Cornwell Goes Country

Excitement ran high as Cornwell Tools welcomed dealers and guests to their 2008 show at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville, Tenn., in March. And Music City was an apt host for the wealth of tunes, tools and trucks that filled the convention center’s walls.

At this year’s event, more than 100 vendors turned out to unveil new and improved tool and equipment offerings, and distributors crowded their booths to receive a show-and-tell for everything from toolboxes and hand tools to power tools, A/C equipment and more.

A collection of new tool trucks also graced the floor. Guests were able to climb aboard 18’ and 22’ trucks and stroll around … some to get a peek at different layout options, and others just to receive inspiration.

Lunch breaks provided a welcome respite for the army of show-goers, who were eager to fuel up before returning to the exhibit floor.

“We served about 1,100 people at lunch,” said Bill Nobley, Cornwell president. He said this year saw the highest percentage of Cornwell distributors ever in attendance.

“This year, I would say we had a very, very good rally,” Nobley said. “The dealers were upbeat and positive about the future. And it’s really about them. The dealers are our business, and it is Cornwell Tools’ mission to do anything we can to provide them with the best in service and products.”

A handful of seminars were offered at the show as well. All seminars and training sessions provided a chance for distributors to sit back and receive additional training while sharing their own tips and information.

Topics included “Collecting with Confidence,” both basic and advanced MM1 refresher courses, “Becoming No. 1 in Your Territory,” “Merchandising for Profit,” “Reading your Statement 101” and a dealer forum.

The forum has become one of Cornwell’s most successful seminars held over the last four years. During the forum, attendees were encouraged to ask some of 2007’s top performing dealers, and their wives, questions on how they go about their business day to day.

In the official description for the forums, it read “We can learn so much when we are able to sit down and talk with our peers.” However, this seemed to be a general theme throughout the show, as vendors, distributors and guests all appeared enthusiastic to share in the tools, meals, training and camaraderie of the event.

Cornwell spiced things up with a number of cash and prize giveaways for distributors. There were 10 “Big Bucks and Trucks” winners who took home cash prizes ranging from $1,000 to more than $40,000. John Martel of Monroe, N.C., went home with a 2008 Chevy Silverado 1500 pickup with custom wheels and trim, and Jason Vipperman of Simpsonville, S.C., went home with the big money prize of $46,500.

The two-day exhibit closed with a reception, as well as a dinner and awards event. Next year’s award show will take place March 13-14 in Anaheim, Calif.