Article Number: 1709
Surfaces Educational Conference promises something for everyone
Las Vegas—This year’s Surfaces Educational Conference once again promises to offer something for everyone. Over a four-day period, 42 sessions along five targeted tracks will be presented. Show officials said through these seminars and workshops, retailers, installers, architects, designers, distributors and builders can get information they need to succeed.

The following is the most up-to-date information on the conference schedule as of press time, including time, title, track, etc., and a brief description as provided by Hanley-Wood, owner of Surfaces.

Tuesday, Feb. 6, 9 a.m. to noon
Title: 25 Ways to Increase Profits
Track: Business
This interactive workshop will review the best business practices found to increase profits, improve cash flow and expand operational efficiencies.
Speaker: Leslie Shiner

Title: IRS Secrets You Should Know
Track: Business
This seminar is for the prudent business owner looking to benefit from smart tax planning. Learn strategies to reduce your chances of an IRS audit, red flags and ways to pay less income tax. Find out which deductible benefit plan allows for tax-free distributions even before retirement.
Speaker: Lance Wallach

Title: Moisture Mitigation
Track: Installation
In this workshop you will learn steps to ending moisture-related problems: moisture sources, migration, below-slab vapor retarders and pH testing.
Speaker: Peter Craig

Title: Building A Sales Empire
Track: Sales
This workshop covers recruiting, hiring, training, incentive programs and how to best retain a highly trained staff. Additionally, learn how to optimize the sales and gross margin on every sale, drivers of productivity, effective sales meetings, prospecting and more.
Speaker: Paul Bumblauskas

Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Title: Basic Concepts in Financial Management
Track: Business
Understand the basics of the financial structure and profitability of your company. This program provides a down-to-earth, clear understanding of virtually every financial report one may be exposed to in business.
Speaker: Bart Basi, Ph.D.

Title: Designing for the Senses
Track: Design
Sponsored by: Wools of New Zealand
Learn about the evidence-based residential research and the impact on the home fashion industry.
Speaker: Deborah Burnett, ASID

Title: Most Common Failures with Ceramic Tile
Track: Installation
Sponsored by: FCICA
Learn about the underlying causes in the five most common types of tile and installation-related failures and how to prevent them.
Speaker: Dave Gobis

Title: Prospering in Turbulent Times
Track: Marketing
This workshop is loaded with strategies, tactics, tips and techniques every business person needs to know to stand out to customers.
Speakers: Georganne Bender and Rich Kizer

Title: Selling Hardwood Flooring
Track: Sales
Sponsored by: NWFA
This workshop will give you the product knowledge you need to sell hardwood floors with confidence.
Speakers: Steve Seabaugh and Richard Poirier

Wednesday, Feb. 7, 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
Title: Advanced Marketing Strategies
Track: Marketing
This advanced-level seminar will help you take a more proactive approach to marketing your business. Learn how to develop a lucrative referral rewards program, build professional networking alliances, write an effective press release, establish credibility in your marketplace and many more proven strategies.
Speaker: Paul Montelongo

Title: Self-Management Time Management
Track: Business
The seminar spells out proven techniques for managing both business and personal time.
Speaker: Les Cunningham

Title: Are Your Rates Fair? How to Stay Competitive
Track: Design
Focus on new pricing structures that are palatable to your consumers. Hourly fees, specification fees, supervision fees, and other expenses will be discussed and structured to keep your clients comfortable with your charges.
Speaker: Jamie Gibbs, ASID

Title: Maximizing Tile Installation with Trim Profiles
Track: Installation
Attendees will learn how to improve the integrity of tile installations and increase the versatility of tile in various applications, including countertops, walls, showers and more.
Speaker: Chad Matthews

Title: Showroom Design for Retail Success!
Track: Marketing
Sponsored by: Wools of New Zealand
This seminar is for small to medium size retailers who want to transform their stores into the favorite destination for customers looking to buy. You will learn strategies using fast and easy affordable tips to design your store for retail success.
Speaker: Deborah Burnett, ASID

Title: 25 Winning Ideas for Closing the Sale!
Track: Sales
You have done the marketing and advertising to get the customers in the store, but are you prepared to close the sale? Learn how to sharpen your selling skills.
Speaker: Paul Bumblauskas

Title: The Top 10 Selling Sins!
Track: Sales
This presentation provides new ideas on how to qualify prospects, overcome objections, ask for the sale, establish long-term relationship with clients and avoid the “10 Selling Sins” of retail professionals.
Speaker: Fred Berns

Wednesday, Feb. 7, 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Title: Pricing and Maximizing ROI
Track: Business
The primary objective of most financial statement analysis is to assess the profitability and risk of a firm. You will be given helpful hints on how to determine your return on investment (ROI).
Speaker: Floor Covering News’ Bart Basi, Ph.D.

Title: Improving the Retailer, Installer Relationship
Track: Business
Learn how you can develop a mutual relationship with your installer and promote an environment where teamwork, accountability, education and customer satisfaction are important.
Speaker: Les Cunningham

Title: Specifying Reclaimed Wood Flooring
Track: Design
Reclaimed hardwood offers an enhanced level of quality, design and exceptional appearance from its previous life. In this seminar you will learn about the characteristics, origination, grading, processing, cost and installation with this antique material.
Speaker: Deb Berry

Title: Natural Stone Flooring Installation & Maintenance
Track: Installation
Sponsored by: Marble Institute of America (MIA)
This session will address the importance of the installer “owning” the substrate, which involves careful preparation of the surface to avoid cracked and buckling tiles or worse—post-installation problems.
Speaker: Ralph Williamson, CTC

Title: High Impact Retail Events on a Shoe String Budget
Track: Marketing
Would you like to have monthly low-cost sales and traffic building events planned for your store? This is a seminar packed with proven ideas to build traffic, generate sales and build customer loyalty.
Speakers: Georganne Bender and Rich Kizer

Title: Selling Value, Not Price
Track: Sales
The advantages to selling on value and not solely on price are numerous. Learn how you can truly separate your store from the competition, deter comparison-shopping and overcome price objections.
Speaker: Warren Tyler

Title: Reaching Your Peak Performance
Track: Sales
In this highly energized session you will learn how to develop the fundamental skill sets to ensure you can reach your peak performance.
Speaker: Paul Montelongo

Thursday, Feb. 8, 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
Title: Making the Software Investment
Track: Business
Sponsored by: National Floor Trends Magazine
The panel will discuss a variety of software systems available for the floor covering industry: inventory control, visual, scheduling and various other product features.
Speaker: Pamela Bowe

Title: Dare to be a Different Designer
Track: Design
Learn how you can make yourself memorable and add power to your personal sale. Leave empowered as the one-of-a-kind professional you are!
Speaker: Fred Berns

Title: Sustainability and the Floor Covering Industry
Room: 602
Track: Design
This panel discussion will provide an overview on material selection, performance, durability, design using innovative products, care/maintenance and post-consumer material.
Speakers: Penny Bonda, FASID, NCIDQ, LEED AP (Moderator); David Knight; Bruce Goff, ASID, IIDA; Tim Bolby and Henning Bloech

Title: Waterproofing Tiled Showers
Track: Installation
In this session we’ll review traditional versus modern waterproofing technology to show how tiled showers have evolved. You’ll leave with a solid understanding of the fundamentals of tiled shower systems.
Speaker: Greg Gelston

Title: Strategies for a Successful Retailer
Track: Marketing
Sponsored by: Fabulous Floors Magazine
In this retailer-to-retailer seminar, you will have an opportunity to review a variety of shared business practices in management, marketing, installation and a host of other topics facing today’s retailers.
Speakers: Tom Jennings, Lisbeth Calandrino (Moderator) and Tom Boschwitz

Title: Advanced Selling Skill—Making it to The Next Level
Track: Sales
This seminar will review (and define) sales philosophy, provide a profile of successful sales professionals, identify inhibitors to your success and candid discussion on how to make it to the next level.
Speaker: Warren Tyler

Title: Strategies for David to Beat Goliath!
Track: Sales
This seminar will help you play offense, not defense and sell more successfully. Review numerous approaches on how to attract more customers and repeatedly sell more and larger orders.
Speaker: Michelle Nichols

Thursday, Feb. 8, 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Title: Managing Homeowners’ Expectations
Track: Business
This seminar will offer guidelines on how to better meet your customers’ expectations right from the start to ensure their satisfaction and your future success.
Speakers: Linda Talley and Sam O’Krent

Title: Building Partnerships Across Industries
Track: Design
In this open forum, discuss with other designers, installers, contractors and manufactures issues such as: warranty, arbitration, client satisfaction and building; establishing relationships.
Speakers: Jim Walker; Jim Hernandez; Bruce Goff, ASID, IIDA (Moderator), and Nancy Barsotti, FASID

Title: Everything You Need to Know Pre-Installation
Track: Installation
This panel session will cover all areas prior to installation from estimating and measuring, customer expectations, job-site issues, moisture issues, defective material, complaints and fast-track construction. Learn how to ensure your company’s projects are completed properly and clearly define industry standards.
Speakers: Gray Lafortune, Peter Craig, John Wabeke (Moderator) and Terry Fitzpatrick

Title: Web Marketing
Track: Business
Find out how to increase your sales leads by effectively marketing your web site. Learn how to boost your search engine placement on Google and dramatically increase your local consumer web site traffic.
Speaker: Michael Vogel

Title: How to Sell to All Types of Customers
Track: Sales
This seminar uses the respected Myers-Briggs system to speed-read personalities. It presents many down-to-earth techniques for sales professionals or business owners to sell to all types of customers.
Speaker: Michelle Nichols

Title: Controlling Overhead Costs
Track: Business
Sponsored by: National Floor Trends Magazine
With a multitude of forces impacting the overhead cost for retailers and contractors, the need to formulate a plan for controlling it is critical for survival. This panel of retailers and contractors will share solid, successful methods for controlling your overhead cost.
Speakers: Aaron Pirner and Floor Covering News’ Scott Perron

Friday, Feb. 9, 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
Title: Recruiting, Hiring and Retaining Qualified Employees
Track: Business
Sponsored by: FCICA
Recruiting, hiring and offering the best incentive packages for qualified candidates are essential to the growth of any business. Learn what to look for when choosing your next candidate and make your next hire a success!
Speaker: Dave Stafford

Title: World of Color ID
Track: Design
Sponsored by: Sherwin-Williams/ Duron Paints
Just where do colors come from? You will journey through various examples, anecdotes and visuals. Be part of an “ha moment” as you are led through the spectrum, with stops at each hue.
Speaker: Mark Woodman, CMG

Title: Common Causes of Post-Installation Failures
Track: Installation
Sponsored by: Floor Covering Installer Magazine
Learn how to guarantee your installations will be a success in this highly interactive session for installers. Discover what the most common causes of post-installation failures for wood, tile, stone, carpet and other types of floor covering are.
Speakers: Mike Micallizi, John Moore (Moderator), Claudia Lezell, Jon Namba, David Gobis, CTC, CSI, and Steve Seabaugh

Title: Profit Building with Carpet Cleaning & Restoration
Track: Business
The opportunity for extra income and protecting yourself from potential installation problems are just two of the reasons to get educated in floor cleaning, repair and restoration. Learn about the tools, equipment, and supplies you need to perform the job right.
Speaker: Jim Carfield

Title: Why Amazing Shopping Experiences Matter
Track: Marketing
Retailers who are able to create amazing experiences are the ones that consumers will gravitate toward. Review demographic information, the latest trends affecting the marketplace, different gender approaches to the shopping process and reactions to the in-store environment.
Speaker: Christine Whittemore

Title: Building Your Competitive Advantage
Track: Sales
Sponsored by: Fabulous Floors Magazine
Learn how to strategically use your current information to get your customers to buy from you and not your competitors. This is a must attend for any small business owner. Speaker: Lisbeth Calandrino



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