Highlights from The Distributors Mid-Year Conference and Trade Show

Celebrating 35 years, The Distributors’ ‘Looking Back to the Future’ themed Mid-Year Conference and Trade Show was a resounding success for The Distributors members, management team, suppliers and customers.

Held over three days in May, the event included The Distributors Conference as well as the Retailer and Member Trade Shows. The Retailer Trade Show attracted more than 300 convenience and route customers providing the opportunity for members and suppliers to interface with their customers. The Wholesaler Trade Show followed the same day, hosting 55 exhibitors showcasing new product lines, product innovations and trends. (Scroll down for image gallery.)

During the conference, The Distributors members gathered for business sessions as well as supplier presentations with a focus on future NPD and go to market strategies. Jeff Rogut, CEO of the Australasian Association of Convenience Stores (AACS), also delivered an insightful breakfast presentation on the State of The Industry 2015 report.

Main Auditorium Pano

George Tsapoutas, general manager of The Distributors, said the Retailer and Supplier Trade Show both received a great turn out, with the event a consistently busy day.

“Suppliers had the opportunity to have direct contact and feedback from over 300 retailers. Retailers came ready to place orders as the suppliers offered over and above deals on their products and suppliers secured these turn orders,” he said.

The Gala Dinner held at Brisbane City Hall was the venue for the ‘Back to the Future’ theme, a throwback to the 1950s with the award-winning Aerial Angels providing the entertainment.

The night was a toast to the 35th anniversary of The Distributors, with four out of the five inaugural board members joining the celebration alongside current and past board members. Inaugural board members included Terry Booth, John Earle, Des Samson and Ray Southeren.

The dinner culminated with presentations of The Distributors’ annual awards recognising supply partners and The Distributors members.

“This is our 35th year operating as The Distributors and it was wonderful to see our suppliers and guests get behind the theme and go down memory lane with their products,” Mr Tsapoutas said.

“It is an exciting time for our group and we plan to continue to grow and expand our go to market model across the country. We will be looking to increase our business footprint and operating model in areas where we currently do not have a local operation.

“This will enable The Distributors to maintain our focus on localised service and react to the changing face of the impulse market place and consumer purchasing habits. We will also continue to develop our offer in growth categories, looking for new products and suppliers to take to market and to make sure that together with our trading partners we are all successful.”

Best Gold Trade Stand
Best Gold Trade Stand

Award winners

Celebrating 35 Years Service

  • Accredited Distributors Pty Limited
  • J&A Wholesalers
  • Kev Baldwin Wholesale Confectionery Pty Limited

Celebrating 30 Years Service

  • Juicy Isle Pty Limited

Celebrating 25 Years Service

  • JB Metropolitan Distributors Pty Limited

Celebrating 15 Years Service

  • Link Distribution Services Pty Limited
  • Southern Sweet Distributors

Member of the Year $15m and above

  • JB Metropolitan Distributors Pty Limited

Member of the Year up to $15m

  • A.C.B Suncity
  • A.C.W Sunshine

Supplier of the Year $10m and above

  • Nestle Confectionery

Supplier of the Year up to $10m

  • Universal Candy

Best Trade Show Stand (Gold Supplier)

  • Snackbrands Australia

Best Trade Show Stand (Silver/Bronze Supplier)

  • Bundaberg Brewed Drinks

Best New Product Launch

  • Cadbury Mint Twirl

Gallery highlights

This first appeared in C&I Retailing Magazine June/July 2016.

The Distributors will be exhibiting at the C&I Expo on August 17-18 in Melbourne. Retailers wishing to view the latest convenience products can register for free entry to the C&I Expo which will run from 12pm to 5pm on Wednesday 17 and Thursday 18 August at Melbourne Exhibition and Conference Centre

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