Although the construction industry is suffering in the global recession, one bright spot emerged that shows the post-frame industry is enthusiastic, optimistic and ready to rise to a challenge.
About 2,275 builders, engineers, architects, suppliers and others participated in the National Frame Building Association’s (NFBA) convention and trade show, Frame Building Expo. Sponsored by NFBA, Rural Builder and Frame Building News magazines, the Expo took place Feb. 25-27 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville, Tenn.
While other construction industry trade shows have suffered declines in attendance, post-frame industry insiders were not surprised by a more than 10 percent increase in Expo attendance over last year.
NFBA’s Frame Building Expo is a trade show with educational programming specific to the post-frame building industry. Builders, engineers, architects, academics and material suppliers participated in 30 educational classrooms sessions organized by NFBA.
Educational topics covered all aspects of the post-frame building industry, including the latest design and engineering advice from academic faculty and industry experts. Programming included “Exhibitor Showcase” classroom sessions by manufacturers and distributors.
Keynote presenters were economist Alan Beaulieu, who provided and economic forecast for the post-frame industry, and author/certified speaking professional Byrd Baggett, who provided a motivational call to “Dare to Grow.”
Two in-depth seminars included a three-hour “Train the Trainer: Forklift Training,” which gave certification in providing forklift training to crew members, and an eight-hour “Post-Frame Engineering and Design Seminar.”
The Frame Building Expo is the only event where post-frame industry professionals from across the nation can mingle and share ideas. This year’s event attracted more than 130 exhibiting companies.
Several fun events during the three-day event included hospitality functions hosted by Plyco Corp. and Wheeling Corrugating. The trade show floor featured Bean Bag Toss Tournament, Screw Driving and Nail Pounding competitions. The Christians in Construction gathering featured musical entertainment and continental breakfast, leading into a workshop on personal and business development by Byrd Baggett. Attendees had the option of purchasing preferred seating at the Grand Ole Opry.
Exceptional feedback from attendees
Many attendees expressed their appreciation of the event.
Bill Canfield of Canfield Construction Corp., Waukesha, Wis., remarked, “I brought along a salesman and our production manager and they were very impressed. We experienced camaraderie with other builders and suppliers. The Foreman and Crew Development seminar was outstanding, and the seminars put on by Byrd Baggett were fantastic; every person in attendance was touched by his positive message.”
“This was the first Frame Building Expo we’ve attended and the experience was well worth the time and investment,” remarked Bill Moseley of Garages-N-More, Alburtis, Pa. “The classes were very informative, the speakers were great and I really enjoyed the Christians in Construction breakfast fellowship. We were able to meet with many vendors and put faces to names. It is reassuring for a small company like ours to know that we are not ‘out there’ alone and we share many of the same concerns and problems faced by our peers.”
“Given the economic challenges we are all facing, the show was better than we anticipated,” noted Scott Bacon of Fabral. “In a sluggish market it’s important to stay in front of your customers. The Expo provided an excellent opportunity to do just that, and to introduce new technologies.”
The 2010 Frame Building Expo will be held February 17-19 in Louisville, Ky. For information, visit the Frame Building Expo section of NFBA’s web site, www.nfba.org/Expo, or call NFBA Headquarters at 800-557-6957.