AEA will reCONNECT this September in Naples, Florida

We're taking all the necessary precautions so we can continue to offer our Connect Conferences in a safe and effective way!

We missed seeing you at our annual AEA Convention and other industry events this summer, but we will reCONNECT this fall. The AEA is hosting our East (Naples, Florida) and Central Connect Conferences (Kansas City, Missouri) -- live on location. We are closely monitoring the state and local guidelines for our West Connect Conference (Irvine, California), and a decision will be announced soon for that event. 

We are encouraged with the success of the live meetings that have started taking place. For our East Connect, the Naples Grande Hotel has gone to great lengths to ensure events can be conducted as safely and effectively as possible. In the last month, the AEA has successfully conducted a series of training events at our headquarters facility, and the essential operations of our member shops and manufacturers have continued safely since the early stages of the pandemic. Through these efforts, we all learned the precautions needed to protect ourselves and others when gathering, and if we adhere to the guidelines, our conferences can take place as well.

The hotels have been very accommodating in their efforts to host meetings since their reopening and have demonstrated to us all the precautions they are taking to have successful events. For example, the Naples Grande Hotel shared its revised floor plans showing one person per table in large ballrooms where we can socially distance and still conduct training and exhibits. Details of the hotel safety measures are available on the hotel's website or from a link on our East Connect page.

We understand the news can change daily and there are multiple sources to help make informed decisions. As we navigate this course, we will closely monitor the state and local guidelines for each meeting location and communicate any changes. More importantly, we want to connect our members and do so in a way that mitigates the risk to acceptable levels. For those who consider the risk too high for in-person participation but still want to continue their professional development, we are exploring the possibility of video recording the training sessions to make them available for a fee after the Connect Conferences take place.

Please join us and reCONNECT with your dealer representatives, your fellow members and the AEA staff. For more information and to register for the East Connect in Naples, Sept. 23-24, visit

We look forward to seeing you and reconnecting.

Mike Adamson
AEA President and CEO