Steve Bailey, left, of SFA Companies, Inc. presents the 10W COB aluminum cordless light to Nick Bowden of Watertown, S.D.
Well over 2,000 distributors, partners, suppliers and Matco Tools associates converged on the Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas recently for the Matco Tools Expo. Attendees spent several days seeing new tools at the trade show, attended training and networking events. Distributors, tool manufacturers and Matco officials agreed the event was very upbeat as attendees learned about several new Matco tool offerings and had a chance to view the new tools.
This year’s distributor attendance exceeded last year’s number, and there were also more exhibits in a larger amount of exhibit space.
Tool highlights included new diagnostic tools, cordless technology, air conditioning service equipment, new features on certain hand tools and more.
Matco officials noted this year’s expo witnessed the best distributor participation ever in the training seminars, largely due to the new seminar format. This year, there were four one-and-half hour seminars that were each repeated four over the course of two days, allowing distributors the chance to attend all of the seminars. One seminar focused on selling diagnostic tools, one addressed selling toolboxes and two focused on business management.
John Green, Matco’s vice president of marketing and ecommerce, noted that more than two thirds of the distributor attendees participated in the seminars, which marked a record in education participation.
The seminar on selling diagnostics was the best attended seminar; each of the presentations of this seminar drew standing room only attendance, due to the need to better understand this growing tool category and to the fact that diagnostics represents the fastest growing tool category.
The toolbox sales seminars also drew outstanding attendance, which Green attributed to the fact that these seminars were designed to foster peer-to-peer exchanges on this highly profitable tool category.
Green noted that the trade show generated a lot of positive distributor feedback about tools that use PC boards, LED lighting, cordless power tools, as well as some of the new hardlines. The trade show included a large section for new products and another area highlighting tool storage products.
Distributors received incentives and promotional pricing at the trade show; many commented that these offers more than justified the expense of attending the show.
Tool manufacturers, for their part, noted that the show traffic was outstanding. Not only was the floor busy, but the distributors were placing orders.
During the annual distributor business conference, Green explained new exclusive product offerings in several tool categories. Matco honored its top performing distributors and top performing managers and sales teams. Distributors also got a chance to view videos on distributors who have experienced success with the Matco business system.
Distributors also learned about a new Matco mobile app in the works, and the ongoing partnership with National Hod Rod Association Top Fuel driver, Antron Brown.
Matco distributors also voted for the top supplier. Professional Tool Products took top honors in the distributor choice awards.
Next year’s tool fair is scheduled for Feb. 14 to 18 at the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center in Kissimmee, Fla.