Customers and dealers told Northern Wholesale Supply that they wanted an opportunity to have an in-person event this year, and the company will deliver.
Northern Wholesale Director of Sales and Marketing Dean Kruchten said the annual show will be conducted Jan. 6-7 at a new venue. Scheduling conflicts with Treasure Island, where the show was held for more than a decade, led Northern Wholesale to move this year’s show to Mystic Lake Casino in Prior Lake, Minnesota.
“We’re spreading the show out over two days. Typically, it’s one day. We’re reducing the number of attendees per dealership, and each customer will have a day on their invitation that they attend,” Kruchten said.
The moves come in response to dealer and supplier responses to surveys which Northern Wholesale sent out six weeks ago.
“We couldn’t have a show if the suppliers weren’t able to participate,” Kruchten said. “They came back and said they were willing to participate if we had an in-person event held in a conscientious and safe way.”
In addition to the in-person event, Northern Wholesale will have a virtual portal tied into the show. That portal is slated to open by November’s end and will remain open for the six weeks leading up to the in-person show.
“The purpose of that is to allow dealers to spend some time looking into products before they come to the show,” Kruchten said. “We’re letting them do a lot of that leg work at the dealership so they can spend time at the show talking about trends, new products and changes to products – really refining their order.”
Invitations to the in-person event and the virtual portal will come from Northern Wholesale. The virtual portal will be open to all customers, regardless of whether they attend the live show. Those who do not receive invitations can reach out to the company and get connected, Kruchten said.
“We’re really mindful of everybody’s safety and comfort levels,” he said. “One of our key core values is a lifelong relationship with our customers. We heard loud and clear that this is the path they wanted to see, and they wanted see some things in person. Based on their feedback, we’re providing what everybody overwhelmingly was asking for. We’ve got a new venue and I think it’s going to be a great opportunity for people to safely interact.”