Puttin’ on your Ace face

In-person and with lots to see, the Ace Fall Convention draws a substantial crowd.
Ace 2022 Bobbie McAndrew
Attendee Bobbie McAndrew enjoys all there is to see at the Ace 2022 Fall Convention in Chicago.

“The show is exceedingly strong. Lots of traffic to our booth,” said the Milwaukee Tool representative in his booth on one of the main aisles at the 2022 Ace Hardware Fall Convention for its dealers and invited guests in Chicago.

The comment was repeated as this editor walked the aisles in a large and buzzing convention hall, the south hall to be exact, at McCormick Place, in Chicago’s south loop.

Nearby, Lake Michigan’s waves rolled and shined on a bright August day – while inside the convention hall, there was an equally restless excitement flowing through attendees who walked and talked and had much to look at, getting ideas for buying, and clearly enjoying re-connecting with cronies.

Ace 2022 big aisle
View down one of the man aisles on the show floor.

Just inside the entrance there was plenty of room to meet and greet colleagues and friends and the booths were slammin’. Over there, the Weber Grill booth was crowded three deep with dealers checking out the offerings. The Traeger booth too. And on and on, booth after booth.

Sections like Hardware, Tools, Outdoor, and Plumbing were jammed in the aisles. One attendee stopped to share his opinions.

Ace 2022 Craftsman booth
Like many booths at the show, this Craftsman setup was an eye-catcher.

“I’m enjoying the show. I’m heavy into plumbing at my business. I have Kohler and Moen, among others,” said Bobbie McAndrew, owner of Vic Bond Sales in Flint, Michigan.

“We’ve already made some big plumbing purchases here,” he added.

Later, an exhibitor said, “This is the biggest turnout in years that I’ve seen. Lots of activity.”

Ace provided some facts about the 2022 fall show: Vendors numbered 1,349; pre-registered attendees totaled 12,100; and in an exhibit hall space of 840,000 square feet.

 Late in the day two managers from midwestern hardware stores seemed to sum up the event.

Ace 2022 Kim and Emilie
Hardware store managers Kimberly and Emilie were trying to take it all in, with smiles.

Kim Bignell, manager of Durant Ace Hardware in Durant, Wisconsin, and Emilie Rosin, manager at Mondovi Ace in Mondovi, Wisconsin, agreed they were looking – and finding – a lot of ideas and products at the show.

“Lots to see and take in,” said Bignell.