These past months have provided us with time—some might argue too much time—to consider who we are: our history, the legacies we’ve carried forward, and how we are poised to drive ahead.
Across the decades, we have called direct selling different things. At times we have referred to direct selling as an “industry.” More recently, we have referred to ourselves as a “channel” to reflect how our field organizations are a strategy used by companies to reach consumers without involving retailers.
As I have been thinking about what is next for DSA members, I have seen direct selling become the best version of itself yet. Today, I view our community as a force, bound by a shared drive to innovate and an unfailing resiliency. We hold in common a passion for creating the products people love and the brands that stand for individual empowerment. This calling is one we all hear; it is what has galvanized our community to make us a stronger force than ever before.
My impression crystalized as DSA held the conversations that would reveal a format for DSA ENGAGE 2021: Annual Meeting that delivers maximum value while meeting all DSA members and Supplier Partners where they are.
During these conversations, many reflected on the losses sustained by direct selling community members, but all noted their strong desire to resume the more normalized rhythm of our business lives. Company leaders shared their growing faith in re-joining in-person events and engaging in a reunion of our community by late fall 2021.
For 2021, the annual meeting experience will follow a blended format that allows individuals to engage—first virtually and then in-person or virtually—in a manner of their own choosing. As we all know now, there’s no such thing as back to normal—only forward to better.
DSA ENGAGE 2021: Annual Meeting will present two opportunities to engage about where we stand today and where we’re headed:
- Learn, network and connect virtually from your desk at DSA’s virtual event—DSA ENGAGE 2021: The Virtual Conference—taking place online from June 7–9 and convening top leaders and executives from throughout the industry who will share how they are continuing to transform their businesses after months that have changed our lives.
- Reunite in-person with your colleagues at DSA ENGAGE 2021: Vision Forward to Better on November 1–3, 2021, in New Orleans, LA, and enjoy the excitement of rousing general sessions, the resources from a solution-filled expo and roundtable discussions that will help you fine-tune your plans for 2022.
There is no doubt in my mind that these events will become a celebration of who we are, be it an industry, a channel, or a movement of individuals with a shared desire to empower individuals and their independence.
Visit dsa.org/annual-meeting/ and get registered today!
Melissa K. Burton is the Senior Vice President, Education & Meeting Services at the Direct Selling Association.
From the May 2021 issue of Direct Selling News magazine.