AMSA’s 97th Annual Education Conference & Expo: Recap

And we’re back after another successful showing at the American Moving & Storage Association’s (AMSA) 97th Annual Education Conference & Expo. The conference, which took place from March 20 – 23, 2016, in New Orleans, LA, brought together the best and brightest movers (no pun intended) and shakers from the moving and storage industry to discuss the state of the industry, and to educate those in attendance on trends, topics and legislation affecting their businesses.

Check out just a few of our favorite highlights (and fun photos!) from an amazing industry conference, below.

State of the Industry

AMSA CEO, Scott Michael, gave a wonderful introductory presentation on the state of the industry today. He reported that although the U.S. economy has stabilized and is growing, the sheer amount of moves is not increasing. So, in order to continue to expand, moving companies must find ways to persuade customers and national accounts to pay more for their services. How? By convincing them that you’re worth it. Moving should not be viewed as a commodity – each mover brings something special to the table, making certification by AMSA even more important than ever before. Consumers need to trust their move to a ProMover, and moving companies need to find ways to effectively communicate what makes their service offerings worth the price.

Charitable Initiatives

Speaking of finding a way to differentiate your business, a common theme throughout the week was the importance of engaging in charitable activities. Doing good is good for business! AMSA’s charitable partner (and our good friend!) Move for Hunger, recognized their 2015 Mover of the Year, A Plus Moving and Storage, a Wheaton World Wide Moving agent out of Fayetteville, NC – congratulations!

AMSA’s young professional networking group, 40 Below, also hosted a charitable event at the conference, showing New Orleans that movers can do good in any community, even if we’re only in town for a few days. Thanks to all who participated in Clean the World, assembling hygiene kits that were donated to disaster relief efforts, missions and homeless shelters. Big thanks to the event’s sponsor, Victory Packaging.

Driver Recruiting

Driver recruiting efforts remain a hot topic within the industry. Accordingly, AMSA’s Driver Committee – responsible for the retention of existing van operators and the recruitment of new drivers – recently launched communicates the benefits of working as a driver within the industry. It was developed both for a younger generation trying to enter the industry but unsure of how to do so, as well as for an older generation preparing to retire and looking for resources as their careers come to a close. 

Customer Service

Updater’s very own Marketing Director, Jenna Weinerman, hosted an AMSA education session titled “What’s ‘Omotenashi?’ And How Can It Transform Your Brand?” What is omotenashi, you ask? It’s the Japanese tradition of anticipating your customer’s needs, wants and desires long before they are requested. During the session, Jenna covered how omotenashi is (surprisingly!) applicable to moving companies, and how incorporating omotenashi into day-to-day business operations results in better customer service and ultimately, happier customers.

Marketing to Millennials

Millennials make up one of the largest growing segments of the moving public. However, they’re also an incredibly unique group, and they therefore must be marketed to in increasingly non-traditional ways. So, our good friends at Paxton Van Lines, Forward Relocation, Fry-Wagner Moving & Storage, and Olympia Moving & Storage hosted an excellent panel, discussing, mainly, how to incorporate principles of transparency and instant gratification to effectively market to millennials.

Updater Named Best Technology

We’re thrilled (and truly humbled) to announce that, for the second time in three years, Updater was awarded Best Booth Technology at AMSA! Technology was a strong theme at this year’s show,  both in the increased number of technology vendors exhibiting at the conference and in the number education sessions around various technologically-focused themes. Congratulations to all of our wonderful fellow technology vendors at AMSA!

Appreciating our Clients

In the New Orleans spirit, Updater hosted our first ever Client Appreciation Crawfish Boil, and it was a hit! Clients and industry friends gathered to “pinch some tails and drink some ales” at the The Rusty Nail, a popular Warehouse District bar in New Orleans. Those in attendance enjoyed a cajun feast of 135 lbs of fresh Louisiana crawfish boiled on-site, miniature po’boys, jambalaya, and more from NOLA’s Crawfish King, and – a lot of fun.

Big thanks to the fantastic AMSA staff for putting on such an incredible conference. See you in Palm Springs next year!

Here are a few of our favorite shots from the week.