Delacey, 7, chats with Santa during the DSEF Pack a Present Christmas event for children from Boys & Girls Clubs of Las Vegas at Mandarin Oriental hotel. GARY THOMPSON/LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL

by Nancy Burke

A chill is in the air, and the holidays are just around the corner. Things like pumpkin spiced cider and scarves are beginning to make their annual appearances. And thoughts of holiday travel plans, gift shopping, and the accompanying credit card bills are creeping into people’s minds.

As people gear up for the holidays, businesses also gear up for the resulting holiday rush, and the Direct Selling industry is no different.

Seasonal consultants come on board, wanting to have a little extra cash on hand so holiday shopping doesn’t put any extra stress on the family budget. Holiday themes work their way into products by scents, colors, and special offers. And the Direct Selling Association is hosting our annual Be Connected Conference for direct sales corporate executives in Las Vegas.

Some of you may be asking, “How can I afford to leave my business for a few days at the beginning of December?”  The answer comes back, “How can you afford not to go?”

Be Connected is one of the prime networking opportunities for direct sellers and its focus on the new factors of the industry, such as the younger generations now interested in direct selling, social media and adapting to new trends is a crucial conversation all businesses should be having. In addition, there is also a chance to focus on the basics with the Direct Selling 101 pre-conference Seminar option as well. (A MUST for both new companies, and executives new to the industry.)

This conference is a major event for seasoned industry veterans and first-time entrepreneurs alike. Conference speakers include Jason Dorsey, Dan Schawbel, and John Moore, just to name a few! There will be workshops on social media (lots of them), salesforce training, and so many more. Visit our web site for more details about all of the great speakers and presenters that will be there.

The DSEF will also be hosting its annual Pack a Present toy drive to help provide a little holiday magic to children in the local community. Last year at Be Connected, DSA member company executives and supplier members gave generously, donating hundreds of presents to benefit members of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Las Vegas. Santa will be on hand to make sure the magic happens again for lots of kids in need. If you’re coming, be sure to pack a present for DSEF’s toy drive!

Be Connected should be high on the priority list of any company even thinking about using direct selling or social selling models in the future. Companies that apply for Direct Selling Association membership by November 21, 2011, will receive one free registration to the Be Connected Conference and member discounts for any additional registrations after that.

So if you’re looking into direct selling for the first time, or if you’re looking for a boost in your established company, look no further! Come to Be Connected in December and we’ll see you in Las Vegas!

Nancy Burke

Nancy M. Burke is Membership Director of the Direct Selling Association.  DSA is the 100-year-old not-for-profit national trade organization representing 300 direct sales firms, and their 16 million independent salespeople. The Association’s mission is “To protect, serve and promote the effectiveness of member companies and the independent business people they represent. To ensure that the marketing by member companies of products and/or the direct sales opportunity is conducted with the highest level of business ethics and service to consumers.” 

 Nancy works with the companies in the membership — from small start-ups to well-known brand names – overseeing the retention and recruitment of corporate members. She earned the distinction of becoming a Certified Association Executive (CAE) from the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) in June 2008.