Private meeting rooms for companies to use were sold out, so there was plenty of one-on-one business interaction where manufacturers and their distributors could discuss the challenges each are facing, with distributors able to ask what their vendors are doing to alleviate issues currently facing the business world.
The program of speakers at the Miami meeting also focused on the pain points people are feeling, she said. There was a work force development panel with NAHAD members talking about strategies they are doing to hire and retain workers.
Supply chain issues also were front and center, though Mullins said many of the companies understand that the troubles will remain for some time. "We're all living it. You're getting through it, learning to adjust process and lead times." she said. "How you're communicating with your customers. You will get it (delivered) as fast as you can. You're not hiding it, and there were a lot of conversations about navigating (the difficulties)."
The program ended with Vijay Vaitheeswaran, an executive editor with The Economist, who talked on "The Disrupted Economy: What Lies Ahead for Business?"
NAHAD leaders were a bit nervous about closing the show with him because of the topic and his focus on the China trade relations supply chain, but it worked out well, according to Mullins.
"He was not optimistic because it's not an optimistic time," she said. "He provided a lot of feedback about being leery about entering into new business relations with Chinese companies. Near the end he used the term 'paranoia' within the Chinese government that won't make it any easier to do business in that market."
Vaitheeswaran did weave some positive outlook in the ebb and flow of his talk, noting some points of improvement in certain arenas. "I think he was a good way to kind of close things out and provide that global economic outlook—what's affecting any kind of distribution and trade," Mullins said.
NAHAD, over the next two years, will visit the two venues that weren't able to host the conventions because of the pandemic. The association will meet April 29-May 3, 2023, in the Bahamas, with the 2024 event scheduled for San Diego.