Column: Frame Building Expo, your Gateway to success

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By Larry Edema, chair, NFBA board of directors  / 

Make no mistake, the 2012 Frame Building Expo in St. Louis (February 29—March 2) is your “Gateway to Success” — a three-day event offering the latest products, equipment and information about post-frame construction, along with business management tips, strategic and marketing techniques and safety and code compliance regulations. Prepare to join fellow NFBA members and others to discover how your company can increase its professionalism, expertise and revenues in a difficult economy. This year’s Expo will feature more than 30 hours of education, along with exciting activities and tool and product exhibits from more than 100 post-frame industry suppliers and manufacturers.

NFBAIf you know of anyone who should join NFBA or come to the Expo, be sure to encourage them to register. Architects in particular can take advantage of this unique opportunity to walk the trade show floor and learn about the various aspects of post-frame buildings.

Most conference activities, including the trade show and educational sessions, will take place at America’s Center; preconference and hospitality functions will be held at the Renaissance Grand Hotel. The hotel, located across the street from America’s Center, is within walking distance of numerous restaurants, museums and attractions.

Here are some highlights of the 2012 show (as of December 2011). Please see your show program book or the NFBA website for specific and updated information about times and locations of the events described.

Wednesday, February 29
The first official day of the 2012 Expo will feature keynote speaker Rick Horton, a former St. Louis Cardinals pitcher and current Major League Baseball color commentator. Rick’s presentation, “Dreams, Visions, Choices,” will touch upon his principles and personal experiences from 20 years in sports ministry and 30 years in baseball. Wednesday will also feature a special four-hour workshop entitled “The Application, Design and Specification of Post-Frame Buildings.” Taught by Michael Carpenter, Training & Development Systems; Harvey Manbeck, PhD PE, Professor Emeritus at Penn State University and NFBA Technical Advisor; and Jim Delmont, Design Club  Inc., this workshop will teach architects unfamiliar with post-frame building systems about their unique features and key structural and architectural benefits.

Other events include morning and afternoon breakout sessions covering topics related to Construction Practices, Sales/Marketing and Management/Lead-ership/Operations. The Expo trade show floor will officially open at noon, with product exhibits and demonstrations taking place throughout the day. Attendees will be able to have their pitching speed checked on the floor all three days in a pitching station sponsored by Fasteners Direct LLC and H&H Metals Products Inc. A Christians in Construction Reception, featuring musical entertainment, nonalcoholic beverages and snacks, will take place at 5 p.m. (advance registration is required). In the evening, the action moves to the Renaissance Grand Hotel, where Plyco Corporation will host its free annual hospitality event for all Expo attendees.

Thursday, March 1
Thursday gets off to a rousing start with NFBA’s Annual Business Meeting. Come prepared to learn how NFBA has served its members during the past year, including initiatives to expand the post-frame market. In addition to morning and afternoon breakout sessions, the day’s highlight will be the NFBA Awards Luncheon. Everyone is invited to this special session recognizing recipients of the NFBA Building of the Year Awards, the Gail Miller Distinguished Safety Award, Rural Builder Hall of Fame and the Bernon G. Perkins Post-Frame Industry Award. (Please note that an additional fee and advance registration are required to attend the luncheon.)

Other highlights include more trade show exhibitions and demonstrations, NFBA Chapter Meetings, the screw driving competition sponsored by Atlas Bolt & Screw Co., and a trade show floor prize drawing. The day concludes with another evening hospitality event at the Renaissance Grand Hotel, this one sponsored by Wheeling Corrugating Co.

Friday, March 2
During the Expo’s final day, the trade show floor will be open 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Also, Tim Royer, PE, and Brent Leatherman, PE, of Timber Tech Engineering Inc., will present a breakout session entitled “3-Hour Fire Wall Test and Revised Guide to Post-Frame Design Documents,” which will detail a cost-effective firewall design for commercial post-frame buildings. Also, Scott Bacon of Fabral will build upon the negotiating framework session he presented at the 2011 Frame Building Expo and guide attendees through the process and preparation required to help negotiate a win-win conclusion. His session is entitled “Successful Negotiation Next Step: Closing the Deal.” The 2012 Expo winds up with the annual nail-pounding competition, sponsored by Maze Nails (Booth 100), and the annual grand prize drawing (winners must be present) to receive a free three-night hotel stay, full registration for two, and $500 cash to attend the 2013 Frame Building Expo in Memphis, Tenn.

NFBA’s 2012 Expo really can be your gateway to success. I’m looking forward to seeing all of you in the city that’s home to several major corporations and three professional sports teams, including the 2011 World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals. You’ll also appreciate the city’s mild winter temperatures and attractions such as the Gateway Arch, Fox Theatre and Anheuser Busch tours — complete with sample tastings! St. Louis also gives visitors the opportunity to explore remnants of legendary Route 66, which originally ran from the city’s downtown at the Mississippi River to the Kansas state line west of Joplin.

Please come prepared to learn how your company can increase its revenue in a troubled economy, while you network with industry peers at hospitality events and on the trade show floor. To register to attend or for more information, please visit the NFBA website at www.nfba.org, or call NFBA Headquarters at 800-557-6957.

Edema is the chair of the NFBA Board of Directors and assistant sales manager for Wick Buildings.

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