At stone industry trade shows such as StonExpo or Coverings, the one event I always make sure I attend (no matter how early it takes place) is the "Fabricator Forum," where industry members gather and present their issues to a panel of industry experts. These forums generally do not have a rigid agenda, and they sort of follow a "Town Hall" format, where people share their problems (and hopefully solutions) with their peers. I even used to moderate these forums, but I have found their content to be so valuable that I prefer to sit in the crowd, where I can fully concentrate on -- and record -- the pressing issues of our industry.
Back in the day (and we all know what "day" I'm talking about -- the glory of 2006 or so), these forums tended to focus on practical issues. They would focus on issues like polishing sink cut-outs, or water recycling, or templating methods. The one thing that people didn't really focus on was business, because it seemed as if they didn't really need to bother. The phone was ringing off the hook, and the only fabrication shops that weren't making money were clearly doing something wrong -- and they were few and far between.