2012 Annual Meeting

The Real Diaper Industry Association is pleased to announce the 2012 Annual Meeting, which will be held on Monday, October 15th, 2012 at the ABC Kids Expo in Louisville, Kentucky.  While this event is not required of members, it is highly recommended because it gives each member a chance to network with other industry professionals.  If you have not yet registered for the annual meeting, you can register on the event website.

The meeting will be held in room C-108 of the Kentucky Expo Center, from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.


All attendees are encouraged to get involved in social media.  Whether you communicate best through Facebook, Twitter (@RealDiaperIA) or Instagram (RDIA12) – get involved!!  Members will be using the hashtag #RDIA12 on Twitter and Instagram to create buzz about this fantastic event.  We will be retweeting, reposting, and streaming your contributions – what are you waiting for?!


Following the annual meeting, all members of the RDIA are cordially invited to attend a luncheon social, held in conjunction with the Baby Carrier Industry Alliance (BCIA).  This hour-long social will also be held in room C-108.  Registration is $25, which covers the cost of lunch.  All additional donations benefit the Real Diaper Industry Association.

If you wish to register for the lunch/social, please do so by registering on the event page.  REGISTRATION ENDS AT 6PM ON TUESDAY, OCTOBER 9TH.

We look forward to seeing each of you at the meeting and wish you happy travels on your way to Louisville!


RDIA Annual Meeting and Conference Updates

RDIA Conference Committee Discussions

In order to better serve the needs of our membership, we are making a few changes in the format of our conference for this year.

For a quick background, there are two events that have happened every year: our Annual Meeting and our Conference. The Annual Meeting is required to occur every year and updates members on the status of the association. It typically lasts 1 hour or less. The Conference is not required, but is an added member benefit and consists of educational sessions, member category discussions, social events, and a keynote speaker. The conference has grown in value each year and most recently was spread out over 3 days.

Historically, we have had both the annual meeting and an annual conference every year at the end of the ABC Show. While our association was in its infancy, this was needed. Members find, however, several problems with having a highly informative and engaging conference at the end of the ABC Show:

  • Retailers and manufacturers are exhausted before the RDIA conference has even begun. As our conference grows in value and length, this has become more of an issue. It is so difficult to take in all the information and fully engage when we are so tired on day one of the conference.
  • Being away from our businesses and families for 7 days or more is a true hardship.
  • Being attached to the ABC Show means that we are tied to dates that don’t work well for families. (The start of the school year is difficult for many.)
  • Being attached to the ABC Show means we are tied to a location that isn’t always family friendly.
  • Being attached to the ABC Show means we have less affordable options for food and venue.
  • Smaller businesses have a difficult time financially affording a business trip AND a family vacation each year.

So, we have listened to members and are making two changes. First, we will no longer have the Conference at the end of the ABC Show, but at a different time that works better for all our businesses and families, most likely in June or July rather than right at the beginning of the school year like the ABC Show. Second, the conference will occur every two years rather than every year. This will allow members better to afford the conference, give more time to plan the conference (it takes so much time throughout the year to make a conference happen!), and make each conference packed full of information and value.

While we did make an announcement of a 2012 Conference, we have bumped that back to happen in 2013 so that we can have much more time to plan and make it the best conference ever.

In the meantime, we will be having our Annual Meeting during an evening dinner plus a fun evening event (more details to come later) in Louisville this fall right around the ABC show again as we have done in previous years.

In lieu of the conference this year, we want to make sure that all members, big and small, can benefit from the sessions that traditionally have occurred at the in-person conference. Not all members are able to make the trek, or stay longer than a short trip and have had to miss out on some of the benefits of the RDIA.

Well, this year, the conference is coming to you! We will be having monthly webinars and we’ll discuss many of the same topics and new topics that have been done during the conference sessions. Instead of having to wait until one busy time of year, we’re giving you on-demand access to live and then recorded sessions so you can watch them at your convenience, and in your pajamas if you’d like. Our hope with this new format for this year is that this increases the knowledge we are able to share with each other, and that more members are able to participate.

We’ve started a dedicated, member-only facebook group. This is a great place to discuss what you’re learning in the webinars and anything else-cloth diaper business related. Write to info@realdiaperindustry.org for your invitation to the group.

We don’t have set plans, so we hate to say too much, but we are working hard on the best conference ever for 2013! We are aiming for an Orlando, Florida, location, so families can combine business trip with their family vacation, making it truly affordable for our members. We are also in discussion with the Baby Carrier Industry Alliance and Handmade Toy Alliance to have the first-ever joint conference, bringing cloth diapers, baby carriers, and handmade toy industries together under one roof. We are also hoping expand the success of this year’s product showcase into the first ever natural parenting mini trade show. You definitely won’t want to miss it!

We’ll have more details about the 2013 conference later this fall. If there are any questions, comments, or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to contact the Annual Meeting and Conference Chair, Catherine Bolden (Vice Chair of the RDIA board) at catherine@realdiaperindustry.org

Top 10 Reasons to Come to the RDIA Conference

Attendees at cloth diaper business conference


If you need a reason to register for the RDIA annual cloth diaper business conference in Louisville September 27-28, start here.

1. Take the mystery out of cloth diaper laundry.

Steven Tinker is the President of the American Reusable Textile Association (ARTA), and he has been in the professional laundry industry for 35 years as a product development scientist and marketing professional. Steve Tinker knows laundry, and he knows it better than anyone else. He understands what it takes to get diapers clean, and he is going to tell you. Whether you run a diaper service or you are advising your customers on their home laundry, understanding the science will make a difference. So come to the conference, and stay to the end. Steven Tinker is our final speaker on Wednesday morning of the conference.

2. Change the world.

Our industry is often about change—changing consumer behavior, changing societal attitudes toward diapers, and changing those support systems that externalize the costs of throwaways. We have an inspiring example of change in our larger community with the Handmade Toy Alliance (HTA). Dan Marshall and Mary Newell of HTA are giving the keynote. If you come to their presentation, you will KNOW change is possible and YOU can (and must) make it happen yourself.

3. Vote on RDIA bylaw changes.

RDIA is a member organization. Board members and officers run the day-to-day operations and make sure goals and projects run, but underneath all of that we are governed by bylaws. Only members can change those rules of governance. If we have a quorum in Louisville, members will vote on bylaws in person. Your vote is crucial in shaping the direction of the association.

4. Get your motivational boost for the year.

We are all at different stages in our business growth and we need different catalysts to improvement. For some, new products bring exciting changes. Others are looking for new ways to reach out to potential customers. A lot of us are inspired by the cool things our colleagues are doing. Many are just looking for ways to work together toward our common goal of putting more babies in reusable cloth diapers. Whatever gets you through the year, two days together in Louisville gives you concentrated inspiration.

5. See new diapering and baby products.

New this year is a product showcase including both manufacturers of cloth diapers and diapering products plus other baby products. Time is tight for a lot of our members. If you don’t have time to attend both the ABC Kids Expo and the RDIA conference, the product showcase at the RDIA conference will be like a diaper-concentrated ABC show for you to see and choose new products for your store or service.

6. Relax and hang out at the hospitality suite.

Relationships that we build face to face with other RDIA members can lead to friendly support through the year, working together on industry projects, and do business together. Passing by one another, saying hello at meeting, or sitting next to one another at sessions is a start, but it’s difficult to have a substantial conversation. Hang out in the Hospitality Suite for that prolonged contact that lets you really get to know others in the cloth diaper industry.

7. Belong to a welcoming community.

There is a real sense among attendees at any industry meeting of being the hardcore, of belonging to a community. Real Diaper Industry Association is an open community, and YOU can belong. Just show up, say hello, and you are in.

8. Reassure your customers with accreditation.

For diaper services, accreditation has been discussed and desired to set standards that will reassure parents that the diapers delivered to their door are clean and safe. The Diaper Service Accreditation program will be launched at the conference. Participating services share a group discount on lab testing, and they follow strict guidelines. This is a leap forward for the industry. Be there to understand the opportunity for diaper services to advance their own businesses.

9. Learn how you can have a local impact.

Many, many RDIA members have put local incentives and subsidies high on their list of changes needed to increase cloth diaper use. We have heard of programs working elsewhere. The Real Diaper Association, the grassroots charity, has been encouraging local diaper aid programs and supporting the volunteers who make them happen. If you really want the scoop on cloth diaper incentives and subsidies as RDIA launches its own program, you need to hear what RDA is doing.

10. Be social with your customers.

Considering our target demographic as an industry, since parents buying diapers generally stay young as we all grow old, you had better know how young parents buy diapers. They are social and mobile, and if you aren’t there with them on social media, they will buy from someone who is. Scared? You should be. Come to the presentation “Don’t DO Social, BE Social” to get ideas on the direction you need to go as your customers change.

Bonus. Take a break.

People in our industry work ridiculous hours. Getting away for two days to think about the big business questions is one thing, but we need some fun, too. Forty of your new best friends will be on the Belle of Louisville, a National Historic Landmark, for dinner and a cruise up the Ohio River. It’s just a three-hour tour, but you can call it a mini vacation. (Was that a “three-hour tour”? Hmm. Just in case, you had better get your house in order. We could be stranded together for the next three seasons with a hilarious cast of characters.)