The Remodelers' Show is still three months off, but now is the time to start planning. If you think you won't have time or are worried about who'll take care of the company while you're gone, then you need to attend more than most remodelers. In fact, the question is: Can you afford not to attend? Here are 10 good reasons to put the show on your calendar today:

1. The educational seminars at the Remodelers' Show are the best around. I guarantee you'll take home a half-dozen ideas that will forever change your business for the better. Bring a list of problems you need to solve, and the answers you find will help you reduce your risk, relieve your stress, and replenish your energy.

2. Walking the exposition floor, you'll see products that represent the latest developments on the market. And you can do more than look -- you can touch and feel the materials, try out the new tools, and see experts demonstrate installation techniques. This kind of in-depth product knowledge is something you can take back to your staff and helps your company look like experts in the eyes of your customers.

3. Over the next two to four years, technology will revolutionize our industry. Many of the products and systems you'll see at the show -- for use in both your customers' homes and your own business -- will be state-of-the-art. There is no better way to stay ahead of the curve than to see it first at the show.

4. The manufacturer reps staffing the booths are there not only to answer your questions but to get your feedback on product performance and your input on prototypes. They want to know how they can help solve your problems and meet your clients' demands. Meeting face-to-face with a manufacturer is a rare opportunity to make yourself heard.

5. Many manufacturers also use the Remodelers' Show to roll out new co-op programs. It's a good opportunity to renew an existing co-op relationship or to research a new one. If you've never been involved in a co-op program, this is a great place to find out how these partnerships work and how they can help your business.

6. The seminars, product displays, and technical demonstrations at the show will keep your key field and office personnel at the top of their game. The show is a wonderful team-building event, and you will see the return on the investment in improved competency, greater confidence, increased loyalty, and countless other ways.

7. All of the key media players will be there. There are lots of opportunities -- in classes and special events, on the show floor, or even in the halls between events -- to meet the people who can help you get your work published.

8. Most of the industry's leading consultants will be making presentations at the conference, and they all enjoy talking informally with remodelers about their businesses. These are people who have worked with thousands of companies just like yours, and they can probably introduce you to other remodelers who have overcome challenges similar to those you're facing.

9. The country's top remodelers use the Remodelers' Show as a place to make and renew friendships, discuss common problems, and share solutions without having to worry about their competitors. Most of them recognize that they owe a good part of their success to ideas they got from other remodelers, and now they are ready to return the favor.

10. We all need to just get away from it all and look at ourselves and our companies from a new perspective. If we want to improve and stay on course with our long-term purpose, we need to get out of the trenches. The Remodelers' Show is a three-day event that gives you months of lasting value.

I look forward to seeing you there. --Mark Richardson is president of Case Design/Remodeling and Case Handyman Services, Bethesda, Md., and the author of 30-Day Remodeling Fitness Program. He can be reached at (301) 229-4600 or