FROM THE TOP
Pushing Forward New Initiatives in the New Year
by John O’Brien, CPMR
A lot of times in a new year article, I would take time to look back on everything we’ve been through in the previous year. However, I think enough has been written on 2021, so I’d like to take a run at what I’m looking forward to in 2022.
First and foremost, the 2022 ERA Conference in Austin is shaping up to be a conference the likes of which we haven’t seen in more than 25 years. With over 450 current registrations and an all-star line up of keynote, general session and breakout sessions, this conference will be the first in-person event many of us have attended in almost two years. There is a real pent-up desire to get out and travel and to meet with friends and colleagues as we look at life and business and where it’s going in the future.
Speaking of meeting with friends and colleagues, EDS 2022 is right around the corner. We will head “Back to the Summit” at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas from May 10-13. Here we’ll continue to network and strategize on how to mutually grow our businesses, while rekindling old friendships and business partnerships and developing new ones.
When I look internally within the ERA, there are a number of new and exciting things happening within our own organization. First, I’d like to welcome Clare Kluck as our Director of Communications. Like many of you, I’ve already witnessed how Clare came on board and has hit the ground running.
The Executive Committee had a very productive meeting in Phoenix in 2021. I am excited about a number of initiatives coming out of that meeting, some of which have already been announced and are underway:
The ERA Rep Locator is getting a refresh. I’ve seen the initial design and Walter, along with Alan Ahern are diligently working to provide a more accurate, interactive experience with the online locator. Please watch for coming announcements.
Ellen Coan of CC Electro and ERA’s senior vice president of education has launched the Next Generation Special Interest group (NGSIG). This special interest group is looking for talented next-generation employees who are interested in networking with other next-generation reps and discussing various issues in their business life as well as work-life balance. The group will share their persistence, creativity and tolerance for the world as we know it today and help plan for the future. Members of the group will share ideas for improvement and/or changes in the rep business model. This is a great opportunity to help train, motivate and inspire our younger talent in all of our organizations.
I will be heading up a committee to review split strategies in the changing climate of our business. While our customers are shifting to remote work, some are choosing to live somewhere other than where their companies location resides. How do we as reps address this phenomenon and provide guidelines for our industry to fairly compensate all parties?
Cameron English of English Technical Sales and ERA’s senior vice president of industry is working within ERA to research and develop rep contracts, specifically for new and pioneering lines. His goal is to come up with a custom framework that we as reps can view as a guideline on what to try to maintain in a pioneering style agreement.
While 2022 holds a number of uncertainties regarding raw materials, logistics, product availability and the spread of COVID, one thing is for sure: ERA is pushing forward and driving new initiatives all with our membership in mind.