The 300-member Association of Independent Mailing Equipment Dealers (AIMED) planned its annual fall conference this year to coincide with GRAPH EXPO. Some 60 people gathered nearby on Oct. 2, at Chicago’s historic Palmer House hotel, for five sessions covering strategic issues— including marketing, sales and customer retention—that impact mailing, shipping and office automation specialists. The group then moved across the street, to the famous Berghoff Restaurant, for appetizers, cocktails and networking. Most of the conference attendees are here at GRAPH EXPO, taking advantage of free expo passes, compliments of AIMED.
The keynote speaker Saturday morning was Georgine Trujillo, marketing director of Los Angeles-based Seven:59 Events & Marketing, who discussed 10 marketing strategies that need to be deployed simultaneously for businesses. “We felt that since so many of our members would already be attending GRAPH EXPO, bringing our 2010 Fall Conference to the show would afford us the opportunity to conserve resources [and] bring an even greater number of our members together for specific industry education at minimal cost,” says Barbara Price, AIMED executive director. “Plus it’s the perfect venue for expanded industry networking.”
Why join AIMED?
Dealer/distributors and manufacturers of mailing, shipping and office automation products should consider an AIMED membership. Why? “Because we’re an advocate for independent dealers,” says Price. With annual dues ranging from $275 to $1,500, depending on company type and size, AIMED provides industry-specific benchmarking, education and information, plus opportunities for members to network and learn how to grow their businesses.
Education areas include meter decertification, UPS OnLine and IBIP meter development. Members also have access to the Mailing Equipment Quota Index, Postage Meter Placement Index, AIMED Benchmark Study, Profit Making 101 and other business tools to help manage and grow their businesses. In addition, legal and financial programs enhance and protect dealer member businesses.
There are three associate member levels, each providing direct access to the industry’s leading dealer distribution channel. Associate members of AIMED can introduce their products and services to dealers as well as develop business relationships. They also can joint market with AIMED to dealer members through discount and affinity programs.