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Impressions of IAM

Jan 10, 2018
Menno Martens, Head of Surveying at Gobuzzsurvey, reports on his experience of attending the IAM convention.

October’s 55th annual meeting and expo of the International Association of Movers in Long Beach, California was a fun event, but it had a serious edge too.   

On the fun side, expo attendees were able to take advantage of discounted tours of Hollywood and Beverly Hills, get free admission to the Queen Mary ocean liner, and enjoy 70% off the cost of entry to the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific. The IAM Young Professionals group held a competition for members to come up with a new superhero identity for children in distress. And the first evening saw the IAM attempt to get in the Guinness Book of World Records for the most nationalities ever in a group hug. (We came close, but just lost out by being 15 attendees short.) . 

We attended the closing dinner also, which had spectacular entertainment throughout, and a great cover band after the dinner. Plus there were cheerleaders during the expo – which just goes to show the American genius for adding a showbiz touch to almost anything.  

On the serious side, IAM President Terry Head touched upon several of the challenges facing the moving and relocation industry in his State of the Association Address. These included: increasingly demanding customers and accounts, increasing competition, and the threats posed to the shipping industry by cyber attacks.  “The reality of change is constant,” said Terry, arguing that “the industry is always evolving. That’s why the theme of this year’s annual meeting is ‘Charting a new course’.”   

In was in this spirit that we introduced our Gobuzzsurvey video survey technology to the event. We believe technology can help movers to find their way – and maintain their margins – in an increasingly competitive market. Of course, technology is nothing without people and the IAM proved to be a great networking opportunity for us, as well as for our fellow exhibitors.   

We were also lucky enough to be invited to join the IAM’s Technology and Communications Committee, which meets five times a year. We’re very much looking forward to contributing to increasing the knowledge of and access to useful moving technology for IAM members as part of our ongoing participation on this committee.   

Lastly, we helped raise funds for victims of hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. It was a good feeling to be able to help, even in a small way. And it shows how the moving industry can contribute towards society in many different ways.  

All round, a great expo for us. We joined the Technology Committee. We met – or got reacquainted with – hundreds of moving industry representatives. We were part of an almost-successful world record attempt. We helped out some people in need. And we saw several senior moving executives take their shoes off and dance the night away at the closing dinner. Can’t really wish for more than that at an industry conference, can you? 

Photo: Left to right: Charlie Vinall, Head of Client Partnerships at Buzzmove/Gobuzzsurvey; Roelien Ruys, Chief Strategy Officer at Buzzmove; Menno Martens, Head of Surveying at Gobuzzsurvey.



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