The Distributors 2022 Mid-Year Conference and Trade Show

The Distributors 2022 Mid-Year Conference and Trade Show was successfully held in the beautiful surrounds of Hamilton Island.

The backdrop of the Whitsunday Islands was a perfect location for members, customers, and suppliers of The Distributors to come together and learn, network, and help grow their businesses.

Andrew Johnston, National Merchandising Manager at The Distributors, opened the conference on Tuesday morning with a look at the group’s goals in the coming year, current challenges they face, and a roundup of the success of its first online trade event.

Over the course of the conference, attendees were offered insights from speakers such as Jason Fiddes of UCB, Steve Cardinale and Joseph Alessi from New Sunrise, Theo Foukkare of the Australian Association of Convenience Stores (AACS), Richard Forbes from the Independent Food Distributors of Australia (IFDA), Larry Warner from The Independent Vending Machine Operators Association (IVMOA), Sean Thomas of Lagardère Travel Retail.

The style of the trade show, a ‘speed dating’ format in which suppliers sat down with customers providing them with the opportunity to explain their product in depth, was met with a very positive response from suppliers and customers alike highlighting the benefits of one-on-one interaction.

Bill Younis, Stuart Alexander, said the conference has been a great opportunity to network and meet up with a lot of the wholesalers and contacts that they don’t normally see.

“The Distributors are beneficial to our business through the relationships that you forge, and that you continue to build, and the ability to sort of present and be open and direct and get your message across and then getting these guys to support you. That’s the critical thing and that’s what these sessions do.”

Bill Younis from Stuart Alexander, Brydee Dixon of AIDA, and Chris Ashcroft of Stuart Alexander

Brydee Dixon, AIDA, said catching up with different suppliers has been very good.

“The conference is going great. It’s nice catching up with the suppliers, in fact we just had a meeting with a supplier where we think we’ll take them on.”

Nicholas Faulkner and Tom Wild of Mondelez Australia

Tom Wild of Mondelez said it was great to be able to up with both members and customers face-to-face.

“Being a part of The Distributors is critical to us as a confectionery supplier as they are able to get our products to the customers in a timely manner despite everything that’s happening now with some fairly serious supply chain challenges.”

Andrew Johnston, The Distributors
Theo Foukkare, AACS
Jason Fiddes, UCB
Joseph Alessi, New Sunrise

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