If you’re a sporting goods retailer, manufacturer or supplier to the sporting goods industry or a team dealer executive, you probably are already a member of the NSGA or National Sporting Goods Association. If you’ve never attended their conference, this is the year to go. This year it’s going to be held May 6-9 in San Antonio, Texas. A large group from our company attended last year and everyone who participated left the event feeling better educated and more connected to the industry. It’s a fantastic way to experience face-to-face networking, just like in the olden days…Don’t get me wrong, we know all about video conferencing and I have a camera on all my desktop computers just for that purpose. But nothing beats the opportunity to meet up with some of your best customers or suppliers at a conference designed specifically for education and networking. The folks at NSGA really know how to put on a conference and they always choose a wonderful venue that makes the travel worth the trip. The conference’s schedule of events, keynote speakers, networking events, etc. can all be found at www.nsga.org/conference. The keynote speakers include basketball Hall of Famer Bill Walton, ESPN Executive Sean Bratches, New Balance President & CEO Rob DeMartini, FUBU founder and television personality Daymond John, and Patriot Golf Day Founder Maj. Dan Rooney.
There will also be 15 educational sessions dealing with innovation, leadership and strategy topics meant to help you run your business more effectively. Lots of great info for retailers and if you’re a team dealer, there’s going to be a discussion panel on custom garment decoration. You can be sure that the latest in heat printing techniques and how to create the most popular custom uniforms will be part of the discussion. The Best Practices in Decorating Panel Discussion will be moderated by SGIA’s Johnny Shell. Panelists include our own Dave Wheatley, GroupeSTAHL and John Reglein, The Graphic Edge.
And, if you register by February 17, you will receive a $150 Westin La Cantera gift certificate that can be used anywhere on the resort’s property – even to help offset the cost of your room. If all this isn’t enough to get you to attend, maybe the Official NSGA Golf Tournament, which will once again take place on one of the top courses in the country – Westin La Cantera’s Resort Course, will get you to change your mind. I don’t think I will be golfing but I am planning on attending the conference and I look forward to meeting old friends as well as putting faces to some new ones. Hope to see you there!