StonExpo prepares for Las Vegas

October 1, 2005
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StonExpo, which for the first year is owned and operated by Hanley Wood, will take place from October 20 to 22, 2005 at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV. And this year, for the first time, the exhibition for the natural stone industry is providing live, “how to” sessions for all show attendees. Additionally, a pre-workshop program is scheduled to begin on Wednesday, October 19, a day prior to the show's opening.

This year's event, which will include more than 200 exhibiting companies, is expected to draw thousands of stone-industry members who are interested in seeing the latest developments in stone products, machinery, accessories and more. Stone professionals will also have the opportunity to receive the solid proven education they need to succeed, while networking with others in the field along the way, according to Hanley Wood.

After two busy days of visiting with exhibitors and learning from industry experts, StonExpo attendees can relax and mingle with exhibitors, peers and industry legends at the StonExpo 2005 Welcome Reception. This free reception, which takes place on the show floor on Friday, October 21 from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., is an opportunity for stone professionals to enjoy cocktails and snacks, while networking and meeting new contacts.

“We know it's important for stone professionals attending StonExpo to take advantage of all the opportunities offered to find new ways to grow their businesses and be successful,” stated Michelle Troop, Senior Show Director of StonExpo. “But, we also know that a big part of that is networking and meeting with their peers and the industry legends that can only be found at StonExpo. We wanted to offer a relaxed environment for everyone to socialize and get to know one another, and the Welcome Reception should do just that.”

Many members of the stone industry share Troop's sentiments. “StonExpo is a great place to network,” stated Bill Eubank of Luckstone in Manakin, VA. “For those new to the business, there are a lot of established companies to meet. For the established companies, there are new customers to meet. StonExpo - It's where everyone's talking stone.”

Tom McNall of Great Northern Stone in Ontario, Canada, also agreed. “At StonExpo, I get to see friends from the industry,” he stated. “I get to network with the gurus of the industry. I get to meet new people and become friends with them over the years. StonExpo is the only show we go to.”

The show's official sponsors are the Marble Institute of America (MIA) and the Natural Stone Alliance, and VeronaFiere is an official endorser of StonExpo.

How-to educational seminars

Stone LIVE! - the place for live how-to education - is making its debut at StonExpo 2005, and will feature industry experts leading installation demonstrations on the show floor. These informative sessions provide stone professionals the latest, most up-to-date information on how to deal with some of the more common installation challenges facing them today.

Stone professionals know that proper installation is critical to their business, as mistakes mean lost profits. These sessions will help not only to understand common installation mistakes and challenges, but will offer key information on how to avoid them.

The Stone LIVE! sessions are free to all show attendees, and are an up-close opportunity for all stone professionals to learn proper installation techniques, according to Hanley Wood. These one-hour sessions will demonstrate how to “do it right the first time” and how to ensure that your customers are happy with the outcome.

Attendees should plan their schedules so they include time to attend these key sessions while at the show:

Thursday, October 20

Countertop 1: Installations In Kitchens
11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Wall Flashing Details
1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Tile-Lined Shower Receptors, “A Water Management System”
3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Friday, October 21

Countertop 2: Installations In Bathrooms
11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Tile-Lined Shower Receptors, “A Water Management System”
1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Wall Flashing Details
3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Saturday, October 22

Countertop 1: Installations In Kitchens
11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Countertop 2: Installations In Bathrooms
1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

“Because StonExpo is the industry's leading event, we feel it's important to keep pace with the issues facing the industry,” stated Troop. “We are pleased to offer this new level of education that will deliver the information that stone professionals need most.”

In addition to Stone LIVE!, the StonExpo 2005 Conference Program - sponsored by the MIA - continues to provide the top-quality education stone professionals need to improve their businesses. This year's program features 34 strategic sessions in six targeted tracks, including:

• Business Management
• Design/Market Trends
• Fabrication/Installation
• Sales/Marketing
• Technology/Machinery/Tools
•Care/Maintenance/Restoration.

Moreover, there are several sessions scheduled that are specifically designed for stone professionals who deal with the commercial sector.

Pre-show workshops will take place Wednesday, October 19 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Seminars are scheduled for Thursday, October 20 to Saturday, October 22 from 7:45 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and 9:15 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

The following is a look at the 2005 StonExpo seminar schedule:

Wednesday,October 19, 2005

9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Track:Fabrication/Installation
Are you involved in managing commercial projects? Learn more about the procurement process, working within budget parameters, understanding the project life cycle, maintaining jobsite safety, ASTM specification and stone testing. If you manage a commercial project, this workshop is a must-attend for you.
Speaker: Rodney Harvey and Michael A. Twiss

9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Track: Sales/Marketing
Stealth Marketing Strategies To Grow Your Business
Perception is reality in business today; learn how to objectively view your business through your customer's eyes. Make sure you are tuned into their needs and they see you as the right choice. This workshop is loaded with strategies, tactics, tips and techniques every business person needs to know. Leave with great marketing ideas to implement right away.
Speakers: Georganne Bende and Rich Kizer

1 p.m to 4 p.m.
Track: Design/Market Trends
Introduction to Natural Stone
This workshop is designed as a practical guide to the novice and a refresher course for the expert. Review the various types, characteristics and classifications of natural stones. Understand the materials' working qualities and gain a greater understanding of the composition and how it is processed. This is an invaluable course for designers, architects, builders, specifiers and/or construction managers.
Speakers: Thomas Robinson and Joseph Salvo

1 p.m. to 4 p.m
Track:Fabrication/Installation
Strategic Fabricator Forum
What are the pros and cons to working with the big boxes? Can you meet the fabrication demands in your area? Pass financial stability and background checks? What niche pro-ducts can you introduce to differentiate from competitive suppliers? Attend this workshop and leave with a greater understanding of how to strategically develop partnership with big boxes and compete in a crowded marketplace.
Speakers: Kevin Padden and Gasper GK Naquin

Thursday,October 20, 2005

7:45 a.m. to 9 a.m.
Track: Business Management
Buying Direct vs. Distributor: What You Should Know
This seminar covers what you should know about buying through a distributor vs. importing direct. Learn the principles that govern U.S. Customs' classification of building stone and how to obtain a binding ruling on tariff classifications. Logistics of shipping, securing containers, cost of unloading, storage and other topics will be discussed by an expert panel.
Speakers: Jacob Bunin, Joe Kapcheck and Lynn Mostyn

7:45 a.m. to 9 a.m.
Track: Care/Maintenance/Restoration
Stone Refinishing Essentials
This course covers stripping, refinishing natural stone and other essential trouble-shooting topics. Products and processes that will be covered include honing powders, polishing powders and compounds, recrystallization and diamond resur-facing. This presentation is created for everyone, from the new industry professional to the experienced professional.
Speaker: Rod Sigman

7:45 a.m. to 9 a.m.
Track: Fabrication/Installation
Resin-Treated Slabs
The discussion on resin-treated slabs will not end anytime soon. Why is using resin-treated slabs an industry trend? Get the facts and understand the properties of resin. Industry experts will probe and explain all the potential problems and offer solutions for resin-treated slabs. This seminar will be highly interactive with an extensive Q&A session.
Speakers: Fillippo Emanuel and Lindell Lummer

7:45 a.m. to 9 a.m
Track: Sales/Marketing
Price Is Not An Option
This presentation examines five key elements of building a successful, sustainable business model in a crowded industry. Start with a clear understanding of the target customer, the competitive landscape, and an honest evaluation of your own core competencies. Choose what you want to be famous for, align your business, tell the world and execute.
Speaker: Mark Fernandes

7:45 a.m. to 9 a.m.
Track: Technology/Machinery/Tools
Integrating CNC Technology in the Stone Shop
The stone industry is in a unique position-moving from “regular” technology to “high” technology can revolutionize a company in a very short time. This seminar is designed to address the issues that face most fabricators as they prepare to make this journey. Topics covered include, CNC routers and tooling for stone, CNC abrasive water jets, software integration, machine set-up issues, and personnel concerns.
Speaker: Robert Alsup

9:15 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Track: Business Management
Understanding the Cost of Your Business
Are your expenses increasing faster than your profits? What does it mean that your “leverage” is too high? Leave this seminar with improved confidence in interpreting and evaluating your financials. Your CPA can set-up your financial accounts, but you need to grasp the “assets” and “liabilities” of operating your business finances. Be assured your company is performing at the optimum level.
Speaker: James O'Brasky

9:15 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Track: Design/Market Trends
Colors - Next Wave!
You need color. Everything around your world says color. From the hues in the garden to the food on your plate, color is what adds spice, romance and texture to life and design. Know what's coming on the next color wave and, as important, why. Be inspired and become “color savvy” with Colors-Next Wave!
Speaker: Mark Woodman

9:15 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Track: Fabrication/Installation
High-Volume Countertop Fabrication
Are you looking to increase your countertop production? What kind of infrastructure will you need in place before you can expand your business? Learn about different methods to template a project, custom fabrication, investing in an edging machine and CNC technology and what it can do for your business. This seminar provides step-by-step explanations of how to transition into higher- volume fabrication.
Speaker: Duane Naquin

9:15 a.m to 10:30 a.m.
Track: Fabrication/Installation
Exterior Cladding: Getting It Right The First Time
This is an A to Z a summary of the exterior stone cladding process. Topics include the essentials of stone selection, cladding types and systems, factors affecting the overall cost, different structural backups, anchor design and proper installation. You will also review hands-on examples of various anchors, shop drawings, engineering of stone and anchors, the importance and relevance of testing and more.
Speaker: Michael Picco, PE

9:15 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Track: Sales/Marketing Selling Effectively
Today's approach to selling and advertising is not about aggressiveness. It's about using behavioral appeal to drive buying desires especially for your female customers. A behavioral expert reveals ways to get your customer into a proactive buying position from kitchen and bath countertops to the latest design and product ideas.
Speaker: Brian Dyches

Friday,October 21, 2005

7:45 a.m. to 9 a.m.
Track: Business Management
Managing Homeowners' Expectations
Having a satisfied homeowner means meeting their expectations before, during and after the completion of a project. Today's consumers gather information from various sources prior to entering your business. This seminar will offer guidelines on how to better meet your customer's expectations right from the start to ensure their happiness and your success.
Speakers: Rafael Bernal and Jorge Cancel

7:45 a.m to 9 a.m.
Track: Design/Market Trends
Hot! New Stone Trends
This stimulating and exciting presentation pushes the design limits and offers unique ideas in stone trends. Explore techniques outside traditional design methods; wrap your imagination around the limitless possibilities with stone. This seminar was created to take you “outside the box” and let you peek at new stones on the market, technology trends, new finishes, purchasing trends in the Asian market and much more. This is an invaluable seminar for anyone who does business in the stone industry.
Speaker: Jamie Haskel

7:45 a.m. to 9 a.m.
Track: Fabrication/Installation
Selecting Stone Slabs & Tiles
As a fabricator, you rely on the creditability of suppliers to help you select slabs and tiles that are free of unusual defects. This session helps educate you on what to look for when selecting slabs for stock or specific jobs. It will cover soundness, consistency, size and other factors that can cost you unexpected money during the fabrication process.
Speaker: Keith Graves

7:45 a.m. to 9 a.m.
Track: Sales/Marketing
Profiting With Building Stone
Looking to diversify your existing business? Expand your business opportunities with building stone in landscape architecture. View various custom landscape designs using a variety of boulders, large slabs, wall stone, thin stone veneer, flagstone and other material that is sometimes considered waste.
Speaker: Rick Anderson

7:45 a.m to 9 a.m.
Track: Technology/Machinery/Tools
Efficient Shop Layout
You have made the big decision to start a fabrication shop or decided to relocate your facility. Whether you are leasing the space or building your own facility, it must be done right. Every wasted step adds costs. You must be sure the shop is set up for maximum efficiency; if it's not, it could cost you literally thousands of dollars in efficiencies and lost sales opportunities.
Speaker: Dale Schleppenbach

9:15 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Track: Business Management
Recruiting & Keeping Your Most Valued Assets…Your Employees!
Hiring and keeping the best employees is essential to survive in today's competitive environment. This seminar covers writing an accurate job description, employee training, incentive programs, non-competitive contracts and performance reviews. Take away numerous ideas to improve your employee relations and performance skills. Improve your company's performance by hiring the right candidate.
Speaker: Jim Hieb

9:15 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Track: Care/Maintenance/Restoration
Stone Sealing & Cleaning - Fact & Fiction
The industry varies on the topic of whether to seal or not to seal when it comes to natural stone. Previous research has evaluated stain performance, maintenance and overall characteristics of sealed versus unsealed stone. Now, find out what the latest research is showing and the implications for the stone industry.
Speaker: Michael Guasch

9:15 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Track: Design/Market Trends
Working With Engineered & Natural Stone
Engineered stone is becoming a force to reckon with in the residential market and the topic of conversation among industry professionals. What are the features and benefits of using it vs. natural stone? An experienced fabricator will discuss the pros and cons of working with each stone and a leading kitchen and bath dealer will discuss the selling benefits and features. Gain an objective overview and dispel myths regarding the two types of stone. Discussion will cover cost, availability, maintenance and fabrication.
Speakers: Brad Meyer, Mike Sorg and Chris Banus

9:15 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Track: Fabrication/Installation
Countertop Fabrication Forum
In this information-packed seminar, focus on three key areas for countertops; seams, under-mount sinks and edging. Know what stones are more prone to problems from fabrication (i.e., chipping, which causes rough edges and prohibits an invisible seam). Learn what you can do to prevent or to fix this kind of problem. This is a very interactive seminar; come prepared to get answers to your most difficult questions.
Speakers: Mark Blanda, Robert Smith and Kevin Padden
Moderator: Michael Reis, Stone World Editor

9:15 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Track: Sales/Marketing
Developing & Managing A Distributor Network
Most fabricators are not familiar with the distribution concept for the natural stone business. If you are thinking about becoming a high-volume stone fabricator, distribution may be the most economical answer for increasing sales volume. This seminar assists you in strategically identifying specialty/niche distributors and big boxes by examining the similarities, differences and benefits of each.
Speaker: Allan Gowans

Saturday,October 22, 2005

7:45 a.m. to. 9:00 a.m.
Track: Care/Maintenance/Restoration
Restoration & Maintenance
Would you like to add restoration and maintenance services to your business? If you have been toying with the idea and have unresolved questions, here is your chance to get answers. This is an excellent seminar for those curious about what is involved in restoration of stone surfaces. Your knowledge can then assist customers to make informed decisions during purchase and renovation phases.
Speaker: Tom McNall

7:45 a.m. to 9 a.m.
Track: Design/Market Trends
Designing With Distinction
If you lack inspiration and creativity when working with granite, marble, limestone or tile, this session is definitely for you. Explore creative ways to select the right surfacing materials to balance and harmonize the architectural style of a home. Ensuring that the materials you install remain tasteful and timeless over the years and truly create a home of distinction.
Speaker: Susan Fruit, ASID

7:45 a.m. to 9 a.m.
Track: Fabrication/Installation
Errors In Stone Fabrication & Installation: Case Studies
Review several case studies illustrating common errors that occurred during the fabrication and installation of thin dimension stone for cladding and paving. Errors with countertops and interior floor projects will also be discussed. Twenty-five years of investigating stone construction has revealed there are recurring problems that often result from lack of attention to detail by the installer and inaccurate fabrication.
Speaker: Michael Scheffler, PE

7:45 a.m. to 9 a.m.
Track: Sales/Marketing
Natural Thin Veneer
Many consumers are interested in genuine stone over “man-made cast stone” materials, which is why natural thin veneer is becoming so popular in the market. Learn about the different applications of natural thin veneer and how to market it to your customers. Interact with industry leaders who are successfully meeting the increase in demand.
Speakers: Mike Gregory and Jeff Walerius

7:45 a.m. to 9 a.m.
Track: Sales/Marketing
Partnering with Architects for Mutual Growth
Selling stone to an architect requires more than just marketing to this highly talented and specialized group. Demonstrating various applications and limitations of stone requires you to be well versed on a variety of products and industry standards. One way to reach your intended audience is to add value to their time. In this seminar, review ways to gain and capture their attention; i.e. becoming an AIA continuing education provider. Learn how to develop mutual partnership that can result in profit for your business.
Speaker: Bill Eubank

9:15 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Track: Business Management
Strategies To Save Your Company Money
The financial control you maintain over your company will make the difference between being successful (making money) and the dreaded alternative. Learn the 10 most common money losing mistakes made by fabricators, along with pricing strategies, inventory control, budgeting, tax strategies, and simple reports for maintaining financial control of your business.
Speaker: Scott Lardner

9:15 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Track: Design/Market Trends
New! Design Ideas With Stone
The course reveals recent material and construction discoveries that point to new applications and future use of thin-cut stone applications for interior and exterior applications. In addition, this presentation will review construction methods for building today's arch details and the exciting and challenging options arches provide to the design community.
Speaker: Matthew Redabaugh

9:15 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Track: Fabrication/Installation
Safety Pays
Safety guidelines established by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) are critical to your stone shop's safe operation. This seminar reviews OSHA's “Top Ten” list of non-compliance issues. Learn about proper handling & storage of hazardous materials, proper use of personal protective equipment, and see tips for getting OSHA compliant. Overall, you'll be better prepared for your next OSHA inspection.
Speaker: Kevin Padden

9:15 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Track: Sales/Marketing
The Possibilities For Profits Are Endless
Consider diversifying your oper-ations. Learn about the many diverse applications of stone as well as hot, new consumer trends. There are virtually untapped markets within our industry - markets that could reap huge returns for your business. Diversification could be your key to increased prosperity in the stone industry.
Speaker: Dean Casad

9:15 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Track: Technology/Machinery/Tools
What Machinery To Buy & When
Buying machinery to improve or expand your business is a major financial commitment. Doing research requires asking the right questions. When is the right time to move from a manual to an automated shop? What are the initial machine requirements and machines to purchase? Maximize your return on investment (ROI) with the right machinery purchase.
Speakers: John Bergman and Doug Mangusq

The 2005 StonExpo exhibition will be held from October 20 to 22 at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV.

Throughout the duration of the show, attendees will have the opportunity to view that latest developments in stone products, machinery and accessories, and installation and maintenance products as well as experience live demonstrations of a variety of tooling and machinery.

A large variety of seminars - on topics such as countertop installations, design trends, restoration/care and maintenance and business management, will run over the course of the three-day show.

Over 200 exhibitors are expected to attend this year's show, which is once again sponsored by the Marble Institute of America (MIA) and the Natural Stone Alliance.

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