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NWFA will grow in Washington

CHESTERFIELD, MO.—The National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) will hold its annual convention from March 22 to 25 at the Gaylord National Convention Center in Washington, D.C. Members can expect four days of exhibits, educational sessions and motivating keynote speakers.

The organization anticipates as many as 2,500 attendees. “We’re expecting good, steady traffic and have learned over the years that reduced numbers does not necessarily mean a down show,” said Ed Korzcak, CEO and executive director, NWFA. “Generally when companies tighten their belts and send only a few employees, it is the decision makers they send, which means just as much business is conducted.”

With three weeks before the show, 250 companies will be exhibiting hardwood wares, from flooring to adhesives to cleaning products. This year also features a new target within the exclusivity of hardwood— designers and architects. NWFA worked with the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), to develop four new classes to help professional designers and architects earn continuing education units toward license certification, Korzcak said. For retailers, it is a good way to learn about the continuing needs of that buying niche.

In addition to the new designer- and architect-oriented courses, the association has many other educational sessions lined up. According to Korzcak, there is a special pro- gram for manufacturers of solid wood flooring in the U.S., another for engineered flooring manufacturers worldwide, one for wood flooring contractors and another program for distributors. “We have brought back several popular speakers from years past such as Mike Marks, to talk about where our industry is headed. There will be something for everyone,” he said.

With a specified symposium schedule, general sessions will feature notable, local names to motivate members. On Tuesday, March 23, the opening session speaker will be Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina and the next day’s opening session will feature Congressman Phil Roe of Tennessee.

In the spirit of motivating members, the organization made a few changes for this year’s convention. “The biggest change people will notice is that we’ve removed the registration fee for the expo and educational programs,” Korzcak said. In tough economic times, NWFA wanted to lighten the financial burden and give those in the hardwood profession the opportunity to attend, network and learn. Free lunch each day of the event is an added bonus.

Networking is one of the biggest aspects of the show. Members of the group are exposed to professionals within the hardwood flooring industry to exchange ideas, improve skills and increase knowledge.

Howard Brickman, president of Brickman Consulting, attended last year’s convention. “Having been in the industry for 30 years, it certainly wasn’t my first rodeo and truth be told, I didn’t go with the expectation of enjoying myself,” he said. “In spite of my initial attitude, the meeting turned out to be both fun and very productive.”

For more information about the NWFA convention, call 800.422.4556.

-Emily Hooper