January 8/15, 2018: Volume 33, Issue 15
The International Surface Event offers the most comprehensive education program in the industry. With the flooring sessions sponsored by FCNews, the courses cover everything from product and installation to digital marketing and business improvement. Here are just some of the highlights.
Monday, Jan. 29
9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
State of the Industry Report in the Residential and Commercial Markets
The Farnsworth Group will present data to highlight current and expected activity within the residential new construction and remodeling markets as well as insights on commercial. The presentation will include key industry drivers such as housing starts, household formations, rentals and consumer confidence and will also address labor, channel behavior and contractor expectations.
Hunting for Big Game
Tired of spending a small fortune in advertising and wondering if any of it really works? Have a headache from hitting your head against the wall of objection every time you try to attract new customers? Afraid you will never see the same level of sales prior to the recession? If you answered “yes” to any or all of the questions, this is a must-attend session.
Millennials in the Mix: Leading a Multi-Generational Workforce
Companies today can have as many as four generations making up their workforce with highly variable values and beliefs among them. Millennials are currently the largest of four generations making up the workforce and will become 75% of the total by 2025. This session takes a closer look at some of the emerging trends companies are facing and offers several paths forward to help them navigate the multi-generational workforce.
10:50 a.m. – 11:50 a.m.
Take a Break From Tradition – #CleanYourShowroom
Start your year off with a dose of retail inspiration and tips to make your showroom the talk of the town. Learn from a flooring retail expert ways to update and improve your showroom displays, efficiency in merchandising, what are the must haves in any retail store and much more.
Color Narratives – Future Savvy
Become “Future Savvy” with color. Colors inspired, narratives revealed, directions determined. Discover the macro trends of the “what’s and whys” of emerging color, design and pattern. You’ll get a preview of what’s up for design and decoration and how it will emerge in residential and commercial spaces.
12:20 p.m. – 1:20 p.m.
What’s New in Flooring Materials
New flooring materials and ancillary products are being introduced to the marketplace on a daily basis—from luxury vinyl tiles and planks and WPC products to underlayments, adhesives and moisture mitigating materials. Learn what you will need to know to use them correctly and to keep trouble at bay.
1:40 p.m. – 3:10 p.m.
How to Maximize Your Online Marketing Presence
A panel of flooring retailers, moderated by Jay Flynn of Creating Your Space, will provide an overview of online marketing tools being used in their business. The panel will provide examples of what they have done, their results and budgets for achieving those results. Flynn will then provide direction on how attendees can formulate a plan based on their market, competition, goals and budget.
Legally Speaking: Important Tools for Collecting Payment
The session will address the importance of having a proper contract, including one between a manufacturer and dealer, a dealer and his customers, and both consumer and commercial. Jurisdictional and other questions involving interstate transactions will also be covered.
3:30 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Recruiting, Training & Retaining Employees
This session is an update from 2017 on recruiting, training and retaining qualified employees in sales, front office staff, installers, etc. Is it challenging to recruit and retain staff in an economy at low unemployment? Are you looking for answers? Turn to industry veterans who have had proven success in this area.
How to Turn People into Your Secret Weapon
Presenters will share strategies and tactics for optimizing people resources (customers, staff and business partners) for a competitive advantage. Participants will learn and share execution strategies in large-group discussions and small-group scenario exercises. Creation of a LinkedIn group will enable sharing of best practices among participants.
Tuesday, Jan. 30
8 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
How Does Your Social Media Measure Up?
In this session, we will conduct a live review of several different popular social media sites. Attendees will create an account, walk through proper page set up, content review and instructions on how to set your social media apart from others in the industry.
Transforming Your Floor Covering Store into a Shop That Pops!
Throughout its history, the key to retail success has been, “product, product, product.” Get ready to change your thinking and join researcher Pam Danziger, author of “Shops that POP! 7 Steps to Extraordinary Retail Success,” as she breaks down the new retailing experience based on “people, people, people.” Today flooring retailers need to understand how to personalize the in-store experience—from the products to the people approach —and learn why success in retail today is less about “what” you sell and more about “how” you sell it.
9:45 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
The Latest Flooring Trends
Companies with the hottest trends preview what’s on the horizon for showrooms in 2018. Don’t miss this unique and fashionable display of floor coverings. View the beauty, design philosophy, contemporary role of color, texture, finishes and other relevant trends in floor coverings.
10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Proven Strategies for Growing Your Business
Because the majority of your customers are women, business strategies that focus on meeting the wants and needs of today’s female customers are likely to be your most successful strategies and give you a competitive advantage. Presenters will share research into consumer buying habits, strategic implications to your marketing, selling and staffing, and actionable techniques for your business.
Strategies to Win in a Changing Economy
While the current economy has returned and exceeded pre-recession levels, this has been the slowest improvement on record from a recession. Business continues to change and challenges every company with the rapid changes in technology as well as the changes in customers from baby boomers being dominant to the millennials rising in influence. This session will look at 10 key aspects of what we need to evaluate in our business. Components to be examined will include staffing, marketing, competitive analysis, financial control and business strategy.
Noon – 1 p.m.
Small Business, Big Content: Wide Reach Marketing Strategy Scaled to Your Size
Harness the digital marketing practices of large companies to grow your small business. This workshop will teach the process for aligning sales goals and marketing through a strategic content and social media plan. Lessons will be shared from big players in the surface industry and show how to apply them to your small business.
1:30 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.
Maximizing the CEU Program & Using Local and Regional Trade Shows to Grow Your Sales
One of the best ways to gain exposure for your company is through local and regional trade shows. These venues allow companies to demonstrate their expertise to customers, contractors and decision makers. This session will discuss the best avenues for finding architects, designers and construction professionals. Leave the session with a plan to increase productivity and profitability.
3:45 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.
Immigration Reform: Are You Ready?
With the election of President Trump, flooring retailers, contractors and installers need to begin preparing for increased enforcement of the immigration laws. Employers can expect an increase in audits to ensure employers have accurately completed and maintained Form I-9s, which attest the legal status of employees. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) can also raid your workplace. In addition, the potential impact on the installation workforce of increased immigration enforcement will be explored.
Super Ads: What Were They Thinking?
How can you get the best return on your marketing and advertising investment? Effective marketing campaigns and ads have solid strategies, well-defined creative briefs and messages that appeal directly to what target customers want and need. In this workshop, you will learn key strategies for developing effective messages and ads. Participants will also be given an opportunity to submit their own advertising examples for feedback from the presenters and participants.
Wednesday, Jan. 31
8 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Hiding in Your Books: What Your Accountant is Not Telling You?
You may get all the proper forms and taxes completed on time. You probably have never had your business audited. Yet, there are many things that you should know about the accounting aspect of your business. Your accountant may know most of them. This session will share 14 key aspects of financial management that you should be aware of in your business.
The Five Commandments to Creating a Customer Centered Culture
The future belongs to companies that create messages that resonate and experiences that drive loyalty out of a mutual respect for each other. This presentation will address the intangibles that consumers value and how they relate to your business. We’ll discuss how/why your success depends upon becoming a customer centric resource.
The Coaching Edge: Building a Successful Team
Research from The Corporate Executive Board Company shows that “sales reps who receive just three hours of coaching a month exceed their goals by 7%, boosting revenue by 25% and increasing the average close rate by 70%.” If you don’t coach, people lose motivation to meet their sales goals. Learning how to coach your sales team can have huge returns for a company.
Noon – 1 p.m.
Market Trends and New Material for Modern Design
This seminar examines the market trends in today’s market. Three distinct generations are in the workforce and buying consumer products. Market trends encompassing contemporary design, green building, and technology is covered, plus sustainable green building codes, recycling, re-purposing and reclaimed materials along with an update on current standards.
3:45 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.
What’s New in Flooring – A Look at Luxury Vinyl
This course will introduce attendees to a new platform for installing a variety of products. Luxury vinyl tile and planks will be the primary product demonstrated using this new platform. Attendees will leave this session with a new perspective on the possibilities that can be obtained using LVT and an array of other products. Learn about the ease of application with mixed-used products, adaptability to walls, backsplashes and floors.
The Laws of Luxury
The rich are different and so are high-end products. Selling the latter to the former requires a different set of rules. This session will help you better understand how to market to affluent consumers; redefine what your brand is and how it fits in the mind of best prospects; and better understand the concept of luxury and how you can achieve success.