Buying group Carecraft held its annual meeting last month in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., an upscale suburb on the outskirts of Los Angeles.

It was one of the San Juan Capistrano, Calif.-based organization’s most well-attended gatherings, with 720 people in attendance representing 180 member companies, along with 70 vendor firms.

“We were pleased with the weather, the hotel and the speakers, and how it all went,” said Carecraft President Greg Howard.

“I think it’s important for us to get the vendors and members together,” he added, “so they can talk about their relationships and the product, and to have social interaction and a forum for members to learn and interact with each other.”

The nearly weeklong event featured courses from Genesis 3, which included seminars on design and retailing.

Retail sales expert Kevin Graff of The Graff Retail Group gave a keynote speech about the 21 deadly sins in retail sales. On another morning of keynotes, retired Marine Lt. Col. Mike Grice discussed how to handle crises and, ideally, avoid them, and life coach Bob Davies discussed how to boost performance with a few simple steps.

Carecraft members also took advantage of a program allowing them to purchase education and other products and services from vendors at the meeting and get reimbursed for half by Carecraft.

“We’re trying to support the dealers who are trying to make their companies better,” Howard said.

He reported that the group grew by nearly 14 percent in the past year to reach its current 270.

The next Carecraft annual meeting will take place Feb. 23-27, 2015 in Aspen, Colo. Howard reported that all vendor spots have been sold, and blocks at two of the four host hotels have been reserved.