On June 21, the Toronto Stone Summit -- part of the Marble Institute of America/Stone World education series, was hosted by MS International in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada.

Stone Industry veteran, Michael Picco of Picco Engineering (a Toronto based company), spoke on, "making the transition from residential countertops to light construction" for several dozen fabricators attending the MIA/Stone World seminar on June 21.  He also fielded many questions about anchorage requirements for stone cladding projects, common mistakes made when submitting commercial project bid proposals, the differences between residential and commercial projects payment terms, and more.  He also highlighted the importance of the MIA's Dimension Stone Design Manual and the value it has to the global stone industry as a source of stone information.

Jim Hieb commented, "Michael did a great job with his presentation and given the number of questions posed to him it was evident that the attendees valued his expertise and advice." This session was just one of three key components of the event hosted by MS International.

Marty Gould of Focalize Now provided a number of online marketing tips to the fabricators and slab distributors assembled in Toronto on June 21st for the MIA/Stone World seminar.  He shared that when it comes to online content stone companies need to:

1) Narrow their focus

2) Pick keywords that set themselves apart

3) Write content relevant to their keywords

4) Build external links to your site

5) Avoid paid shortcuts

6) Manage their online reputation


He later showcased the nine biggest website mistakes made by companies.  What attendees most appreciated from Marty's presentation was that he showcased the positives and negatives of several websites of many stone companies.  The attendees quickly saw why his list of six "must do" items is so important.

This was not simply a marketing seminar; it was a seminar that delved directly into how stone companies can reach consumers/clients.  Companies that may not be paying attention to their online presence will lose market share over time.

Marty Gould is also scheduled as a keynote speaker for the upcoming July 10th  MIA/Stone World seminar in Portland, OR (to be hosted by Oregon Tile & Marble).

Other future MIA/Stone World education events include:

  • September 18, 2012 -- "Business Success for Fabricators," New York/New Jersey region
  • October 25, 2012 -- "Business Success for Fabricators," Salt Lake City, UT
  • November 8, 2012 -- "Business Success for Fabricators," Farmers Branch, TX, hosted by MS International

The registration fee is $99 for installers and fabricators and $249 for suppliers and stone distributors. Each attendee will receive a $25 credit for items from the MIA bookstore. This credit will be awarded on site at the seminar. Additionally, non-MIA member companies who join prior to or during the seminar will be able to send two employees to a seminar for free.

For more information on the MIA/Stone World seminars, visit www.stoneindustryeducation.com