This year’s annual AALAS meeting was held in Denver, Colorado. With interest in our products over in the US ever increasing, this was another great opportunity for us to showcase our products to our distributors, and to spread the word to those working in facilities who are still new to us.
Jonathon, Nicky & Kieren all headed off to represent Datesand at the 2019 conference and what a fantastic job they did!
Kieren recounts their time…
“We set off from Manchester on Friday morning following a short delay and after a couple of hours in Atlanta for our connecting flight, we finally arrived in Denver late Friday night.
As always, the team back in the office did a great job in preparing the stand and all the samples, meaning we were fully equipped to set up on arrival. We made the short walk from our hotel to the convention centre, and in a few short hours the booth was looking immaculate! A well-earned lunch and a few hours to explore the city took us through to the evening.
Our Sunday began with a positive breakfast meeting with our distributors in Australia and New Zealand, Allied, in our hotel. Having set up the stand on Saturday we now had the day to ourselves, so we made a snap decision to hire a car and head out of the city.
Nicky bravely took the wheel of what could only be described as a small tank, and in the baking sunshine we drove up to Red Rocks Park, where we took in the spectacular views of the Red Rocks Amphitheatre and Denver on the horizon.
The conference began on Monday morning, and soon enough the booth was buzzing with visitors. Many were there to get a closer look at the Rat Scratcher they had seen advertised – we gave away all 500 samples over the course of the week! We were also joined on the booth by colleagues from our US distributors, which inevitably brought more people to the stand on each day.
The evening saw us at our first distributor social event of the week, organised by Lab Supply at Punch Bowl Social. With an impressive buffet and free arcade-style games all night, there was something for everybody to enjoy. A titanic table tennis battle between Jonathon and Kieren was just one of many enjoyable moments that night!
Tuesday was an early start as we attended a breakfast social event hosted by our distributors Animal Specialties and Provision and W.F. Fisher at 7am. We were joined by Sarah Taylor, designer of the Rat Scratcher and winner of the 2019 Janet Wood Innovation Award who got the opportunity to showcase her winning product after choosing AALAS for her all-expenses-paid winning trip!
We were busy on the stand in the morning – the visitors steadily flowed, and we had visits from some of our distributors in Japan and Korea which was a great opportunity to advertise our new products and the interest they attract.
Our destination for the evening was Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. for the social event hosted by NEWCO – raffle prizes were arranged for all customers who attended, and we had the familiar feeling of leaving with our stomachs full.
Wednesday was a shorter (but just as busy) day on the stand, and with trade finishing early afternoon we headed over to the AAALAC International Lunch. Following this, all three of us were invited to attend the AALAS President’s social event in the early evening – prestigious company to be in!
On our final evening in Denver, we took the opportunity to all go out for dinner as a group at Maggiano’s – with everyone having such busy schedules across the week, it was great to get a few hours back together and reflect on each of our experiences.
We checked out early on Tuesday morning and said our goodbyes to the rest of the group as we left for the airport. We left the US satisfied that we had another successful trip across the pond, after several invaluable meetings with our distributors and customers.
Overall, this year’s AALAS will be remembered for all of the great enthusiasm towards all our Janet Wood Innovation Award products, a number of beneficial meetings with our distributors and suppliers, and late-night scooter travel across the city!