By Larry Edema, Chair, NFBA /
In March 2, we wrapped up our 45th Frame Building Expo, again with top-notch presenters and very informative educational breakout sessions in the areas of construction practices, sales and marketing, management, leadership and operations.
The Convention Planning Committee needs to be commended on putting together another excellent expo. If you were not able to make this year’s expo or have never had the opportunity to attend, I assure you there is no better way to connect with old friends and make new ones. Webster’s defines networking as developing contacts, exchanging information, meeting people and making friends. You don’t know how important it is to me to be able to sit with John Hill of Lester Buildings or Dan Nyberg of Morton Buildings and talk about the state of the industry, code issues or what it takes to be more successful in today’s marketplace. Competitors one day, friends the next.
Make plans to attend next year’s Frame Building Expo in Memphis, Tenn., February 20–22, 2013, and gain more than 25 hours of crucial industry education. Plan to spend a couple of days testing and buying the latest tools and products. Whether your company is large or small, whether you are a supplier, a contractor or an architect, the expo offers something for everyone. And don’t forget about the networking!
NFBA is moving forward with its 5-year strategic plan, approved in June 2011. We are continually working on increasing the understanding of post-frame construction among architects, engineers, code officials and the general public.
I want to call your attention to part of that effort: the tools in the Members Only section of nfba.org that will help you educate local architects and building owners on the advantages of post-frame construction and your product.
Help us drive architects in your area to postframeadvantage.com for even more continuing education on post frame.
One of the other goals in the strategic plan is to help suppliers and builders become accredited post-frame builders through continuing education. You need only 12 hours of continuing education in a 2-year period to become accredited. This can be accomplished through attending NFBA webinars or chapter programs, the NFBA Expo or other preapproved events. Set yourself apart from your competition by becoming accredited and displaying the accreditation logo on your website, e-mail correspondence, letterhead and business cards.
Another goal of the plan is to establish a recognized focal point where the post-frame building community comes together for networking. We will be expanding NFBA membership services through surveys and focus groups. (Some action has already been taken on this front: a focus group session held at the 2012 Frame Building Expo yielded helpful feedback the association will be using to guide its efforts in the coming year.) We want to build profiles of existing builder members and help them identify the current market segments for their needs. Website updates and membership e-blasts will continue to keep you abreast of current events.
Be a vital part of the post-frame building community by helping us increase our membership. Simply by the strength of its membership numbers, NFBA becomes more attractive to other associations and initiatives. The more synergies we can create with other associations, the more partners we have for sharing market data so we know who our best prospects are, and the better able we are to acquire funding for research. All these efforts give you more tools for doing a better job.
Help us help you — contact the NFBA headquarters (firstname.lastname@example.org) or any NFBA board member and tell us what you want to see from the NFBA. Give us your comments. Pass on your ideas and concerns for the future of the post-frame industry.
Remember: it is your NFBA.
Edema is the chair of the NFBA Board of Directors and assistant sales manager for Wick Buildings.