The month of April brings in perhaps the most important event in the hardwood flooring industry, the NWFA Wood Flooring Expo in Orlando, Florida. As the economy takes its first steps toward recovery, industry experts hope that the construction trade will experience a similar revitalization, and the National Wood Flooring Association's 2012 Wood Flooring Expo echoes these goals. With over 200 exhibitors and four tracks of educational seminars, the Expo focuses on helping installers and contractors make networking connections and develop skills and techniques that could help guarantee business success as the economy continues to recover.
The NWFA is an association of trade professionals who work with wood flooring, and has been operating since 1986 with a current roster of more than 3,500 members. The NWFA Wood Flooring Expo, the only convention and trade show in the world dedicated exclusively to wood flooring, is open to members and non-members alike.
The 2012 Expo takes place on April 10th-13th at Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center in Orlando, and the theme of renewal, reflected in the Expo's slogan, "Renew Your World," threads through the event programming. The re-launched trade show and Expo offers a number of new educational seminars on management and marketing, as well as on the technical skills of the trade. The 2012 keynote speaker, Ken Schmidt, former communications director at Harley-Davidson Motor Company, is speaking about the motorcycle company's journey away from the brink of bankruptcy, and how strong customer relations and brand building helped pave the company's road back to success. Highlights of his speech include strategies for standing out from competitors, boosting sales, and finding and keeping the best employees. One lucky attendee rides away on a new Harley-Davidson motorcycle, given away at the closing party.
Educational seminars are held early in the day, followed by the trade show on Wednesday and Thursday, which opens to all attendees at 2 PM. The demo theater on the trade show floor hosts technical demonstrations throughout the trade show, helping attendees learn techniques for working with numerous types of materials, from beveled hardwood flooring to engineered wood.
Particular emphasis is placed this year on the Wood Floor of the Year Awards, presented by HGTV celebrity carpenter and designer Carter Oosterhouse. The awards give special recognition to industry craftsmen who achieve exceptional work in ten categories, including Best Residential, Best Commercial, Best Restoration, and Best Extreme Makeover.
The NWFA 2012 Wood Flooring Expo and Trade Show is an impressive reflection of the beginning renewal of the flooring construction industry. Are you seeing any other indications of a return to prosperity for the industry? Share your insights below.