Fueling Progress: Reflecting on the Power of Meaningful Meetings at PLMA 2023
PLMA’s 2023 tradeshow was a testament to the industry and the PLMA’s dedication to growth post-Covid. Rather than a return to the past with the last two years shows, we have seen this show refine itself and exceed the productivity from before Covid, with better attendance and an overall new vibrance.
Manufacturers Arrived Ready With Innovations
It was clear manufacturers came ready for action– there was a record number of booths, and the enthusiasm was palpable. In discussions before the show, our members were excited about the show and encouraged each other to have a booth. Our Peer Group meetings showed that expectations were high for this show. Manufacturers showed up and came ready with innovation – new pizza crusts, coffee blends, sparkling waters, and disposable plates to name just a few. Manufacturers came excited to learn what retailers need for future growth.
Retailers Came Ready To Present Their Vision
Equally excited about the show were the retailers, with every major retailer having representation at the show. Some teams were there 10 deep showing their support for the PLMA as an important forum.
Retailers came ready to talk. Our members raved about the quality of the conversation with retailers. The retail community had short-lead ideas they wanted to be executed ASAP and long-term strategic ideas and planning for 2025 development. Retailers came armed with ideas and ready for productive discussions.
The most important part of a trade show is the conversations it facilitates. PLMA 2023 was a testament to this, with both retailers and manufacturers primed and ready with meaningful offerings and ideas. The readiness of every participant enhanced the quality of interactions, paving the way for productive meetings that brimmed with potential partnerships and growth opportunities.
Walking the show is formal and exhausting (rookies, remember to wear good shoes), but productive. But beyond the show floor, less formal social events at the show allow retailers and manufacturers to connect on a more casual level. These meetups are essential to developing relationships, and informal connections, and often lead to a relaxing way to talk shop. WISE, Velocity, and PLMA events are an important part of this diversity in forums. These events help the industry grow deep roots and ultimately help propel growth for us all.
Drive Wheel was proud to sponsor and attend WISE’s sunset reception at the Hyatt. It was a gorgeous venue, and this year was just as exciting and anticipated as last year’s reception. This event for WISE has become a “must go” for anyone who’s dedicated to DEI and supporting the mission of diversity in the private label industry. We are excited to continue to sponsor their essential work, as they help this industry grow and thrive.
PLMA has developed into a vibrant show that is pushing the industry forward. Most of what is written about private label products implies that growth comes from great value, but in reality, private label products are growing because of the amazing community of retailers and manufacturers who are strategically developing these products and brands years ahead of the need to ensure they continue to grow for years to come.
Engaging Discussions Enable Confident Decisions®
When you’re busy with the daily demands of your job, it’s easy to overlook the opportunities that will drive long-term growth. When you become a member of a Drive Wheel peer group, you can identify new strategies, reduce risk, and make confident decisions that will grow your business faster and more strategically.
We host two-day in-person meetings twice a year where leaders discuss their new strategies, innovation plans, and business challenges to get feedback from their peers. Members leave the meeting knowing they have thought about their idea from every angle. Between meetings, we conduct benchmarking studies and weekly news roundups to keep our members informed about changes in the industry.