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  • Writer's pictureMelissa Rowland

A1MS Convention: "The Best One Yet!"

There was sea, sun, sangria and a big juicy slice of business.
Find out what others had to say about our Costa Adeje convention.

The picturesque shores of Costa Adeje in Tenerife recently played host to a vibrant and memorable convention that brought together A1MS suppliers and members for a three-night extravaganza. Set against the stunning backdrop of the Bahia del Duque hotel, this event was nothing short of spectacular. Attendees were treated to a unique blend of business networking, industry insights, and leisurely indulgence, all while immersed in the luxurious surroundings of this world-class resort. This convention not only provided a platform for valuable professional connections but also offered an unforgettable experience in one of the most breathtaking destinations in the Canary Islands.

Upon arrival, delegates were shown to their rooms, where they could unwind and prepare for the exciting night ahead. As the sun began to set, the hotel’s beach club came alive with the sounds of a talented saxophonist, serenading the guests whilst they were treated to a sumptuous welcome barbecue sponsored by JRP Distribution, a feast for the senses that featured live show cooking stations and a buffet of delectable dishes. This beachfront soirée not only filled the air with delightful aromas but also set the perfect tone for the camaraderie and networking that would unfold throughout the convention.

Day two of the convention was the highly anticipated business day kindly sponsored by Juratek, the primary reason for the delegates’ visit to Costa Adeje. The morning commenced with the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the members, where important business and industry matters were discussed. Following the AGM, the convention shifted gears with the Supplier Workshop. This dynamic event brought together suppliers and members, each stationed at their respective tables, ready to engage in productive discussions with the eager members. The workshop was a hive of activity, buzzing with business interactions, knowledge exchange, and opportunities for partnerships, making it a pivotal day for the convention’s success.

After a productive and engaging day of business discussions and networking, the convention’s second day concluded with a well-deserved evening of leisure. Delegates had the opportunity to unwind and recharge, taking advantage of the luxurious amenities and breathtaking surroundings of the hotel and Costa Adeje.

Day three of the convention served as a leisure day, providing attendees with the opportunity to explore the enchanting beauty of Costa Adeje at their own pace.

As the day drew to a close, anticipation mounted for the highlight of the convention – the awards dinner sponsored by Comline. The setting was nothing short of magical, with the 3-course dinner arranged outdoors, overlooking the horizon. Simon Salloway, Operations Director, had the honour of presenting the prestigious supplier awards, recognizing excellence and achievement within the industry.

Simon Salloway comments on the supplier award winners,

JRP Distribution - Retail Supplier of the Year 2023

“With their extensive range of products and brands, JRP continue to be a first-rate supplier to many members. Their ‘Simply’ range has transformed the UK aftermarket scene providing members with a competitive and quality product to service retail and trade customers. The many unique and exclusive consumable brands they support the membership with helps secure them to a third win of this award.”

Trico - Retail Product of the Year 2023

“The feedback we often receive about Trico products, compliments the quality of their product range backed by a great support team, ensuring members can provide the best product and service to their customers. Since launching their OE blade to the UK market, members have gained a huge advantage over aftermarket brands in the UK. Winning this award for the sixth time demonstrates the continued support of the membership."

Juratek - Component Supplier of the Year 2023

“Juratek were approved during the pandemic meaning they had some significant obstacles to overcome in getting their message out to the membership. Over the past two years, their dedication has seen them deliver on their promise, both in terms of support, quality and service. Their customer support teams have worked with members providing guidance and range support which is so often lacking in today’s marketplace.”

Mahle - Component Product of the Year 2023

“Mahle are known in our market for their quality, range and member support which has helped the A1 membership gain an advantage in their area. Their improved support over the past twelve months has further strengthened the relationship and this award recognises the new emphasis.”

The spotlight was also shone on those who had demonstrated dedication to A1 Motor Stores over the years, as three members were presented with special Member Anniversary Awards for their remarkable milestones. Clarkins Car Accessories 21 years, Motorway Hessle 30 years, and an impressive 40 years for McGanns for active participation and support within the group.

The awards dinner was not only a celebration of success but also a moment of unity, as industry leaders came together to applaud outstanding contributions and set their sights on a future of continued collaboration and growth.

To add a vibrant and energetic note to the evening’s festivities, a thrilling surprise awaited the guests. A sensational batucada band burst into a cacophony of exhilarating rhythms and beats, with lively and synchronised dance moves, they led the delegates in an procession through the grounds of the hotel. It was a mesmerising spectacle that brought a sense of carnival to the evening, leaving everyone exhilarated and in high spirits.

The festivities continued as the procession made its way to the After Party, where the celebration continued well into the early hours. A free-flowing bar and a skilled DJ were on hand to keep the energy soaring, and the dance floor remained a hive of activity throughout the night. A fitting conclusion to a convention that had successfully blended business, leisure, and celebration.

Kym Smith, A1MS Product Manager, comments, “Every convention we have put on since the first Italy trip back in 2016 has just got better and better. In the aftermath, I have the same thought every year, “how will we ever top that?”… and then we do.

This year was by far the best event we have ever put on and from a supplier’s perspective, this was a shared opinion amongst each and every one of them.

It pleases me immensely when a supplier gets to experience the event for the first time, as some did this year, as it opens their eyes to the benefit of getting closer to the community we have created at A1. The common feedback I get from suppliers is that the event breaks down all the business barriers and distractions we face every day and allows us to create a better relationship with our network, it’s the relationships forged at the event that will allow us to grow into the future.

The event just simply wouldn’t happen if it wasn’t for the amazing support from our suppliers and it is to them we owe our gratitude and support that we get to do something as amazing as this each year.”

It was a delight to welcome those who had never experienced an A1MS convention before. Their presence injected a renewed sense of energy and diversity into the event, enriching the collective knowledge and networking opportunities for everyone involved.

First time attendee, Dan Carter from Thompson’s of Macclesfield explains how productive he found the event. “Attending the convention for the first time has been a real eye opener for me.

Understanding how the buying group works has been crucial and one to one discussion with suppliers has given us an insight into new products and plans they have for the future. Speaking with like-minded small businesses has also helped us spot parts of the industry we had completely overlooked.

All in all a very successful trip and I’ll definitely be coming again next year!”

Martyn Holt from First Brands Group also comments on his experience, “Over the years, I have attended many conferences held by differing buying groups, but as a first timer to the A1 Convention, this topped them all.

The choice of venue was perfect in terms of size, which was large enough that pockets of groups could have their own space, whilst small enough you could always find delegates. The relaxed nature and what I can only describe as a family feel is attributed to the success in which the A1 team made it”.

The overwhelmingly positive feedback received from attendees, along with the unanimous commitment to return for next year’s convention, is a testament to the remarkable success of this year’s event.

Melissa and the dedicated events team have certainly set the bar high, and their hard work and meticulous planning have not gone unnoticed. It’s clear that their dedication to creating a memorable and enriching experience for all participants has paid off, leaving attendees excited and eager for what the next convention will bring.

“A lot of people have said that this year’s convention will be impossible to beat. I’m up for that challenge, bring it on!” - Melissa Rowland, Events and Marketing Manager.

Check out A1 Motor Stores LinkedIn page to view a video reel of the event.

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