Nearly 2,000 attendees converged on the Gaylord Texan resort near Dallas, Texas last week for the annual Mac Tools Tool Fair, where they saw plenty of new tools at the trade show, received discounts on tools, spent time in education sessions, were updated on the company’s plans for growth and paid tribute to the top distributor performers.
Adding to the festivities were numerous prizes and giveaways as the company celebrated its 75th anniversary.
During a welcoming talk for exhibitors, John Castelino, director of product management, presented awards to suppliers.
Robert Holmes, director of marketing, explained the tablet order form that was provided to attendees. This marked the first year that attendees could order on a touchscreen during the trade show.
During the “Kick-Off” for attendees, Brett Shaw, president of Mac Tools, noted the importance of Mac Tools student technician program that allows students to purchase tools at a discount. Shaw also noted that distributor route averages improved in 2012 and that the company launched a veterans franchise program.
Castelino told attendees that the company will introduce hundreds of new products in 2013. He noted that 2013 will be the year for power tools, and pointed to a new line of cordless tools under the Mac Tools brand.
Members of the media were treated to a special press tour on the opening day of the show where they saw some of the new products Mac Tools is offering. These included power tools, tool storage products, hand tools, diagnostic tools, a pressure tester, and a new iPad app that is available at the Apple store.
Attendees were also able to meet race car drivers and see race cars on the show floor. Attendees lined up to get autographs from drivers Doug Kalitta, John Force, Brittany Force, Dave Grubnic, Del Worsham, Chip Foose, Courtney Force, Steve Torrence, Brandon Bernstein, Robert Hight and Alexis DeJoria.
“It’s definitely the most energetic show,” said Brett Shaw on the second to last day of the show. “The branding. The energy. The enthusiasm. They (the distributors) are embracing the technology.”
Shaw noted that a new ordering tablet went over well with attendees. Not only can attendees learn about products and place an order, they can visit manufacturer websites. “It’s about operational excellence,” Shaw said. “Where is money and time being spent in the supply chain we can take out to make them more efficient?”
“We want you (distributors) to feel that this is a Mac Tools show and not a trade show,” he noted. “We want to build something so strong people want to come because the brand is so strong.”
Saturday evening, Mac Tools honored its top distributors during its “Macademy Awards” dinner.
Shaw noted in his welcoming remarks that Mac Tools is partnering with Breast Cancer Awareness and with the Wounded Warrior Project.
Awards were then presented to distributors with 20 years, 25 years, 30 years, and 35 years. Platinum and Diamond distributors who have three or more consecutive years at the highest production levels were also honored.
The Founders Award, which recognizes the distributor/franchisee who goes above and beyond to bring values to life, went to Tom Seagraves of Columbia, Mo. He and his wife, Janice, have been volunteering with the City Union Mission Camp in the Ozarks for the past seven years in addition to other charity work.
Larry Greenberger and Elliot Maras of Professional Distributor Magazine presented the magazine’s 2013 Distributor of the Year Award to Wayne Kolvoord of Fort Wayne, Ind. The award recognizes the distributor who demonstrates leadership in business and in the community. Kolvoord and his wife, Elaine, have six foster children in addition to three of their own children, and are involved in the Girl Scouts and Little League. Kolvoord has also been involved in organizing several regional Mac Tools distributors in a support organization.
To view photos from the show, click here.