ASCA – American Swim Coaches Association World Clinic

We’re in Fort Lauderdale this morning at the American Swim Coaches World Clinic and Tradeshow taking place at the Marriot Harbor Beach. If your in town stop by and see us at Booth 506.  We’re showing off our new trophies and exclusive swim level ribbons that haven’t even reached the catalogs yet. We’re pretty excited about this line of ribbons and know the kids will love them.

The clinic started off last night with an opening reception on the beach with a carnival like theme – food, games and fun for all.  The next three days will be busy filled with presentations by vendors and coaches, dinners to honor all the Olympic swim coaches in attendance and an inductee to the Swimmers Hall of Fame.  

So once again stop by our booth #506 at the ASCA World Clinic Tradeshow in Fort Lauderdale, FL. We are in the lower level of the tradeshow just beyond the registration desk. We would love to see what you think of our new line and hear what you’re looking for!

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Come Visit and See What’s New

Are you in the Atlantic City or Orlando area? Come visit Hodges Badge Company at two great tradeshows. We’ll be attending the Tri-State Camp Conference in Atlantic City March 18th – 20th and the Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) in Orlando March 14th – 16th. See below for full details.

Tri-State Camp Conference
March 17th – March 20th, 2009
Atlantic City Convention Center
One Miss America Way
Atlantic City, NJ
www.aca-ny.org/tristate
“In its 27th year, The Tri-State Camp Conference continues to be the most important “off-season” event for nearly 4000 attendees each year. Camp professionals, seasonal staff, youth development professionals, and “out of school” experiential educators gather annually to participate in over 200 program sessions, visit the 300 booth exhibit hall, and network amongst a group of people dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of children.” ~ American Camping Association

ASCD
March 13th – 16th, 2009
Orange County Convention Center
9800 International Drive
Orlando, FL
www.ascd.org/conferences/annual_conference/2009.aspx
“The ASCD Annual Conference and Exhibit Show gives you the best of all possible worlds: a conference about big ideas in education, sessions featuring big-name speakers, and an exhibit hall showcasing the latest products and services for educators.”~ASCD

Come visit us.

January is a busy month for Hodges. We’ll be all across the country attending tradeshows in MD, OH and NV.

We use these events to look for new customers, learn more about the industries and most importantly to talk to our current customers and learn what we need to do to keep them happy. This is also a chance to learn what the major associations in the industries concerns are going forward.

If you’re going to be in the area Come Visit Us! We would love to meet you. You can see our new products, discuss you award needs or talk about where your industry is headed.

Our Schedule:
January 15th – 18th, 2009
The USEF Annual Convention
Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza
35 West Fifth Street
Cincinnati, OH

Chelsea Dolloff, Key Account Manager will be there to show you our new equestrian products like the new line of silver trays with gold borders.
You can even pick up a New Equestrian Catalog, fresh off the presses.

January 15-18th, 2009
The Horse World Expo
Maryland State Fairgrounds
Timonium, MD

You’ll be able to meet Rochelle Ramalho, Marketing Coordinator and Brian Correia, Customer Service Manager. This event is an exposition of everything equestrian. So come and buy some new tack, see a show and pick up a NEW Equestrian catalog.

January 25th – 27th, 2009
Western Fairs Association Tradeshow
Grand Sierra Resort and Casino
2500 East 2nd Street
Reno, NV

Rick Hodges our President is attending this one. This tradeshow is just like a Fair itself. It’s great. You’ll see all kinds of acts, vendors giving samples and opportunities to make your fair a successful one.

Keep a look out for more posts telling you when we’ll be in your area.

New England Mail Order Association Fall 2008 Conference

Last month four of us at Hodges’ traveled up to Burlington, Vermont for the New England Mail Order Association (NEMOA) 2008 Fall Conference. This a great group for small mailers to learn from and network with. It was also the perfect place for a conference dedicated to “Growing Green” – Business and environmental sustainability in today’s market… Burlington was beautiful, and with the hotel right across from Lake Champlain you woke to an awesome view where the leaves were just starting to turn.

It was a great conference. The goal was to introduce members to other catalogers who have a “Green” program going and show us what they are doing to make it work. We learned a lot in 3 days and met some interesting people from all kinds of catalog companies.

The conference started with a panel of catalogers, Brian McGovern from Timberland, David Hay from Plow & Hearthand Nancy Fischman from L.L.Bean showing us what they do and what we can do. They definitely have a grasp on what can be done and why it’s important. It was impressive.

At Hodges we are already trying to get the message out that we are starting to go green and it’s important to be environmentally conscious. We are spreading the word that our ribbon products are biodegradable and our catalogs are printed at a certified environmentally friendly printer now. It’s a small start but this conference gave us more ideas. We are even starting a “green team” to look around the company for places were green improvements can be made as well.

Merit Direct B2B Conference

I had the great fortune of being invited to the 9th annual Merit Direct B2B conference in Westchester, NY last week.  I got to leave the office and spend a couple of days thinking about how one should be running a business during times that are really not very good for the US economy.  Just to rub it in, while I was there, the RI Public Utilities Commission raised electricity rates 21.4%.  Ugh.

There were about 175 people there representing all sizes of B2B companies, all involved in direct mail.  Many of the subjects were similar to the topics that we discuss at NEMOA, but given the B2B focus of everyone in the room, the focus was a little different – and there were all kinds of new companies to meet.

Don Libey gave a great speech on day 2, focusing on the view from 35,000′ – or where he sees the catalog industry heading.  He was clear to point out that he sees no fall off in globalization.  Companies will get better at shipping internationally (because they have to) and trade will increasingly bypass the middle man.  As if to make the point, we lost an order for drug free ribbons to China today (our first ever), but we have a european supplier who wants us to ship ribbons directly to Finland – bypassing his warehouse in Sweden.

One observation I made is that there were few (if any) manufacturers in the room and that vertical markets are the exception rather than the rule.  Most companies were making less than 5% of what they sell.  Also most catalogs were broad shot amalgamations of products.  Carefully calculated to get the most shopping bang for the buck.  Does this work?  We tried it once and it didn’t work well at all.  All that means is that it doesn’t work for us.

A number of pleas were heard for catalogers to join the ACMA (American Catalog Mailer’s Association).  This little group has already saved the cataloging industry over $150,000,000 (that’s 150 million dollars folks) on postage through their lobbying efforts.  Please pay your share, and pony up some money to help with the lobbying efforts.  We did.

Rick

Philadelphia USGA Olympic Selection Trials

Jenn and I spent last week at the USAG Olympic Selection Trials in Philadelphia, PA.  We were there to exhibit along with the other USGSA members at the gymnastics trade fair held in conjunction with the trials.

Traffic at the show this year was very good.  Cathy Feldman of USAG told us that they had a record 1,900 paid attendees before the show started.  I heard later that another 500 signed up during the show.  As usual Thursday (the first day) had the best quality of attendees with lots of club owners hitting the floor. By Saturday we were tired, and the hall was full of young kids bent on stealing as many knick nacks as they could get their hands on.  Thieving kids is one thing, but when you see them handing all of your sample ribbons and medals to their mom a few booths away, it makes your stomach turn!

As usual the mega-raffle was a huge hit.  We raffled off $68,000 in gymnastics equipment!!

While we were there we took in the women’s gymanstics trials on Friday night along with folks from Mancino Manufacturing and Deary Gymnastics.  Where was Gibson?  The women looked great and as someone who doesn’t eat, breathe and sleep gymnastics, wow – they have gotten really good in the past four years.  Best of luck to all our competitors in Bejing this summer!!