PTDA Canadian Conference Showcases PT Market

From its start in 2001 with 53 attendees, PTDA’s 12th annual Canadian Conference set a new high when a record-breaking 250 particip...
July 2, 2013—From its start in 2001 with 53 attendees, PTDA’s 12th annual Canadian Conference set a new high when a record-breaking 250 participants gathered in Toronto, Ontario on June 6-8. The top decision-makers from Canadian distributors and their manufacturing partners met to network and hear from thought-leaders on leading and building effective teams supplemented by insights on sales management and end-user market updates.

Held at the InterContinental Toronto Centre, the PTDA Canadian Conference kicked off with the fourth annual Industry Showcase featuring over 30 companies showcasing their latest products. This was followed over the course of the next two days by sessions, selected by an industry committee of volunteers, on topics including:

•Developing Star Power: Mike Lipkin of Environics Research Group, one of Canada’s leading research houses, emphasized how a personal focus on being a catalyst for building good teams can make working for your company an extraordinary experience.

•Renewable Energies in the Mining Sector: Dr. Dean Millar, MIRARCO research chair of energy and mining at Laurentian University, provided insight on renewable energies in the mining industry, a mainstay of the Canadian economy.  Millar focused on how one mine, Nickel Rim South in Sudbury, could reduce its fossil energy consumption by 40 percent utilizing these techniques.

•Prospering in a Flat Economy: Gord Duncan, president of SPAR Consulting Inc. and former president of KINECOR (now Wajax), discussed how distributors can maximize their chances for growth and profitability.  According to Duncan, distributors need to do three things: (1) figure out how to properly price their products and services, (2) find out where their sales forces are going, and (3) find a way to build stronger relationships with suppliers.

•Do One Thing Really, Really Well: Greg Taylor, co-founder of Steam Whistle Brewing, shared his successes and failures. Taylor’s message was consumers drive your brand. “Branding is not what you say about your product, but what the consumer says about you based on their cumulative experience with your brand at every touch point,” said Taylor. PTDA Canadian Conference attendees got to experience first-hand the culture of the company with a dinner event and tours held at the Steam Whistle Brewing.

•Selling on Value: Consultant and author Joe Ellers spoke of the importance of offering defined, quantified and prove-able benefits to customers, or risk being only able to compete on price.

•The Importance of Teamwork: Toronto Argonauts legend Michael “Pinball” Clemons inspired the attendees in his closing keynote, sharing his four-pronged message: Stay pumped, know what drives you, understand that leadership is doing more with less and adversity in life is guaranteed so it’s how you deal with adversity that dictates how successful you will be.