Since 1969, the International Association of Ice Cream Distributors & Vendors has been committed to the growth of the ice cream category. With the recent expansion of its Board of Directors and reinvented marketing efforts, the organization, like the industry, is continuing to evolve.
This month, we decided to sit down with IAICDV Executive Board members to get the scoop on the organization’s new direction and the continued support it provides to its members. If you’re already a member, you may learn something new about what the organization can do for you. And if you’re not, we hope you will soon join the countless others who see the benefits of membership!
The IAICDV Vision: The Old, the New, and Why It Matters
Q: Tell us about the new vision of the IAICDV.
A: “At the beginning of this year, the Board of Directors decided to re-evaluate what we’re doing here at the IAICDV and explore ways the association could contribute to that mission," explains Mike Gardner, IAICDV’s new President. “It all stemmed from the one mission that all players in the ice cream category have in common: to accelerate the category's growth.”
“Although we knew how much our organization benefited its members, we also knew we needed to make changes to stay up-to-date with the industry’s fast pace,” added Mike. “So after completing a long-range planning session that included a detailed analysis and a full review of our structure, programs, marketing, and messaging, we concluded that we needed to reinvent our vision.
Our organization’s new vision brings together full-service distributors, manufacturers, suppliers, and retailers in the ice cream and frozen dessert industry to share, learn, and grow. By continually attracting the best-in-class companies and leaders, we can learn from each other and strengthen the industry as a whole.”
Q: How is this vision different than the old one?
A: During the planning process, three new goals for the association were identified:
To develop a long-range planning process to meet our current and future vision,
To integrate our Key Retailers into our association, and
To increase our relevance through clear messaging, social media, digital marketing, and improved participation.
Achieving these new goals would require expanding the Board to include an Executive Position Industry Liaison (to link Key Retailers and other Industry associations), a Supplier Services Division (to expand our suppliers and represent the resources needed to accelerate our industry), and a Marketing Committee (to improve our messaging and programs and reenergize our customers and consumers).
“We wanted to enhance the IAICDV’s value and workstreams, and to do so, we needed to secure more great talent for our Board,” says Gardner.
“Although the changes we’ve made to make IAICDV more relevant to the distributors, manufacturers, suppliers, and retailers participating in the association are relatively recent, we’re already receiving positive feedback,” notes Marc Santini, IAICDV President-Elect.
IAICDV Membership: The Countless Benefits of Joining
Q: Why should one become a member? What are the biggest benefits gained from being a member?
A: “Where do I even start?!” asks Bruce Ginsberg, IAICDV’s Immediate Past President.
“It’s all about the relationships. All of our members are exposed to the best-in-class industry leaders and are willing to share best practices together.”
Being a member also allows you to grow relationships with key players in our industry. For example:
Distributors get to share and learn from real-world experience how to grow their business, reduce expenses, and leverage technology to sell, deliver, and merchandise their goods. It also provides a great chance to discover and taste new products and brands in the industry, staying on top of market trends.
Manufacturers and Brands benefit from meeting with prospective and existing customers and displaying new product innovation, and connecting with distributor teams from every part of the country (all in one meeting) to accelerate their market share.
Product and Service Providers benefit from meeting prospective and existing customers and displaying innovative product offerings. It’s also a very efficient way of remaining knowledgeable of the category and industry news.
New this year, the association also invites retailers to join, not as visitors but as permanent members. They’ll be given the opportunity to actively participate in the industry conversation by sharing their needs and discussing their business plans or execution expectations with distributors and manufacturers.
The 2023 IAICDV Conference: The Must-Attend Industry Event of the Year
“Although there’s a lot that’s new at the IAICDV, what doesn’t change is our commitment to our annual conference,” reassures Luconda Dager, IAICDV Secretary/Treasurer.
“The 2023 IAICDV conference will be held October 11-13, 2023, in Orlando, Florida, at the beautiful Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel,” says Dager. “Our theme this year is Celebrate Ice Cream and we promise it will exceed all expectations! Registration is now open.”
There’s a full agenda for the upcoming conference, which kicks off with an opening ceremony featuring best-selling author and peak performance hall of fame business speaker Ross Bernstein. There will be industry-expert-led presentations, opportunities to walk the floor and discover numerous exhibitors, and formal and informal networking moments.
What’s more, IAICDV partnered with Give Kids the World Village, a 90-acre non-profit Orlando-based resort providing week-long, cost-free wish vacations to critically ill children and their families. On-site, Henri’s Starlite Scoop ice cream parlor is the most visited attraction. For many years, Unilever Ice Cream has donated all the ice cream served to the visitors, who enjoy the resort at no cost.
Additionally, there will be an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the largest ice cream party ever! Take a bus to the nearby resort to join fellow convention members, Give Kids The World Village staff and volunteers, and wish families on the Thursday evening of the conference from 4:30-8:00 pm. Everyone from the convention is invited to attend this exciting event, beginning with a two-hour cocktail and dinner reception.
From 7:00-8:00 pm, we’ll attempt to break the record for the most people eating Guinness World Record-preapproved ice cream! Come participate in ‘The Largest Ice Cream Party in the World’ surrounded by ice cream served by conference volunteers and kids of all ages!
Buses depart Give Kids the World Village to transport guests back to the conference hotel from 7:30 - 9:00 pm.
No pre-registration is required. For more details about the event or to sign up as an event volunteer, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“From being able to network face-to-face with industry leaders to forming new business partnerships, the conference offers plenty of opportunities to grow a business,” Dager explains.
Eric Koppelman, CEO of Ruby Jewel, agrees. “2022 was our first year attending the IAICDV Conference, and it was a fantastic experience for the Ruby Jewel team and myself.”
“We dramatically accelerated our network of contacts in the industry and our understanding of the business opportunities in the channel. And perhaps more than anything, we were really impressed with the tight-knit community of IAICDV members. The conference felt more like a meeting of old friends than an industry event, and we were immediately welcomed as a new member.”
As Ginsberg sees it, “It’s like being invited to a great Ice Cream Party – one that unites our industry and inspires collaboration with others in the industry!”
Interested in getting involved with the IAICDV or to learn more about its offerings? Connect with us to get started!
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