Keeping the Momentum Going

Michael Keck
Chairman, FEDA
President, Concept Services
michaelkeck@conceptserv.com

As I left Nashville after the 2021 FEDA Annual Conference in September, I couldn’t help but reflect on how great it was to meet with my peers on a one-on-one level. For the first time since the pandemic began, we got to sit across from each other and just talk about everything that happened in our businesses and how we adapted. In the end, we had a safe conference filled with meaningful content. It has only made me more excited for next year’s event, which will take place Sept. 20-23 in San Diego.

By then, I hope we’ll be talking about how the worst of the supply chain challenges are behind us. But even if we’re still in the thick of it, I’m confident my fellow dealers will arrive at the FEDA Annual Conference ready to share a whole new set of solutions. The Partner Exchange Roundtables that were so popular at the 2021 event will be retooled in 2022 and will serve as a valuable opportunity for industry leaders to take a deep dive into a wide range of business and operational issues.

The timing of the 2022 FEDA Annual Conference could not be better as it will help us keep those conversations going. Before the pandemic, the conference was traditionally held in the spring, but after we decided to move it to early fall in 2020, FEDA realized many advantages to the new dates. With the National Restaurant Association returning in May and The NAFEM Show coming back in February 2023, the FEDA Annual Conference will serve as the perfect midpoint to those events. And with several buying group meetings occurring a few weeks after the FEDA conference, dealers will have plenty of opportunities to follow up on the business discussions that started in San Diego rather than losing momentum while waiting for the next gathering.

It’s easy to keep that enthusiasm going because the foodservice equipment and supplies industry is so interesting and different from other markets. The past two years have shown us how truly interconnected we are with our channel partners and how much we rely on each other to adapt and find success. As the new year begins, I see how we’ve all embraced cooperation and collaboration and are working closer than at any point in the past.

The good news is that the initial shock of the pandemic and supply chain chaos is behind us and our increased transparency has made it apparent we’re all working toward the same goals. The challenges facing us today may not get better as the calendar rolls around but if we can carry that attitude of collaboration into 2022, we’ll be better prepared to overcome any obstacle.