details about Mission Celebrate in Colorado. While Katie and her team put the finishing touches on the gala, we all know 007 would not approve of “Dom Perignon ’53 above a temperature of 38 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s as bad as listening to the Beatles without earmuffs.”
Jon Wiggs, CPMR, CSP, is a manufacturer’s rep with Wiggs-Haun & Bohan and serves on AIM/R’s Executive Committee. He holds residential and commercial contractors licenses in Tennessee, and is the builder specialist for the firm’s middle Tennessee territory.
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