Trade Show Coverage

Coverings 2012 Conference Program

April 2, 2012
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Coverings 2012 makes its return to the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL, from April 17 to 20, and in addition to an exhibition of new stone and tile collections and related technology, the event will offer an extensive education program for industry professionals as well as members of the architect and design community.

coverings seminar inbody

A broad range of seminars will be taking place during all four days of Coverings from April 17 to 20, and they include many sessions of interest to stone industry members.

The following is a look at selected seminars for stone industry professionals.

April 17, 2012

8:30 a.m.-10:00 a.m.

Marketing an Installation
Company: The Web is Your
Best Marketing Tool

Moderator: Christine Whittemore, Simple Marketing Now LLC

Speakers: Amber Fox, Wirtz Quality Installations, Inc.; Chris Woelfel, Artcraft Granite, Marble & Tile; Dan Welch, Welch Tile & Marble; Martin Howard, David Allen Co.; Paige Smith, Neuse Tile Service

Description: Christine Whittemore is owner of Simple Marketing Now LLC, and a proven marketing consultant with expertise in the floorcovering industry. She has been working with several tile contracting companies in assessing their Social Media campaigns and will moderate a discussion with these companies in which actual tile installation firms can show the audience what they are doing in this crucial area of marketing.

 

April 17, 2012

9:15 a.m.-10:15 a.m.

Providing CEUs to Architects & Designers About Natural Stone

Speaker: James Hieb, Marble Institute of America

Description: Want to expand your outreach to architects and interior designers? Have you ever had a difficulty getting an appointment at a large firm in your area? Consider providing CEUs (continuing education units) to the design community. This session will showcase how the CEU program works and how to position your company as the leading expert on natural stone in your marketplace, how the various CEU programs work (AIA, ASID, IDC, IDEC, IIDA, NKBA and others), and how to get started giving presentations. This “how-to” explanation will help you get started down the CEU provider path.

 

April 17, 2012

12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m.

Future Color Trends:Fantasies & Realities

Speaker: Leatrice Eiseman, Pantone Color Institute

Description: In order to create the “magic” in the marketplace that ultimately leads to sales, colors for 2013 will need to coax and cajole, soothe or astonish, renew and replenish. At the same time, there will be the consumer’s expectation of practicality — what colors have staying power and can be relied upon as a steadying influence in unsteady times. Skillfully balanced color palettes that play to their practical side, while satisfying their aspirations, hopes and needs for something novel will remain key to enticing the would-be consumer or client.

 

April 17, 2012

2:45 p.m.-3:45 p.m.

Change Is Not in the Rearview Mirror

Speaker: Lisbeth Calandrino, Fabulous Floors Magazine

Description: Everyone knows that if their business is going to survive, it will have to change. But how will it change if you’re still fighting the battle the same way? In times of economic challenge, businesses have often looked to the past for solutions. Times were simpler, communication was predictable (we sent letters or made phone calls) and we were able to “spend” our way out. These days, the change is startling, and new technology is leaving many of us with our feet planted firmly in yesterday.

 

April 17, 2012

2:45 p.m.-3:45 p.m.

Construction Leadership from A to Z

Speaker: Wally Adamchik, FireStarter Speaking and Consulting

Description: There are many aspects and angles to leadership. This session, based on the new book with the same title, will look at some of these angles. As audience members walk into the session, they can choose from a list of 26 different words — from attitude to zeal. The words will be the ones discussed about in the session.

 

April 17, 2012

2:45 p.m.-3:45 p.m.

The Five Pillars of Selling Value at Full Margin

Speaker: Chris Ramey, Affluent Insights

Description: Stop discounting and start making more money. During this hour, the speaker will address merchandising, marketing and pricing techniques to allow you to make full margin without having to break price.

 

April 17, 2012

2:45 p.m.-3:45 p.m.

Thinset Stone Tile vs. Thickset Stone Pavers

Speaker: Chuck Muehlbauer, Marble Institute of America

Description: Where is the line drawn between these two systems? When does the speed and economy of thinsetting give way to the performance of the heavier component pavement system? Is the decision based on the building type, the occupant loading, the service life or all three? This seminar will focus on the key parameters that need to be evaluated to answer these questions. Discussion will include costs, systems, performance and limitations of both.

 

April 17, 2012

2:45 p.m.-4:30 p.m.

Stone Trends 2012

Speaker: Vince Marazita, Marazita & Associates

Description: From countertops to skyscrapers, the use of natural stone is a well-accepted building material in the U.S. Especially in these lean construction years, it is crucial to understand the direction of the market for dimensional stone. Get an overall view of the market and market trends by attending this 14th annual “State of the Industry” presentation on the dimensional stone market in the U.S. This session will cover information, sourcing, marketing and application trends in the stone industry over the last year, including examples of award-winning projects that have been recognized for their use of natural stone.

 

April 18, 2012

8:00 a.m.-9:00 a.m.

Effective Discipline

Speaker: Wally Adamchik, FireStarter Speaking and Consulting

Description: Discipline is one of the hardest tasks supervisors and managers face, and doing it effectively requires a balance of skills. This session will help managers learn effective techniques that address the problem behavior and focus on solutions while avoiding defensive/destructive responses. Learn how to preserve the individual’s self-respect and encourage the best kind of discipline — self-discipline.

 

April 18, 2012

8:00 a.m.-9:00 a.m.

The Evolution of Grout Technology - Part I

Speakers: Art Mintie, Laticrete International; Gerald Sloan, NTCA; Jim Whitfield, Merkrete/Parex Lahabra; Leigh Hightower, Mapei Corporation; Michael Whistler, NTCA

Description: Representatives from both National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA) and Materials and Methods Standards Association (MMSA) will examine the evolution of grout technology, looking at cementitious, epoxy, modified epoxy, urethane and lightweight grouts. Discussion will include live demonstrations.

April 18, 2012

8:00 a.m.-9:00 a.m.

Driving Profit in the New Economy

Speaker: Albert Bates, Profit Planning Group

Description: The recent recession has been the most difficult in memory. Firms have worked very hard to rethink their cost structure and build a leaner organization. However, as important as these efforts are, they haven’t been enough. Most firms are still profitable, but few are generating desired results.

 

April 18, 2012

8:00 a.m.-10:15 a.m.

Fabricators Forum

Moderator: GK Naquin, Stone Interiors

Speakers: Joey Marcella, Mario & Son; Matt Laliberte, Ripano Stoneworks Ltd; Tony Malisani, Malisani Inc.

Description: This open forum is designed for fabricators to get answers to questions or problems they may have with regard to being successful in today’s economy. In today’s business climate, diversification is a critical step many fabricators are taking. The panelists are well-versed in both residential and commercial topics and what it takes to be successful in both arenas. Costs, stone supplier relationships, collections, employee development and meeting customer expectations are just a few of the business-related topics that will be part of the panel discussion.

 

April 18, 2012

9:15 a.m.-10:15 a.m.

How to Prosper in the “New Normal” - Strategies for Navigating the Terrain During Turbulent Times

Speaker: Sandy Smith, Sandy Smith Seminars

Description: Discover innovative ways of leading and thriving in spite of exponential change, increased customer expectations and a volatile international economy. Sandy Smith will spell out the kind of mind set and skill set required to compete in today’s “whitewater” business environment.

 

April 18, 2012

9:15 a.m.-10:15 a.m.

The Evolution of Grout Technology - Part II

Speakers: Art Mintie, Laticrete International; Gerald Sloan, NTCA; Jim Whitfield, Merkrete/Parex Lahabra; Leigh Hightower, Mapei Corp.; Michael Whistler, NTCA

Description: In this continuation from Part I, representatives from both NTCA and MMSA will continue their examination of the evolution of grout technology with their in-depth discussion of cementitious, epoxy, modified epoxy, urethane and lightweight grouts. Discussion will include live demonstrations.

 

April 18, 2012

9:15 a.m.-10:15 a.m.

Managing a Successful Family Business

Moderator: Scott Lardner, Rocky Mountain Stone Company

Speakers: Jeremy Twiss, Columbia Stone/Natural Stone Designs, Inc.; Michael Twiss, Columbia Stone Inc.; Nicholas Powers, Metro Stone Works LLC; Nick Powers, Metro Stone Works LLC

Description: Working in a family business can be a challenge. Why are some businesses successful, while others struggle? What are the best practices? Join a panel of stone professionals from three different family businesses as they share their experiences. Plan on joining this robust Q&A session.

 

April 18, 2012

9:15 a.m.-10:15 a.m.

Wholesale/Slab Distributors Forum

Moderator: Jonathan Zanger, Walker Zanger

Speakers: Roy Viana, Dal-Tile Corp.; Rupesh Shah, M S International, Inc.; Saket Hans, OHM International

Description: Back by popular demand. Join the fifth annual discussion of strategic issues critical to running successful wholesale/slab distribution companies. This open discussion will cover a host of operational issues, including building strong fabricator relationships, networking with the design community, freight issues and much more.

 

April 18, 2012

10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m.

Selling Your Project to Customers Using Google SketchUp

Speaker: Alex Oliver, Igloo Studios

Description: Nothing replaces seeing, touching and feeling real-life samples of tile or stone. But some customers have trouble visualizing what that sample will look like in their kitchen or bathroom. That’s where the free 3D design software, Google SketchUp, comes into play. Learn how Google SketchUp can help you visualize and sell your tile or stone vision to your customers. This session will introduce you to the basics of using the program; teach you how to download free product catalogs to add finishes to your designs and create stunning presentations.

 

April 18, 2012

10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m.

PROJECT: Green - Sustainable Tile and Stone

Moderator: Derrick Teal, Enviromental Design + Construction

Description: Selected projects for 2012 will be showcased onsite in the PROJECT: Green display in Coverings Central. This will bring together representatives from the selected projects to discuss how they were able to successfully use sustainable and green tile + stone in their residential, commercial or institutional projects. Lessons learned and helpful tips will also be shared, and all are welcome to attend.

 

April 18, 2012

1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m.

Social Media by Design

Speaker: Paul Anater, Kitchen and Residential Design

Description: Building an online community around your design or architecture business doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive; it just takes a bit of know-how. In this seminar, Paul Anater will take participants through an overview of the major social media platforms and describe a series of practical, best practices for each platform. Design professionals can use these tools and practices to engage their target audiences, increase their professional standing and, ultimately, drive sales.

 

April 18, 2012

2:45 p.m.-3:45 p.m.

Delight or Decay

Speaker: Chris Ramey, Affluent Insights

Description: Great service is not an option; it is an imperative and the platform for every successful retail business. We’ll dissect the floor covering buying tree and touch points to explore opportunities for attendees to elevate themselves above the competition to delight their customers. It is no longer enough to satisfy customers. You have to delight customers to ensure your future success and to create “apostles,” who will represent you throughout your community. Anything less is a missed opportunity and the promise of decay.

 

April 18, 2012

2:45 p.m.-3:45 p.m.

Triple Your Profit: Stop Being a Profit Soldier and Start Being a Profit Winner

Speaker: Albert Bates, Profit Planning Group

Description: Dr. Albert Bates, popular speaker and professional author on profit planning for small businesses, has penned a new book titled “Triple Your Profit; Stop Being a Profit Soldier and Start Being a Profit Winner.” The book is a practical business training and online template for hard working business owners and managers. Triple Your Profit is a four-part Profit Improvement System that offers a step-by-step plan to drive higher return on your bottom line. A total of 21 profit improvement exhibits will show how every concept works in your company. A planning template to quickly and easily develop a high profit plan is included.

 

April 18, 2012

2:45 p.m.-3:45 p.m.

Natural Stone Tile Installations

Speaker: Josh Levinson,
Artistic Tile

Description: One of the most important new developments in the 2011 Tile Council of North America (TCNA) Handbook was the inclusion of stone tile installation methods. Josh Levinson, a leading distributor of both ceramic tile and natural stone, is a strong contributor to the development of these standards. Levinson will discuss practical applications for stone and tile, along with the installation requirements necessary to achieve success.

April 18, 2012

2:45 p.m.-3:45 p.m.

Digital Integration in a Fabrication Shop - Point and Countertop

Speakers: Duane Naquin, Stone Interiors East; Paul Menninger, Capitol Granite LLC

Description: Listen to two fabricators engage in a healthy discussion about digital integration. Two opposite views will be debated by these successful fabricators. One will take the side of total integration and lessons learned. The other will take the opposite viewpoint and also review lessons learned. There will be no supplier bashing, and regardless of your view on the future of the digital age, you’ll walk away with some thought-provoking ideas about your own operation.

 

April 18, 2012

2:45 p.m.-3:45 p.m.

Sustainability for Dimensional Stone: Quarry Operations and Processing

Speakers: Daniel Rea, Cold Spring Granite; Mindy Costello, NSF-National Center for Sustainability Standards

Description: NSF International’s National Center for Sustainable Standards began development of a dimensional stone sustainability assessment standard utilizing the input of various stakeholders, including quarry operators, processors, users, public health, academia and others. The collaboration of these stakeholders will guide this criteria development for the assessment of sustainable quarry operations and processing, including lifecycle considerations. Identification and measurement of impacts on human health, environment and the surrounding community will be key to this sustainability initiative. When completed, the standard will assist in the determination of whether a dimensional stone product has been produced and transported in an environmentally preferable manner consistent with the principles of sustainability.

 

April 18, 2012

2:45 p.m.-3:45 p.m.

Successfully Selling Green in a Crowded Competetive Marketplace

Speaker: Fred Jackson, Estudio Group LLC

Description: How can your business sell to green projects in today’s marketplace? Fred Jackson will enhance your understanding on the green movement and how to sell your products and your business to consumers who are focused on sustainability. Jackson has counseled a number of stone/tile companies and will offer a number of practical tips to implement in your business.

 

April 19, 2012

8:00 a.m.-9:00 a.m.

Installation over Wood Substrates

Speakers: Dave Gobis, Ceramic Tile Consultant; Gerald Sloan, NTCA

Description: Building practices in the U.S. continue to implement wood systems. There are many types of wood underlayments, and properly installing ceramic and stone tile over these systems requires knowledge and understanding as well as skill. Leading tile industry consultant and author Dave Gobis and NTCA Trainer Gerald Sloan will address these considerations and outline important steps necessary for success.

 

April 19, 2012

8:00 a.m.-9:00 a.m.

Getting Specified & How to Stop Chasing Bids

Speaker: Daniel Rea, Cold Spring Granite

Description: Are you chasing bids? Wouldn’t it be easier if you could push process upstream and focus your time on getting your product and/or company specified? Rea brings a wealth of knowledge in the architectural specification arena. Learn about the importance of continuing education, relationships, ASTM and much more. Move your company from the reactive to the proactive mode of building relationships in the design community to get specified.

 

April 19, 2012

8:00 a.m.-9:00 a.m.

15 Commandments to Effectively Market and Sell to Generation Y

Speaker: Chris Ramey, Affluent Insights

Description: Selling to Generation Y requires new marketing strategies and techniques, different merchandising and a new point of view. The values of each generation are defined by their influences when they were raised. Gen Y was born with a computer on their lap, a smartphone in their hands and music blasting through their earplugs. They think differently about the world, their homes, shopping and what they deserve. The Internet is their sixth sense, and they’re not loyal. This important presentation will dissect their needs, wants, values and shopping habits. Now is the time to prepare for the new Gen Y customer.

 

April 19, 2012

8:00 a.m.-9:00 a.m.

Setting Proper Customer Expectations - Sales/Showroom Perspectives

Speaker: Nancy Epstein, Artistic Tile

Description: You have a limited amount of time with the consumer when they are in your showroom. Sometimes they’ve done their homework; sometimes they haven’t. How well do you know the demographics of who makes the majority of the retail buying decisions? Learn about consumer demographics and the impact that women have on the process. Obtain information about setting the proper expectation about the stone purchase/install/care process is critical to the overall buying decision. Join this discussion about “best practices” and “lessons learned.”

 

April 19, 2012

9:15 a.m.-10:15 a.m.

Reinventing Your Organization...Tools for Leaders/Managers to Develop and Retain Talent in Uncertain Times

Speaker: Sandy Smith, Sandy Smith Seminars

Description: Learn practical and proven methods for creating an organizational culture of “peak performers” who are highly engaged and committed to each other’s success.

 

April 19, 2012

9:15 a.m.-10:15 a.m.

Why Did the Waterproofing Fail?

Speaker: Dean Moilanen, Noble Company

Description: Whether you are a tile contractor, remodeling a residential bathroom, or an architect specifying the waterproofing for a large commercial project, the failure of the waterproofing system in your project can lead to disaster. Unfortunately, in spite of everyone’s best intentions, these failures still occur. In this presentation, Dean Moilanen will explore the factors that contribute to waterproofing failures and identify the steps you can take to ensure your waterproofing installation succeeds.

 

April 19, 2012

9:15 a.m.-10:15 a.m.

Stone Restoration - A Growing Opportunity to Build a Business or Add to Your Existing Business

Speaker: John Freitag, The Stone and Tile School

Description: This session is designed to answer the questions one may have prior to opening a stone restoration business or expanding one’s current business to include stone restoration. This session will address the equipment needed, the training one may require and the estimated cost to get into the restoration business. Attendees will be given suggestions on what price and profit margins one could expect from this business. This session will also answer any questions that you may have about the restoration business.

 

April 19, 2012

9:15 a.m.-10:15 a.m.

From “Super-Size” to “Right Size” — The Road to a “Smart-Sized” Home

Speakers: Gale Steves, Open House Production; Patricia Gaylor, Eco Interiors by Patricia Gaylor

Description: It’s not news to anyone that the home building market has severely declined in the last five or more years. Homeowners have realized they simply cannot afford to build oversized houses that require large amounts of costly building materials. The reality of skyrocketing energy bills has put the brakes on homes with large square footage, and builders are scrambling to find ways to build or renovate homes that are energy efficient and meet the needs of today’s families without compromising on design. Gale Steves, author of “Right-Sizing your Home” and green interior designer Patricia Gaylor will discuss ways to build or renovate a home that suits the needs of your client without breaking the budget, offering real solutions that are smart and sustainable.

 

April 19, 2012

9:15 a.m.-10:15 a.m.

The ABCs of Travertine: Selection, Installation and Maintenance

Speaker: Joseph Salvo, Miracle Sealants

Description: Travertine has experienced exponential growth as a floor and wall covering, but do you understand, the characteristics of the stone, how to properly install it and care for it? Now more than ever, it is important to know the stone to prevent unnecessary failures and insure success and satisfied clients. This session will address the geology and characteristics of travertine and what you must recognize before installing the stone in specific applications, including floors and walls. Large-format tiles will be emphasized.

 

April 19, 2012

9:15 a.m.-10:45 a.m.

Open for Business: Why Transparency Is Mandatory in the Online Marketing Age

Speaker: Marty Gould, Focalize Consulting

Description: The Internet has empowered customers. They’re now in charge, dictating all aspects of the sales process — from what they’ll pay to how and when products and services are packaged and delivered. As home-buying and remodeling customers emerge from the worst recession in nearly a century, their mindsets are permanently altered. The information they seek is more than research; it’s the test they put each and every business through to see if they meet a high standard of trustworthiness. The more open the business, the more likely it will pass the test. Note: Gould works with many stone and tile companies, and specifically relates this topic to our industry.

 

April 19, 2012

1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m.

Concrete Substrates

Speakers: Dan Welch, Welch Tile & Marble; James Woelfel, Artcraft Granite, Marble & Tile Co.

Description: This session will provide a fresh perspective from experts in the concrete industry. Join us as our speakers provide realistic expectations for the industry as related to large-format tile, natural stone and ceramic tile installations.

 

April 19, 2012

1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m.

The State of the Union: Architectural Trends & Influences

Moderator: Marc Kushner,
Architizer.com

Description: Join Marc Kushner, Founder of Architizer.com, to continue the lively discussion he has created online. With panelists recruited from the Architizer community, Kushner will moderate an interactive session in which the latest trends and influences in architecture across various vertical categories such as retail, education and healthcare will be examined.

 

April 19, 2012

2:45 p.m.-3:45 p.m.

Installing Tile or Stone with Membranes

Speaker: Art Mintie, Laticrete International

Description: The use of membranes for both waterproofing and crack isolation has exploded in popularity in the past several years. There are many reasons for this trend. Large-format tile and stone, fast-track building practices, different substrates and more all play a role in determining when and if a membrane should be specified and installed. The different types of membranes will be highlighted as well.

 

April 19, 2012

2:45 p.m.-3:45 p.m.

What “Points” Really Make a Difference?: Perspectives from a Green Builder/Remodeler

Speaker: Michael Strong,
Green Builder Media

Description: In this session, Michael Strong will surprise you with the points he went after when certifying his homes under both the NAHB and USGBC green building programs. Learn from an insider what builders really consider when buying their products and materials.

 

April 19, 2012

2:45 p.m.-3:45 p.m.

Selling to the Senses: Insight into Designing a Sensory Retail Environment for Your Clients

Speaker: Kim Bernard,
Walker Zanger

Description: Nearly all purchases are driven by emotion on one level or another. One of the most significant emotional purchases is one that is made for the home. Deepen the commitment with the permanence of tile and stone and the emotional connection is of heightened importance. Discover ways that you can connect with your clients on a deeper level within the physical showroom environment to set you apart from your competition.

 

April 19, 2012

2:45 p.m.-3:45 p.m.

Social Media - How Are Successful Stone/Tile Businesses Using It?

Speaker: Sarah Johnson, MKG Department

Description: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media tools are engulfing the world of communication today. User demographics show that it’s not just the 20-something age group using these communication tools. This session will cover how companies in the stone business are using it to their advantage. Several case studies will be presented to showcase “best practices” that will demonstrate how to get started and manage existing and new relationships through social media.

April 19, 2012

2:45 p.m.-3:45 p.m.

Stone Care & Maintenance

Speaker: Joseph Salvo,
Miracle Sealants

Description: Attend this session and discover the difference between alkalines, acids and solvents and where each should be used. Learn why common grocery store and many janitorial cleaners are not good for maintaining tile and stone installations. Lastly, attendees will learn how to prolong the life of sealers, remove stains and prevent damage to grout, tile and stone by understanding the role of proper maintenance.

 

April 19, 2012

2:45 p.m.-3:45 p.m.

The Future of the Brick-and-Mortar Store vs. the Internet. Can We Survive? How Can We Survive?

Speaker: Steve Slutzah,
Westside Tile and Stone, Inc.

Description: In today’s uncertain market, flooring stores are facing the uncertainties of world economics, customer’s price shopping from store to store, lack of solid inventory levels and sales on the internet. We can’t fight global economics or keep a customer from driving all over town to save 10 cents. However, if we don’t deal with the Internet today, where will brick-and-mortar stores be tomorrow? The list of brick-and-mortar store closures is growing every day. How can we let that happen to us without a fight?

 

April 19, 2012

2:45 p.m.-3:45 p.m.

Thin Tiles: Getting the Most from the Latest Installation Technologies

Speaker: Neil McMurdie, Mapei Corp.

Description: This presentation will explore the special application challenges to producing sound, durable installations with tiles of reduced thickness and lighter weight.

 

April 19, 2012

2:45 p.m.-3:45 p.m.

Installation Design Showcase Roundtable

Description: Meet our designers and installers from the Installation Design Showcase and learn what it takes to pull together these annual vignettes in five days. Sit down with the designers and installers and learn about the pre-show preparation, onsite experiences and post-show lessons learned. Attendees will meet the designers and installers in small roundtables to discuss everything from their designs and materials to the working relationship. Don’t forget to visit the showcase beforehand and bring your questions.

 

April 19, 2012

2:45 p.m.-4:00 p.m.

Know Before You Import: Classification of Building Stone by U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Speaker: Jacob Bunin, U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Description: Prior to the importation of building stone, an importer should know the tariff provisions and rates of duty for these products. Importers often assume certain incorrect provisions apply, and they consequently plan their pricing incorrectly. Knowledge of the principles of tariff classification is crucial to American importers and foreign shippers of stone. Jacob Bunin of U.S. Customs will explain distinctions in the classification of building stones under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule based on the identity of the stone (marble, granite, etc.), and distinctions based on the degree to which the stone is worked. He will also discuss the applicability of NAFTA to stone produced in Canada, Mexico and the U.S. In addition, he will explain the procedures that one should follow when requesting a ruling on tariff classification. The rulings program allows an importer or foreign shipper to determine the proper classification of a product prior to importation.

 

April 20, 2012

8:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m.

Fabrication Efficiencies - Is Your Business a Rollercoaster?

Speaker: Chip Gleine,
www.askgraniteguru.com

Description: Is your business a rollercoaster? In today’s environment it is important to: identify your capacity; sell to your capacity; schedule to your capacity; work to your capacity; and invoice to your capacity. Learn “best practices” from Gleine, who has helped a number of fabricators focus on their operational efficiencies.

 

April 20, 2012

8:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m.

Stone Floor Maintenance - Establishing a Schedule & Setting Customer Expectations

Speaker: John Freitag, The Stone and Tile School

Description: The stone floor installation is beautiful, so then what’s next? Attend this session and learn about establishing a solid floor maintenance program. Learn about setting up maintenance schedules. Freitag will also highlight tips for setting customer expectations for routine maintenance and much more.

 

April 20, 2012

8:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m.

Practical Marketing for Small Businesses: Strengthen Your Web site, Get Found & Connect With Customers

Speaker: Christine Whittemore, Simple Marketing Now LLC

Description: How hard does your Web site work on behalf of your business? Does it accurately represent what your business does in your marketplace? Does it attract online traffic? Does it generate qualified leads who become customers? In a world where most customers educate themselves online first, you need to have a Web site that helps you get found online when potential customers start a search for your product category. It needs to generate leads and immediately communicate to site visitors what you are about, how you can help them and what actions they should take next. Using specific examples, this session will demonstrate how to assess your Web site, so you can prioritize what to improve (including how and whether to incorporate social media) to get found and increase traffic, generate leads and connect with customers.

 

April 20, 2012

9:45 a.m.-10:45 a.m.

Financial Benchmarking in the Granite and Tile Industry

Speaker: Curt Richter, United Stoneworks, Inc.

Description: Have you ever heard the statement, “if they really understood the cost of doing business, they wouldn’t price their products they way they do?” This session really sets the stage to help the stone/tile industry look at a financial benchmark model which shows realistic targets in such areas as labor costs, G&A costs, cost of goods, shop costs and sales expenses. Curt Richter will: help you create a financial “score card;” showcase how to become more profitable through financial targeting; share proven growth strategies and successes; and discuss value-added sales for higher gross margins.                                   

 

 

 

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