The Distribution Blog

Best Events for B2B Distributors

July 14, 2023

Table of Contents

We gathered some of the best conferences, summits, seminars, and opportunities for distributors to attend. These in-person and virtual events are an unmatched opportunity to connect with your peers, learn how others in distribution are tackling challenges, and get updated on the latest strategies and products to make your job easier. 

Do you know of an event that should make it on our list? Please email and our team will consider it.

Events for All Distributors


Build your organization of the future with sales strategies, digital tools, and data analytics by sharing ideas and networking with some of the best minds in distribution. From executive workshops to engaging breakout sessions, SHIFT features tracks of instructional content to help distributors build a stronger business through sales, technology, and people. The agenda includes main-stage sessions on transformational strategy, change management, and case studies shared by highly successful distribution leaders who have guided teams — small, medium, and very large — forward.

Time of year: September

Format: In person (Denver)

Open to: Distributors, manufacturers, independent consultants, and solutions providers

NAW Innovators Summit

An exclusive event for wholesale distribution executives, innovators, and tech founders to discuss how technology places a crucial role in shaping the future of the wholesale distribution sector. Attendees of the Innovators Summit will be updated on the latest emerging trends and disruptive technologies to remain ahead of competitors. Expect networking, cutting-edge tools and technologies, and to be inspired by what’s next from inside and beyond distribution. 

Time of year: November

Format: In person (Austin)

Open to: NAW members with an annual sales revenue of $100 million+

NAW Executive Summit

The National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors’ Executive Summit brings together the best and brightest leaders from across the wholesale distribution industry for three days of networking, cutting-edge content, educational programming, keynotes, and experiences. NAW members hear from world-class speakers and explore topics and issues critical to the industry. NAW Communities allows attendees to engage in knowledge sharing with others who have similar interests and goals in commercial growth and operational excellence.  

Time of Year: January

Format: In person (Washington, D.C.)

Open to: CEOs and executives who are NAW members

NAW CEO Roundtables

These roundtables are hosted by the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors each fall. NAW offers in-person roundtables for large company CEOs, large company executives, billion-dollar CEOs. and billion-dollar executives.

Time of Year: Fall

Format: In person (Minneapolis, Minn.)

Open to: CEOs and executives who are NAW members

University of Innovative Distribution

Sponsored by the Association Education Alliance (AEA), a consortium of 40+ distribution professional associations in cooperation with the Department of Technology Leadership and Innovation of Purdue University, the University of Innovative Distribution is a concentrated educational program focused on the unique needs of the wholesale distribution industry. Courses offer hands-on experiences that can immediately be applied in the work environment. 

Time of year: March

Format: In person (Indianapolis, Ind.)

Open to: AEA Association members and non-members

MDM Profitability Summit

‌Learn the latest best practices in pricing and profitability, margin expansion tactics, playbooks for special pricing and strategic business agreements, how to avoid laze price and category management habits, taming prices changes, and more!

Time of year: July

Format: Virtual

AD eCommerce & Marketing Summit

AD eCommerce & Marketing Summit is the premier event for marketers and eCommerce leaders to come together to explore ground-breaking research, models, and frameworks to fuel successful strategies. 

Time of year: February Format: In person (San Antonio, TX)

Open to: AD members

AD Finance, HR & IT Summit

Educational sessions; share best practices with fellow finance, HR and IT leaders in independent distribution. AD welcomed over 200 attendees from 110 companies across all AD industries in the U.S. and Canada to the summit. 

Time of year: July

Format: In person (St. Louis)

Open to: AD members

Events for Electrical Distributors

National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED) National Meeting

This event is specifically designed for electrical distributors and manufacturers. It provides attendees with the opportunity to learn about industry trends, best practices, and new products. The meeting also includes networking opportunities and educational sessions on a range of topics related to the electrical distribution industry. 

Time of year: May

Format: In person (Austin)

Open to: NAED members, including senior level and account executives, distributors, manufacturers, electrical distribution industry partners

AD Electrical North American Meeting

AD members and suppliers from the U.S., Canada, and Mexico connect, celebrate their recent successes, and collaborate on opportunities for mutual growth at the North American meeting. 

Time of year: October

Format: In person (Grapevine/Dallas) 

Open to: AD members and suppliers

Events for Industrial Distributors

Industrial Supply Association (ISA) Convention and Trade Show

This annual event brings together industrial distributors and manufacturers to showcase the latest products, services, and technologies in the industry. Attendees can participate in educational sessions, meet with suppliers, and network with their peers. 

Time of year: April

Format: In person (Charlotte, N.C.)

Open to: ISA members

AD Industrial & Safety

Nothing rivals AD meetings for productivity, relationship building, and inspiration. Connect with top level management to learn and grow your business every year. 

Time of year: September

Format: In person (Aurora, Colo.) 

Open to: AD members

Events for Food, Beverage, and Convenience Distributors

IFDA – Executive Leadership Summit

Held in conjunction with the IFDA Solutions Conference, the IFDA Executive Leadership Summit allows foodservice distribution leaders to have peer-to-peer conversations to gain insight into the critical challenges and opportunities impacting the industry. 

Time of year: September

Format: In person (Fort Worth, Texas)

Open to: IFDA members

IFDA – Solutions Conerence

Designed by and made for operations professionals in the food distribution industry. Formerly known as the Distribution Solutions Conference, it have more than 150 vendors, expert industry speakers sharing new insights and solutions for ways to stay competitive in today’s market. 

Time of year: September

Format: In person (Fort Worth, Texas)

Open to: IFDA members

Americas Food & Beverage Show & Conference

With more than 4,500 attendees, nearly 500 exhibitors and 3,000 companies, the Americas Food & Beverage Show & Conference is the meeting point for decision-makers from throughout the world. This exclusive B2B event the ideal forum for meeting customers, vendors/service providers, suppliers, distributors, and food and beverage industry experts.

Time of year: September

Format: In person (Miami)

Open to: Open to the trade only

American Food Innovate Summit

The leading experts in the food industry attend this event to share best practices. This event is packed with speakers, case studies, and networking opportunities. Attendees will connect with and gain insight and knowledge from industry leaders and discover the latest technologies and products. Senior innovators, developers, food scientists, marketers, and researchers provide ground-breaking case studies to help brands improve their product launch success rate. 

Time of year: March

Format: In person (Atlanta)

Open to: All

Events for Medical Distributors

HIDA Executive Conference

What’s ahead for healthcare? The HIDA Executive Conference is where healthcare executives in sales and marketing, supply chain, operations, national accounts, and category management gather together to network, gain insights and share ideas on their biggest challenges, and envision the future of distribution.  It’s your opportunity to have strategic conversations with your peers and trading partners and gain the insights you need for business success. 

Time of year: March

Format: In person (Fernandina Beach, Fla.)

Open to: HIDA members and invited healthcare provider leaders

Events for JanSan & Packaging Distributors

ISSA Show North America

Leaders from all segments of commercial and residential cleaning industries attend the ISSA Show North America exhibition and conference. This annual event is produced in partnership by Informa Markets and ISSA, the worldwide cleaning industry association, and is the leading platform for manufacturers, distributors, and facility service providers to connect, do business, and share information. 

Time of year: November

Format: In person (Las Vegas)

Open to: ISSA members

Events for HVACR Distributors

HARDI Annual Meeting

Every December, HARDI hosts its Annual Conference. More than 1,700 attendees, including distributors, manufacturers, and vendors, gather to network, expand their industry knowledge, and learn from top experts. The event features multiple tracks focusing on personal and organizational development, external impacts, and business growth, so there’s something for everyone on your team. 

Time of year: December

Format: In person (Phoenix)

Open to: HARDI members

Events for Construction & Building Materials Distributors


The largest trade show dedicated exclusively to wood flooring. Representing all business types in the industry, the NWFA Expo has been a can’t-miss event for the past 38 years. With networking opportunities, exhibitors and attendees with a common passion for wood flooring, and valuable tips and tools from the experts, the NWFA Expo can help accelerate your business. 

Time of year: April

Format: In person (New Orleans)

Open to: NWFA members

NBMDA - Building Materials Distributors/NAFCD Floor Covering Annual Convention

Top distributors, suppliers, and service providers attend the NAFCD + NBMDA Annual Convention allowing attendees to establish new relationships, gain insights from industry experience, and learn from peers. Throughout the event there are professional development opportunities and best practice sharing. 

Time of year:  November

Format: In person (Colorado Springs, Colo.)

Open to: Members of NBMDA and NAFCD

NAHB International Builders Show

With 70,000 building pros, more than 1,300 exhibitors, and 20,000 companies, IBS is the largest home building show in North America. It’s a one-stop shop for networking, education, and to gain knowledge of the latest tech, new products, and hottest trends. From niche-specific building networking events to demo zones, attendees learn what they need to grow their business.

Time of year: February

Format: In person (Las Vegas)

Open to: All

Events for Safety Distributors

ISEA Annual Meeting

The ISEA Annual Meeting is where safety equipment leaders come together to connect with peers, hear the latest shifting regulatory, end-user and macro trends, and pick up new ideas to help grow their businesses. From interactive product group sessions to featured speakers, attendees learn the latest safety trends. 

Time of year: December

Format: In person (Arlington, Va.)

Open to: ISEA members

Events for Gases and Welding Distributors

GAWDA Annual Convention 

This annual meeting addresses the market’s big-picture opportunities and threats and allows business owners and top company decision-makers a change to network with industry leaders. 

Time of year:  October

Format: In person (Maui, Hawaii)

Open to: GAWDA members

Events for Plumbing and PVF Distributors

American Supply Association NETWORK

From educational sessions to panel discussions, Network is the industry’s premiere event for leaders and CEOs from wholesaler distributors, manufacturers, and manufacturers’ representatives. The popular Great Ideas Roundtable Sessions and strong educational sessions make this a must-attend event. 

Time of year: November

Format: In person (Orlando, Fla.) 

Open to: ASA members

Events for Equipment Distributors

AED Summit 2024

Each year, the Associated Equipment Distributors (AED) Summit brings together heavy equipment professionals, including distributors, manufacturers, and service providers to discuss trends and opportunities in the industry. From educational sessions to exhibitors to niche networking events, AED Summit brings together thousands of professionals. 

Time of year: January

Format: In person (Las Vegas)

Open to: All

FEDA (Food Service Equipment Distributors Association) Learn Institute Annual Conference

Professionals from the foodservice equipment and supplies industry get a full schedule of learning, networking, and discussions about the challenges and opportunities in the industry at the FEDA Annual Conference. 

Time of year: October

Format: In person (Frisco, Texas)

Open to: All

Events for Power Transmission Distributors

Power Transmission Distributors Association (PTDA) Industry Summit

Business leaders step away from their day-to-day to connect in-person with industry partners and discover new ideas and solutions at the PTDA Industry Summit. The three-day summit offers opportunities to discover innovative approaches to common challenges, hear from industry-leading experts, network with peers across the nation, and get tips on leveling up your sales efforts. 

Time of year: October

Format: In person (Amelia Island, Fla.)

Open to: PTDA members

Events for Fluid Power/Motion Control Distributors

FPDA Industry Summit

With keynote speakers, learning sessions, and networking opportunities, the FPDA Industry Summit brings together the fluid power/motion control industry to enhance business, share best practices, and prepare for today’s challenges.  

Time of year: October

Format: In person (Tucson, Ariz.)

Open to: All

Events for Hose and Accessories Distributors

NAHAD’s Annual Meeting & Convention

Top decision-makers in the hose and hose accessories distribution industry gather together at the Annual NAHAD Meeting & Convention. Manufacturers and distributors converge to learn from industry experts, see state-of-the-art products in our Showcase of Hose Solutions, explore year-round training and learning opportunities offered through NAHAD Academy, and accelerate business with speed networking and plenty of entertainment.

Time of year: April

Format: In person (San Diego)

Open to: NAHAD members

Events for Automotive Distributors

AWDA Annual Business Conference

The AWDA Conference is a two-day event of one-on-one business meetings centered around maintaining existing relationships between the premier vendors and distributors of the industry. 

Time of year: October

Format:  In Person (Las Vegas)

Open to: Auto Care Association members

Keystone Big Show

The Keystone Automotive BIG Show brings the top suppliers and manufacturers in the specialty automotive parts and accessories industry together in one place. Exciting opportunities for customers and exhibitors to connect, discover, and share. Attendees get one-on-one access with suppliers, educational and product training sessions, and the seasons best deals.  

Time of year: February

Format: In person (Kissimmee, Fla.)

Open to: Wholesale only 

STX 2024 Supplier & Training Expo

STX 2024 is the most comprehensive training event in the automotive industry. It features more than 350 technical and business classes for a comprehensive, custom learning experience; exhibits from over 150 international parts manufacturers, suppliers, brands, tool and equipment manufacturers; and more! 

Time of year: April

Format: In person (Nashville, Tenn.)

Open to: Worldpac, Advance Professional, Carquest, and Autopart International customers

Events for Beauty Distributors

Professional Beauty Association (PBA) Executive Summit

‌From new technology to the latest trends, discover how to revolutionize within the dynamic beauty industry, embracing its ever-changing landscape. Explore strategies to stay up to date with trends and successfully adapt to the evolving wants and needs of consumers.

Time of year: November

Format: In person (Phoenix)

Open to: PBA members

‌Events for Infor Users


TUG CONNECTS brings together the Infor user community and knowledge, insights, and resources. Attendees will gain new skills, expand their network, and get the opportunity to stay updated on the latest innovation and technologies in the distribution industry. is hosted by TheUserGroup (TUG), an independent association of Infor Distribution Product users.  

Time of year: May

Format: In person (Orlando, Fla.)

Open to: Infor users

And there you have it, your go-to list of must-attend distribution events. From the hands-on learning at MDM SHIFT to the exclusive tech insights at the NAW Innovators Summit, each of these events offers something unique for you to leverage. Remember, in this dynamic world of distribution, standing still is moving backward. So, make your move, pack your bags (or prep your home office for a virtual journey), and get ready to learn, forge meaningful connections, and come away brimming with fresh strategies to elevate your distribution business. And yes, we're always eager to expand this treasure trove. If you have an event that should be on this list, drop us a line at

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