At first glance, the Remodeling Show Program, which begins on page 25, can be a little overwhelming. There's no substitute for a close read, but to help you get started, we've collected some of the highlights of this year's lineup. Up-to-date information for all Remodeling Show activities, including times and locations, are available at www.theremodelingshow.com.
Advanced Education This year, one course each day will be devoted to the unique education needs of experienced company owners, executives, and managers. Dubbed the Executive Forum, the three courses address in-depth marketing strategies, leadership training, and business succession issues, and vary in length from 90 minutes to three hours. A separate registration fee is required. (Look for the E symbol next to the course title in the conference program.)
New Products Pavilion There have always been plenty of new products at the Remodeling Show, but for the first time we've collected them all in one place. Prominently located near the front of the exhibit hall, the New Products Pavilion makes it easy to see the latest and greatest in a no-pressure setting. Make it your first stop at the Exposition, and if you see something you like, you can visit the exhibitor's main booth for more information.
Fine Living Spaces Catalogs serve a purpose, but the best way to evaluate new products and technologies is while they're on display. New to the Show this year, Fine Living Spaces brings new products and technologies together into full-size, fully integrated concept rooms. It's a practical place to look for design inspiration and find innovative applications.
Focus on Kitchens Kitchen remodels are popular with homeowners, and they can be a big profit center for contractors who can handle the complexity. This all-day session highlights the design components and best practices that will help you make kitchen remodeling a specialty.
The all-day course was developed by the National Kitchen & Bath Association and will be taught by a certified NKBA instructor.
Design Competition The MasterWork of Design Competition will feature winners from three regional contests working during the show to create a design solution for a fictitious client and building site. The competition is live right on the show floor, so you can watch them every step of way. The grand prize is a week-long historical European architectural tour.
Replacement Contractors Welcome The Remodeling Show is proudly co-locating its conference with Dave Yoho's Home Improvement Profit Seminar. This strategic partnership fills the need in replacement contractor education. Yoho's two-day program, including his Power Linguistics Selling seminar, will teach you how to set the right price, demonstrate techniques for overcoming price objections, show you how to sell value, and help you become a “super star” closer.
Take a Load Off The Remodeling Show welcomes remodelers from all industry-related associations, and this year we're providing a Professional Association Meeting Room. It's a place where members of NAHB, NAHB/RC, NARI, AIBD, AIA, ASID, IIDA, KCMA, and the NKBA can make new contacts, trade stories, or just catch their breath.
Three's a Charm We've developed an attendee affinity program to recognize and show appreciation to remodelers who have attended the Remodeling Show for three consecutive years. Called the Remodeling Privilege, the new program includes a distinctive registration ribbon and access to an exclusive lounge with Internet access and light snacks.
After Hours The Show's planners have taken to heart the maxim about all work and no play, so there are plenty of ways to loosen up after a day of seminars and roaming the Expo floor. First up is the Welcome Reception, a can't-miss kick-off party at the House of Blues. There'll be live music and plenty of food and drink — it's a great way to meet remodelers and manufacturers from all around the country. Best of all, it's free with a full conference package (Thursday, Oct. 7, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.).
NAHB Remodelors Council Gala. This is the premier event on the NAHB Remodelors Council calendar. It begins with cocktails, followed by awards presentations, including winners of the 2004 America's Best National Remodeling Hall of Fame, the 2004 CADRE Award winners, and “Remodelor of the Year.” Advanced registration is required; black tie optional. Contact NAHB at (800) 368-5242, ext. 8216, for location information (Friday, Oct. 8, 6:30 – 11:00 p.m., $80 for NAHB members, $90 for non-members).
Through networking with other contractors, we've put in place many policies and procedures affecting administration, production, and sales. Many of the forms we use were developed from examples we've seen from other remodelers at the Show. Probably the biggest change was the shift in mindset that making a profit is OK. This also meant that we needed to do a better job of screening leads so that we weren't chasing our tail.
—Bill Medina, Medina Construction Co., Salina, Kan.
I learned to charge what I'm worth. It's OK to mark up 50% or 60%. It makes no difference whether you lose a job by $50 or $500 or $5,000, but if you get it, you will make money.
—Bob Bell, Bell's Remodeling, Duluth, Minn.
If you bring employees to the show, how do you make the most of their time there? Which employees do you bring?
My wife and I have brought both sales and production employees with us to the show. They love it, and it makes them feel like a valuable part of the company. We do ask them to attend certain seminars — the main reason they're there is to increase their industry knowledge — and to provide us with a written report of what they learned.
—Terry Bennett, Terry Bennett Builders & Remodelers, Westlake, Ohio
Generally, I'll bring up to three of my 20 employees. I consider who has attended in the past, then try to match them up with seminars and speakers that will help us attain our company goals. After we return, each employee is expected to recap each class attended at the next company meeting. The recap includes specific issues that we plan to implement as a result of the classes. Employees also recommend who should go to the next conference and what classes would benefit them most.
—Mark Scott, Mark IV Builders, Cabin John, Md.
There are so many seminars, plus events on the Expo floor. How do you choose among them? How do you cover it all?
My husband, Jack, and I are partners. He's on the production side, and I am on the marketing and financial side. We each choose our seminars based on our expertise and never take the same ones. This year, we are bringing our office manager so she can attend courses that will help her performance. Attending the Remodeling Show is one of the best things we ever did for ourselves and our business. It has helped us with our bottom line, the marketing of our business, hiring employees, and estimating, to name a few.
What do you look forward to most at each year's Show?
The best part of the Remodeling Show is sharing ideas and thoughts with your peers. There's no better way for a business owner to feel secure about the business decisions he or she must make than to discuss them with other remodelers from other parts of the country. It's reassuring to know that we are not alone — that most of us face the same kinds of employee and sales and production problems. Usually, we hear how others have solved a problem that we're now facing. There's nothing better than hearing real life stories from real people in our same industry.
Terry Bennett, Terry Bennett Builders & Remodelers, Westlake, Ohio
Linda Case Culture Quest: Your Secret Weapon for a Uniquely Successful Company. Design your company around your unique positive core values to help you attract and keep the very best super star employees.
Find Your Fit! Design/Build a Company That's Perfect for You. Use four key “drivers” that exist in your company to plan and deliver a unique company that best fits your talents and goals.
Mark Richardson, CR How Fit Is Your Remodeling Business? This 10-point checkup will help you identify your business's strengths and weaknesses (see page 35).
Sales Marathon, (with Mike Gorman, Steve Johns, Jerry Harris, and Dave Mattson). Six half-hour presentations, including The Art Of Selling, Qualifying Leads, Professional Sales Leadership, Selling To The Right Client, Getting Out Of A Sales Slump, and Delivering A Dynamic Sales Presentation.
Tim Faller Customer Service And Delivery For The Field. Learn how to differentiate between customer service and making a client happy.
Putting The Lead Carpenter System To Work. Review basic principles and learn how to implement this popular production management system in your company.
Organize Your Production Processes. Learn how checklists, forms, and other management tools can help your production system improve as your company grows.
Victoria Downing Marketing Strategies To Grow Your Business. Learn how to develop marketing strategies to deliver high quality, low cost leads.
Effective Delegating: Maximum Results With Minimum Risk. Which tasks should you delegate? How do you make the handoff? How do you monitor progress and minimize risk?