MRO Magazine

Main Event returns to Toronto

The annual convention of the Power Transmission Distributors Association (PTDA) traditionally has been regarded as one of the primary benefits of membership in the association. While the event remains widely recognized as a premier networking and...

April 1, 2004 | By James F. Lamb

The annual convention of the Power Transmission Distributors Association (PTDA) traditionally has been regarded as one of the primary benefits of membership in the association. While the event remains widely recognized as a premier networking and education event for the power transmission/motion control industry, the organizing committee has noted that certain aspects of the event no longer match exactly with the needs of today’s members.

As part of PTDA’s commitment to continuously improve the event, the association’s board of directors and Manufacturer Council have approved a number of schedule and format changes designed to:

Improve distributor satisfaction with the convention, thus increasing attendance

Increase and enhance networking opportunities


Ensure an inclusive atmosphere for all attendees

Make the Manufacturer-Distributor Idea Exchange (MD-IDEX) trade show more productive.

Carefully crafted to address feedback from recent convention evaluations and other member surveys, the changes being introduced for the 2004 event, set for Oct. 14-16, 2004, at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, in Orlando, Fla., are aimed to enhance the experience for all attendees and improve the return on investment for manufacturer and distributor participants alike.

The changes include moving the group event to Friday night to enhance the flow of the conference and replacing the dinner/dance with a more informal event that encourages mingling and networking. Also, a family-oriented event will be hosted at an Orlando-area theme park.

The event also will expand the time for on-property hospitality visits, allowing distributors to see everyone they want to in a less hurried, more enjoyable environment. As well, a PTDA Hospitality Suite will help to make sure that all attendees — distributors and manufacturers — feel fully included in the convention experience with a guaranteed invitation to at least one hospitality event.

Improvements to MD-IDEX are designed to reposition the event to offer the best of a trade show environment while retaining valuable opportunities for one-on-one business meetings.

Finally, PTDA is addressing the perception that the convention is an upper-management party event, with only opportunities for golf and drinks at the bar and very little real business. A new name — the PTDA Industry Summit — has been chosen to reinforce the conference’s business focus while accurately recognizing the “Who’s Who” of industry decision-makers who attend.MRO

James F. Lamb is vice-president of marketing of Drives, Inc., based in Fulton, Ill., and chair of the Manufacturer Council.


anada’s MAINtenance Event, May 4-5, 2004 at the Holiday Inn on King in Toronto, will bring together leaders and experts in the maintenance field. Through a series of case studies and presentations, the two-day conference will provide practical information that attendees can take back to the plant and put to work.

Topics scheduled include:

What is being done to address the skilled trades shortage in Canada and how you can do more with less

How to choose the right maintenance strategy to take your operations to a new level of efficiency

How to use predictive maintenance to achieve superior cost management within the maintenance department

What CMMS packages are available and which should you choose to enhance the success of your maintenance program

How to determine the right combination of performance metrics to best understand maintenance performance and progress.

Presentations will include: Determining the optimal maintenance strategy for your organization: learning from the experiences of the City of Toronto; Leveraging benchmarking to achieve world-class maintenance status at OPG; Developing and implementing an effective model for business process improvement and maintenance excellence at Dofasco; Creating a culture of excellence at Gennum Corp.; Creating organizational synergy for superior performance at Petro-Canada; and Introducing multi-skilling to improve maintenance results at Toyota.

As well, there will four workshop presentations and a Celebrity Keynote address by Wendel Clark during an ‘After Party.’ The event also includes a complimentary Networking Golf Day on May 2 at the Lionhead Golf and Country Club north of Toronto.

The conference is organized by The Canadian Institute, an independent, Canadian-owned company, with affiliates in the United Kingdom (Euroforum) and in the United States (American Conference Institute). It offers over 500 conferences and workshops each year, attended by more than 25,000 delegates, held in major Canadian and U.S. cities and in London, England.

The cost to attend the MAINtenance Event is $1,699 for the conference, with additional fees for each workshop. Get more details or register by calling 1-877-927-7936 or by visiting


PTDA’s third annual Canadian Conference, taking place May 13-15, 2004, at the Hyatt Regency Montreal in Montreal, Que., has seen additional presenters added in recent weeks.

Dr. Peter Andersen, president of Andersen Economic Research Ltd., returns by popular demand to kick off the conference with his keynote presentation. Dr. Andersen will analyze short- and long-term trends for Canada’s overall economy, by region and key end-use industries. He also will compare the Canadian and U.S. economies and provide insight on how these two trading partners impact each other.

Perrin Beatty, president and CEO of the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME), will report on the “The Future of Manufacturing in Canada.”

The heart the program is a series of customer presentations that focus on key Canadian PT/MC end-use markets. Representatives from major industries will provide an overview of their markets and issues affecting their industries (including economic drivers, tariffs and process equipment technology), as well as outsourcing and purchasing trends within their companies.

Panelists also will discuss supplier expectations, vendor selection and evaluation, and threats and opportunities for PT/ MC suppliers. Each presentation will be followed by a question-and-answer session. Other highlights of the conference include:

Original research on how customers really make purchasing decisions

A tactical workshop on successful negotiations by Neil Parry, director, Tack Sales & Marketing Training Ltd.

Formal and informal networking with key decision-makers in the Canadian PT/MC distribution channel

Relaxed social events and an optional golf outing

A Retirement Roast for Bob Marshall, formerly of INA-FAG Canada.

The PTDA Canadian Conference is priced affordably so members can bring their entire management teams to network with current and potential business partners. Discounted registration fees are available to companies that send three or more delegates.

The Canadian Conference is open to all PTDA members selling product in Canada — distributors and manufacturers — as well as non-members who qualify for membership. To register, visit or contact PTDA at 312-876-9461 or

The event was developed by PTDA to complement the its Industry Summit (annual convention) and provide an opportunity for Canadian power transmission/motion control (PT/MC) executives to explore nationally focused market issues, themes and trends.


The Montreal Manufacturing Technology Show (MMTS) takes place May 17-19, 2004, at Place Bonaventure in Montreal. The event, organized by Reed Exhibitions Canada, consists of the Montreal Fabricating & Machine Tool Show — Quebec’s largest marketplace for machine tools, accessories and industrial supplies — and the National Factory Automation Show, devoted exclusively to plant floor automation and control systems.

Show sponsors include the Canadian Machine Tool Distributors’ Association, the Canadian Tooling & Machini
ng Association and the Plant Engineering and Maintenance Association of Canada.

Educational sessions, including seminars on high speed machining and machine safety, will be presented in French at the event.

More than 400 suppliers are expected to exhibit at MMTS. You can pre-register online at, or call 514-845-1125 or 888-322-7333 for more information. Registration on-site is $20.


Stories continue below

Print this page