The Vernon Company (PPAI 109323, D11) held its annual national sales meeting April 27 – May 1 while respecting widespread stay-at-home orders. The sales meeting, which for decades has taken place in a different region in the United States in the early spring, was moved from an in-person event in Charleston, South Carolina, to an entirely online, live platform this year.

“We knew that the sales meeting was just too valuable to skip for a year,” says Dave Regan, Vernon’s vice president of sales and marketing. “When we realized that our event was scheduled to take place while the entire country was under quarantine orders, we quickly scrambled and created something phenomenal that all our account executives could participate in. Thank goodness for technology.”

Live education sessions were planned throughout the event, with salespeople taking part in supplier up-close-and-personal sessions, small group roundtable discussions, morning coffee sessions broken out by region and a virtual trade show featuring videos with Vernon’s top supplier partners. Additionally, each day of the week, an award ceremony took place recognizing suppliers in a range of categories, including Supplier of the Year, Supplier Representative of the Year and Supplier Account Executive of the Year. A number of account executives were also recognized throughout the week for their individual achievements during the 2019 sales year, with Vernon naming its Top 10 salespeople based on commissions, Rising Stars and President’s Award recipients, among several other awards.

Kelli Denes, Vernon’s director of business development, says, “I didn’t expect to feel so much connection through the computer. However, in the end, we came together in a new way, delivered content that was relevant and from this experience, new things will evolve.”

The company plans to hold its 2021 national sales meeting near its headquarters in Iowa.