For its upcoming joint conference with the North American Building Material Distribution Association (NBMDA), the North American Association of Floor Covering Distributors (NAFCD) will streamline its meeting with a new focus and a new name. Now called the Executive Networking Forum, the Nov. 13-15 event at the Hilton Orlando will feature tabletop sessions with top executives from exhibiting companies rather than a product showcase area.

David Williams, NAFCD president, said the changes are a direct result of feedback from its members. Bob Wagner, NAFCD immediate past president, added, “The Distributor Marketplace as it appeared this past year in Nashville has been in existence for about six years. Every year we try to improve on our entire format, and what we have been getting loud and clear is it’s time for a change to the Marketplace.”

Williams envisions the new Executive Networking Forum as “a free-flowing event where members mingle from one manufacturer to another. Manufacturers will have a tabletop, and executives from distribution companies will flow through the area talking one on one, executive to executive.”

Williams added that the event will offer NAFCD members and manufacturing partners the opportunity for high-level networking, and also result in a reduced price for exhibitors. “It was fairly expensive for exhibitors to ship in all their samples and displays, then ship them back out. The cost will be reduced because they do not have to bring all of those things with them.”

Education will also be an important part of the show. “We’re actually preparing to have four general sessions along with some breakout sessions,” Williams noted. “That is almost a doubling of educational opportunities this year compared to last year.” The Distribution Management University (DMU) event will also return, geared this year toward management training. For more information, e-mail info@nafcd.org. -Michael Chmielecki