Stealing a page from the dating app Tinder, but Azione Unlimited‘s “Azione Absolute Fall Conference” was highlighted by a five-minute “speed networking” meetings that helped integrators and vendors re-engage digitally in the midst of the pandemic. The three-day event 326 Azione Unlimited members in attendance for what the buying group calls “one of the most powerful conferences in the industry.”
“The Azione Absolute Fall Conference has been an absolute hit among all our dealer and vendor members,” says Richard Glikes, president of Azione Unlimited. “The balance between small group meetings, keynotes, and one-on-one networking injected a much-needed dose of energy back into our industry. The results have been absolutely outstanding, and we are proud of the positive ripples it produced in making our group that much stronger.”
Running from October 13-15, the three-day conference offered 30 sessions, including three keynotes, three networking opportunities, six presentations, and 18 small group sessions. Of the 326 unique dealer and vendor attendees, there were more than 1,200 session participants across all events.
Azione Speed Networking
Focused on providing a platform for dealers and vendors to interact, the Azione Absolute conference’s hallmarks included one-on-one speed networking and small group meetings. Each of these sessions had audio and video enabled to provide a safe and natural experience.
One-on-one speed networking randomly matched dealers and vendors, allowing just five minutes of conversation. Direct and genuine conversations provided a renewed path to connect dealer and vendor members, says the Azione in a press release. Over the three days, 130 speed-networking meetings took place.
“It was the first virtual conference I attended that was actually beneficial,” says Jeff Costello, vice president of sales for Nortek Control. “I really enjoyed the one-on-one speed networking, and the small group meetings were incredibly interactive. I was thrilled to connect with dealers and really liked hearing that the world is going to be fine in 2021.”
Complementing the one-on-one speed networking, the Azione Absolute Fall Conference also provided small group meetings focusing on an array of topics including lighting, service plans, business acumen, remote employee management, wellness offerings, and more. These small group sessions emulated in-person events and offered dealers a platform to share face-to-face experiences in a non-competitive environment.
“I wanted to say thank you for putting on another great event,” says Nick DeClemente, president of Elevated Integration in New York. “The commitment you guys have to all of your members is amazing. Azione has shown that throughout 2020 and has continued to provide value even in the most difficult of circumstances.”
“I wanted to thank you for your dedication to your members to put on a fall conference,” says Angela Larson, vice president of sales operations at Savant. “While it is not easy to pivot and embrace new ways of doing things, you all did it with grace. I give your team huge kudos for being here for your members when they need you, no matter what the format is.”
The event also featured three keynotes. Interior designer business coach Nancy Ganzekaufer opened the conference with a conversation on how to create, maintain, and maximize relationships between integrators and designers. Chris Smith, CEO of TheCoTeam, energized dealers with a discussion on how to “Overcome Self-Limiting Beliefs” and create a culture of productivity in your business. CEDIA senior vice president of education Samantha Ventura closed the conference with powerful advice on being a better leader, even in difficult times.
“Azione Unlimited is always looking to surprise and delight members, so having to accommodate to a completely virtual meeting became a fascinating challenge for us,” says Patrick McCarthy, director of enw business development and member services for Azione Unlimited.
“We decided to take the strength of in-person meetings and recreate that magic digitally. The results were three-days of action-packed sessions that energized both dealer and vendor members to generate new business, meet with old friends, and, importantly, build stronger relationships.