The Distributors Gala Dinner, held at the elegant Plaza Ballroom at Melbourne’s Regent Theatre, has showcased some of Australia’s best in the P&C channel. Attended by more than 200 people, the masquerade-themed event complemented the venue with its high ceilings, mesmerising Spanish Rococo architecture and Juliet balconies.
Highlights of the night included entertainment by Gentleman of Deceit, the trio of magicians well-known from Australia’s Got Talent and The Distributors Annual Awards recognising supply partners and members. For die-hard State of Origin fans, there was also the chance to celebrate or commiserate the results of the second game with national colleagues.
The conference program was packed with group meetings, workshops, presentations and break-out sessions with the common goal of expanding The Distributors business while continuing to focus on providing award winning localised service. Popular sessions included AACS State of the Industry breakfast presented by Jeff Rogut; C-Store UK Insights presented by Brett Barclay (Convenience Measures Australia) and an inspirational talk by Daniel Flynn, co-founder and managing director of Thankyou.
Supplier speed-presenting proved hugely rewarding and impactful, with 15 suppliers blitz presenting to seven or eight members at a time. There were three minutes to present and one minute for questions before the bell chimed for rotation to the next waiting group.
The Distributors general manager George Tsapoutas said everyone was very pleased with the success of the conference.
“Attendance was high and engagement strong. Working in partnership with our customers and suppliers is very important for our group,” he said.
The Distributors Retailer Trade Show, in conjunction with Accredited Distributors Trade Show, was held for the first time at Etihad Stadium in the Victory Room, offering spectacular views of Etihad Stadium and its sporting field. Well-attended, and with the room buzzing, there were over 75 exhibitors showcasing new product lines, product innovations and trends. This was the highest level of supplier participation ever, exceeding The Distributors’ 35th Anniversary Show last year.
“Combining with the Accredited Distributors trade show and using technology was key to the success of the Trade Show,” explained Mr Tsapoutas.
“Orders were placed on iPads which synched immediately with sales systems for ease of supply resulting in little time delays for customers and suppliers alike.
“Accredited Distributors developed the technology and it worked amazingly well. Suppliers were happy with retailers’ attendance, and retailers in-turn were thrilled to have the ability to interact with so many suppliers at the one event.”
The event wrapped up with a Cocktail party hosted by Accredited Distributors at the breathtaking Eureka 89.
2017 Award winners are:
Celebrating 25 Years Service – ACW Sunshine and Toowoomba Confectionery
Celebrating 30 Years Service – Westco Distributors and McDonalds Wholesalers
Celebrating 35 Years Service – Central Coast Confectionery; FoodPlus and Saxbys Drury Distribution
Member of the Year greater than $15 million – JB Metropolitan
Member of the Year up to $15 million – Accredited Distributors Albury
Best New Product Launch – Universal Candy Yowie
Supplier of the Year greater than $10 million – Nestle Confectionery
Supplier of the Year up to $10 million – Universal Candy