Grainger(NYSE: GWW), the leading broad line supplier of maintenance, repair and operating (MRO) products serving businesses and institutions, welcomed nearly 15,000 attendees to its annual show in Orlando this past March.

The event brings together customers, product and service suppliers, and Grainger team members nationwide to discuss emerging trends in areas such as inventory management, sustainability and safety.

In its ninth year, the 2013 event is the largest Grainger Show to date, and moves to its new home — Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center. The event includes an expanded trade show with more than 600 supplier booths, a bigger Grainger Town, a unique display of Grainger’s services and solutions, and two days of educational seminars, discussion groups and training sessions on topics such as, “The Future of Safety” and “Driving Efficiency through Strategic Inventory Management.”

“During the last several years, our customers have been forced to cut budgets and reduce overhead, while increasing productivity,” said Deb Oler, vice president and general manager, Grainger Brand. “They have done a heroic job, but the pressures continue. The Grainger Show is an opportunity for our customers to discuss, share and learn. It’s a privilege to host this dialogue through our biggest and best show ever, bringing together the resources that will enable them to succeed in an ever-changing environment.”

Show Highlights

Grainger Town – Once again, attendees experienced Grainger’s services and solutions in a separate, interactive “town” setting. Called “Grainger Town.” The more than 20,000-square-foot exhibit features Grainger’s solutions to common customer business issues such as inventory management, safety, sustainability and emergency preparedness. Customers will learn about inventory management options through the “General Store,” safety through the “Police/Fire Station,” and sustainability and emergency preparedness through the “Under Construction” building. In addition, Grainger’s eCommerce solutions, which include everything from mobile applications and direct connect options all designed to help save customers, will be highlighted throughout Grainger Town. When walking from Grainger Town to the supplier tradeshow area, attendees will pass through a supersized Grainger Catalog, giving the feeling of stepping into all products Grainger offers.

Skilled Labor – The Grainger Show will include a celebration of technical education, the skilled trades and the individuals who do these important jobs. Grainger will honor Tools for Tomorrow scholarship program recipients, while Grainger customers, suppliers and team members learn more about developing and supporting a strong local workforce. Since 2006, Grainger contributed more than $2 million in the form of scholarships, toolkits, support and awareness initiatives to advance technical education. This year, Grainger committed $400,000 in support of 200 scholarships for students pursuing careers in the industrial trades. One-half of these scholarships are for veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces. The scholarships are available at 100 community colleges nationwide.

Emergency Preparedness – Grainger show attendees will experience hands-on Volunteer Connection, a next-generation volunteer management system that helps the American Red Cross better recruit, engage and deploy volunteers. Grainger became the national launch sponsor of Volunteer Connection with a $3 million donation, extending the company’s deep partnership with the American Red Cross and commitment to helping increase volunteer capacity in the U.S.

Grainger began its relationship with the American Red Cross in 2005, as the national founding sponsor of Ready When the Time Comes, a corporate employee volunteer program, which has trained more than 15,000 volunteers from 500 organizations in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico. More than 1,500 Grainger team members are trained disaster volunteers for the American Red Cross. In addition, the American Red Cross is participating in the Grainger Show to discuss local public-private partnerships built between industry, nonprofits and government to enhance community resilience.

About Grainger

W.W. Grainger, Inc. with 2012 sales of $9 billion is North America’s leading broad line supplier of maintenance, repair and operating products, with expanding global operations. For more information about the company, visit