What is the Dispatchers Convention?
By Oded Carmi
Those of you who are Domestic Asset Based Movers (US-DABs) have likely heard talk of the Dispatchers Convention. If you haven't attended before, let me tell you what it's all about.
The Dispatchers Convention is an unaffiliated event. This means it is not organized by an association like most other notable industry gatherings. Each year a different moving company is voted to host the conference. Past Dispatchers Conventions have been hosted by industry leaders such as National and Carlyle. This year DN Van Lines and Day Transfer were chosen to host the event. The 46th Annual Dispatchers Convention will be held in Clearwater FL from March 30th to April 3rd 2022.
So if this is the 46th annual Dispatchers Convention, how did it all start? Go no further than the name. Specifically as it relates to military moving, there is often a separate origin agent, hauler, and destination agent assigned to each shipment. Dispatchers from different companies would work closely together throughout the year to coordinate shipments, yet never physically meet each other. The Dispatchers convention was founded to provide a much needed opportunity for dispatchers from different companies to network, team build, and blow off some steam in person during the non-peak season.
Over almost half a decade the convention has evolved to be inclusive to all stakeholders in the movement of domestic shipments, not just to military movers and not just limited to those who dispatch. Today it is not uncommon to see executives, move managers, vendors, and personnel at varied seniority levels and industry sectors at Dispatchers. This year's event promises to be larger and more inclusive than ever.
Dispatchers is a unique convention. There aren't any educational or learning events. There is only one meeting in which attendees are presented with military and industry updates, and vote on who will host next year's convention. The rest of the time is spent networking and going out. Many industry professional that regularly attend describe it as the most productive business development event of the year. It's a common belief that more business gets done over a cocktail at a bar than over a PowerPoint presentation at a board room.
Although Dispatchers is an unaffiliated convention, it has garnered support from the industry's main trade associations. IAM's Director of Government & Military Relations, Dan Bradley, will be providing a military update at the main meeting. IAM's US-DAB will be hosting an open bar cocktail hour. ATA-MSC will be host an event with their InterstateOne driving simulation trailer. It's truly a unique industry event not to be missed.
If you're interested in finding out more and registering, visit the conference website.