Editor’s note: This is the third in an ongoing series of web exclusives about distributor shows in January. Upcoming exclusives will run each Wednesday in December.
Arrow Distributing is set to roll out the red carpet in a big way for its dealers at its upcoming show, set for Tuesday, Jan. 24, and Wednesday, Jan. 25, at the IP Casino Resort & Spa in Biloxi, Miss.
“We’re giving our attendees the ‘VIP Experience,’” says Andy Mullin, vice president of Arrow Distributing. “And what that is: From the time dealers get off the airplane we greet them with our VIP crew and take them in limousines from the airport in Biloxi to the hotel. Once they are in the limo they get beverage and a snack and have a pleasant welcoming to Biloxi, and it just gets their trip off to a good start.
“And we also do that when they depart the hotel and go back to the airport on Thursday. … And we offer that from the morning to the late evenings, so the vast majority of dealers will get it.”
Attendees should be equally impressed with the hotel venue, which was recently remodeled, according to Mullin.
“We toured it. It looks like it’s going to be a wonderful venue for us – all updated rooms and lots of dinning and entertainment options and it’s got a wonderful show floor,” he says.
In addition to the many amenities offered by the hotel, Arrow will do its part to keep dealers fed and entertained with cocktail hours, breakfasts and lunch. Still, the real reason dealers come to the show is for the special show pricing, Mullin acknowledges, and he says dealers won’t be disappointed.
“We pass through all of our vendor discounts, so it’s truly the best buying opportunity of the year, ” he says.
And to make the ordering process more efficient and easier for all involved parties, Arrow this year is implementing a new computerized ordering system.
“It allows dealers to know exactly what dealers are buying throughout the course of the show. They can check on their orders with several kiosks set up around the show floor so they can see exactly what they’ve bought. They can actually leave the show with a printed version or it can be automatically emailed to them,” Mullin says. “So, it tells them what they have purchased and clears everything up for them, and for us, while also giving vendors transparency in terms of what was purchased.”
Meanwhile, dealers will have plenty of new products to peruse on the show floor this year, thanks in part to the fact that Arrow Distributing completely sold out of exhibitor space.
“This is the first we have sold out this early. We completely maxxed out our available space,” Mullin says, attributing the increase to the healthy overall market plus Arrow’s efforts to secure new vendors with in-demand products.
Mullin anticipates dealer attendance will be up as well this year, although he says it’s too soon to say by how much.
As in past years, Arrow will offer a near full day of training hosted by vendors on the first day of its two-day show. This year’s presenting vendors are: ASA Electronics, Blue Ox, Cequent, Progress Mfg., Lippert Components, JR Products, Pinnacle, Marshall Excelsior, KING, PullRite, RV Designer and Winegard.
“We’ve selected the seminars based upon dealer feedback, based upon who they want to see at our show,” Mullin says. “So, instead of us choosing so much, we allowed our dealer base to choose the presenters.”
Arrow Distributing’s 2017 Exhibitor Showcase
When: Jan. 24-25
Where: IP Casino Resort & Spa in Biloxi, Miss.
Show Hours: 3 p.m.-6:30 p.m., Jan. 24; 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Jan. 25
Education Sessions: Offered Jan. 24. Training from a variety of vendors is offered from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Special Events/Offerings: Multiple events planned, including:
* 5 p.m.-6:30 p.m., Jan. 24: Cocktail reception in the exhibit hall
* 5 p.m.-6:30 p.m., Jan. 25: Cocktail reception
* Jan. 25: Cash prizes will be drawn once every hour the exhibits are open
* Jan. 25: Door prizes