Attendees of the first-ever virtual Automotive Parts Associates Annual Shareholders & Suppliers Conference, held March 23-25, already considered the conference a major success prior to the conclusion of the event, organizers said.
The primary focus for the event is to provide opportunities for shareholders and suppliers to connect and collaborate, and the APA organizers took every step to ensure a positive outcome. The planning and training was advantageous and beneficial, with nearly 200 supplier representatives and 160 member participants taking part in the informational general sessions, supplier award presentation and, most importantly, the one-on-one meetings.
The team noted positive feedback beginning with the registration process, with attendees immediately expressing how easy it was to get started as a result of the technical resources APA provided, such as custom tutorials for both shareholders and suppliers along with live support.
Shareholders and suppliers embraced the event’s theme “Making Connections” in a digital environment, by taking advantage of the platform’s matchmaking and networking features to schedule one-on-one meetings with each other through the system. The digital foundation of the conference was so popular that APA organizers had to add more meeting days before and after the event’s core dates to accommodate all of the connection requests.
“This business runs on face-to-face relationships and while we would prefer to see each other and do business in person, I am proud of APA’s execution to ensure our shareholders and suppliers were able to continue making connections albeit in the virtual environment,” APA President Steve Tucker said. “I’m also proud of the way our membership stepped up to support the rest of the organization and participated in the event with each other and the supplier community. The pandemic has been a challenge for everyone, and we’re looking forward to seeing everyone again in-person in Atlanta next year. Based on the success of this virtual meeting, I cannot wait to see what we have planned for our return to live events.”
The event is scheduled to return to a live format March 16-18, 2022, at the InterContinental Buckhead Atlanta hotel.