The Road to Victory Lane

Edition: June 2002 - Vol 10 Number 06
Article#: 1249
Author: Repertoire

Daytona Beach, FL --
IMCO was back at home in Daytona Beach for its annual national convention. Following the theme of ''The Road to Victory Lane,'' the meeting was a convergence of IMCO's highly successful Winner's Circle Promotion, a special evening at Daytona USA, located at Daytona International Speedway, and a race-track-themed exhibit hall.

''IMCO members have been performing at an unbelievably high level over the past year,'' said Bill McLaughlin, IMCO president and CEO, in his opening remarks at the Adam's Mark Hotel & Resort. ''It's a combination of factors that are responsible, including teamwork, attitude and a winning spirit. This meeting, with a record 600-plus attendees from our members and vendors, shows how far we have come over the past few years.

''We're continuing to grow and it is a result of performance – our performance, your performance and how we function as a single unit on a national basis,'' continued McLaughlin. ''Today, IMCO is a marketing-directed, undivided organization that exists for your benefit. That, coupled with your ability to serve locally, build relationships, and sell product, has set us up for even more explosive growth in the future.''

Citing the success of its Winner's Circle Promotion, McLaughlin said independent distributors are outpacing the performance of the national distribution companies. ''IMCO members pulled together for one of the most successful promotional programs in our industry's history. We moved a lot of product by operating together as a team. And this coming year it's going to get even better.''

IMCO invited the top performing sales reps from The Winner's Circle Promotion to attend the convention to learn, network and most importantly, find out who had the right key for the grand prize, a brand new red Chrysler P.T. Cruiser. That key was in the possession of Howard Schiffman, the outgoing and charismatic principal of New Jersey-based Cornell Surgical (pictured left).

The grand prize give-away capped the first night's activities at Daytona USA. Schiffman turned the key to the cheers of an estimated 500-600 people. All of the finalists were awarded passes to 95% Share Marketing's ''Seeing is Believing'' seminar at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Downtown Chicago.

Content Is King
Keynote speaker Ed Foreman, a well known motivational speaker who has been everything from a Congressman to a salesman, kicked off the first day's activities with a rousing presentation titled ''A Winning Spirit'' that put everyone in attendance in the right mood – or as he would say, in a ''terrrriiiific mood!''

Roundtable discussions followed, with the group splitting between physician and nursing home members. The roundtable events were geared toward information sharing between members and vendors, which allowed everyone to take home at least one good idea that could be put into practice to increase profitability and sales.

Following the roundtable discussions, a number of well know industry speakers made presentations to IMCO members and vendors. 95% Share Marketing's Jim Niekamp conducted his ''Differentiating Yourself in the Marketplace'' seminar, Welch Allyn's Brian Sullivan put on a selling clinic, and Quality America's Dr. Sheila Dunn held a seminar on ''Safety and Government Regulations.''

The Trade Show
The exhibit floor reflected the theme of ''The Road to Victory Lane.'' Many of the vendors displayed a NASCAR theme, even going so far as to dress in racing attire. IMCO's programs for distribution of product through Lab Supply Company and MMS (formerly Midwest Medical) were featured on the show floor, as was Education OnLine (EOL,) a Web-based learning center for distributor salespeople, used by many IMCO members for product training.

Volume sold off the floor was estimated at over $3.5 million. Many vendors negotiated special member deals saving 5-15 percent off of normal prices. The IMCO Vendors also paid out approximately $700,000 in member incentives.

The Conclusion
The convention ended with a reception and dinner at the Adam's Mark, featuring live music and plenty of dancing. Dukal won the $500 prize for best booth. T. J. Seiler of Smith Surgical in Peoria, IL won the member prize, a $3000 certificate for travel, and Jim Craig of Spacelabs Medical won the vendor prize that was also a $3000 travel certificate.

With the prizes already awarded, the crowd was still going strong, prompting McLaughlin to comment, ''This really is a celebration of the independent distributor. Look at the dance floor. What I see is the talent, passion and independence of our members on full display. These are people that make things happen. They are what makes IMCO such a unique and successful organization.''