Home News & Events GAWDA Spring Management Meeting - New Orleans

GAWDA Spring Management Meeting - New Orleans

May. 05, 2015

The 70th Anniversary of GAWDA was celebrated at the Annual Spring Conference which was held in New Orleans starting with the President Welcome Reception on Sunday evening 3 May. The conference is traditionally a three day event and this year was no exception.  


My experience tells me that this is one of the most important GAWDA meetings of the year. It is early enough, that most persons are attending to network and brainstorm with colleagues whilst getting a feel for what the economic environment might be for that given year. Certainly with this being the 70th Anniversary of GAWDA and with some uncertainty in the welding and cutting markets due to poor oil prices, this meeting was in very high attendance. I can personally confirm the large attendance as it was reportedly at a record level of over 350 members.  



The meeting followed the routine format with the general business agenda items followed up by guest speakers. This year's “Key Note” speakers included three individuals that were clearly experts in various capacities. For example, Steve Alig who discussed the importance of having a strong web presence. He stated that even small companies can appear larger with a good website, online presence and marketing program. All three facets allow a company to leverage the power of the internet. Another was Tim Connor who is a very well-known Sales and Management Speaker. He discussed the importance of investing in people and training of your staff to drive the necessary results that companies strive for in today’s economy.  


The speaker that drew the most attention during this Conference was of course Archie Manning. Archie is a former NFL MVP himself and father of two Super Bowl Winning Quarterbacks. I think Archie knows a little about winning, teamwork and striving to reach goals. Archie stressed the importance for good training of one’s mind and body both on and off the field. Setting goals is important because it forces one to stretch, because just like muscles, it pushes and forces us to get uncomfortable. If we don’t stretch our business goals and objective, we will not grow as individuals or grow our companies. Needless to say it was a most inspiring presentation which also included a few personal stories and antidotes.  Archie also opened up the floor to questions which he was willing to field quite a few before leaving the stage which really made it quite personal.  

The contact booth portion of the conference was one of the largest areas I have seen in the past four years and had more exhibitors than ever before. It is always a good venue to view our competitors and their products and get a feel for what they are showing and driving. More importantly it is a great time to meet with current distribution, receive their views on the “State of the Economy” and their futures, while also building new possible relationships. We look forward to our next GAWDA meeting.  
Norm Sted
Director – North America Sales & Global Marketing         


Shown above is Bug-O Systems' Regional Manager, Jake Orfanello