“What do I like about the Convention? The whole atmosphere! Marcone, thanks for throwing it for us.”
Marcone Servicers Association just wrapped up its most successful event in the trade organization’s 16 year history. Breaking previous years’ attendance records, over 400 people convened in Las Vegas for the 2014 MSA Convention, a conference catered exclusively to those in the appliance service industry.
Professionals from across North America and every sector of the industry were represented at the gathering, including technicians, specialty trainers, small business owners, and major appliance manufacturers. The company’s recent growth throughout Canada was evidenced by the several-fold increase in attendees from that country, as compared to past years. And agents from Electrolux Canada, Mabe, and Purolator ensured their servicers and customers had a chance to interface with these major Canadian brands. Indeed, networking was one of the foremost highlights of the week. Business owners met and spent time with their Marcone sales reps; technicians had opportunities to speak one-on-one with master trainers; and appliance manufacturers got personalized feedback from their customers.
“The face-to-face interaction is phenomenal—it really is.”
Along with traditional elements like vendor booths and seminars, the conference’s details encouraged attendees to remember the importance of balancing personal wellbeing with business success in a holistic way—an unexpected but well-received message for the appliance service industry to which MSA is dedicated. The “Better Business, Better You” convention tagline guided the week’s agenda, and it spotlighted Marcone’s signature commitment to driving the industry by empowering individuals. Further, the overall driving theme behind MSA Conventions has long been “The Art of Service,” a concept that focuses attention on the nuanced and talent-driven nature of what may appear to outsiders to be any other straightforward blue-collar industry. To be sure, the skill set—the artistry—required for success in appliance repair is multi-faceted, incorporating niche technical expertise with a dynamic business sense and priority on customer relations.
Addressing these needs for the industry is the crux of the MSA Convention. So as with any professional conference, the draw for most attendees was the intensive education program available to them. And while courses are offered year-round through MSA training tours and online resources, this event was a one-stop shop for learning every critical skill to running an appliance service business. Classes covered the spectrum, from hands-on microwave repair training to dishwasher detergent chemistry, from social media marketing to integrating Quickbooks. Technicians, business owners, managers, and even attendees’ spouses filled up classrooms to learn from experts in repair, technology, customer service, finance, marketing, and sales.
“The training is fantastic. All the instructors are good, and so is the entire Marcone staff. Very accommodating, very helpful.”
The second half of that “Better Business, Better You” theme meant attendees were immersed in reminders to focus on themselves as well as their work. The MSA Lounge provided a place for relaxation, rejuvenation, and recharging: free chair massages, an oxygen bar, mobile device charging stations, and a smoothie bar had attendees raving that Marcone “treated us like gold” and “took really good care of us.” Of course, socializing and decompressing after long days of classes were not overlooked. A welcome reception with a view of the Las Vegas Strip from 50 stories up—complete with live music, a magician, and psychics—was the talk of the Convention. And complimentary happy hours showcasing wines from around the world allowed an easygoing atmosphere for connecting with colleagues and developing new business ideas. Morning fitness classes, healthier lunch fare, and tip sheets on physical wellbeing all rounded out the “Better You” experience.
Feedback was resoundingly positive, with many calling the 2014 Convention the “best one yet.” The event was one way for Marcone to reinforce the value of being part of MSA, reminding members about the myriad benefits available to them and opening up a forum for feedback, all while giving attendees the fun and training they came for in the first place. When asked, everyone from members to manufacturer reps said without hesitation that they’d be back for the next MSA Convention.