Frame Building Expo 2013: Advancing business

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The NFBA Board of Directors and staff hope that everyone had a safe and joyous holiday season. If you haven’t done so already, now is the time to make plans to attend NFBA’s 2013 Frame Building Expo and start the new year with some exciting educational and networking opportunities.

The 2013 Expo, to be held in Memphis, Tenn., February 20-22, is a three-day event packed with information that will benefit you, your company and your customers. You’ll see the latest tools, products and equipment and attend educational sessions on a wide range of topics in three tracks: construction practices; sales and marketing; and management, leadership and operations. You’ll also get current information on safety regulations and code compliance, tips on marketing techniques and strategy and methods for increasing your company’s efficiency and competitiveness.

All conference activities, including the trade show, educational sessions and most of the hospitality events, will be held at the Memphis Cook Convention Center. The Memphis Marriott Downtown Hotel and the convention center are connected by a skywalk and located just a short walk or trolley ride from numerous restaurants and attractions (see the article on pages 16-17 for descriptions of the National Civil Rights Museum, the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, the Memphis Zoo and a number of other destinations for visitors to Memphis).

Below I’ve listed some of the highlights of the 2013 Expo. Please see the Expo brochure (a copy was mailed to all members in November and appeared in the November issue of Frame Building News) and the NFBA website for more information on the events described. The show guide you receive at the Expo will provide information on the locations, as well as updates on any changes to the schedule.

Wednesday, February 20
Randy Goruk, president of LeadersEdge360, will open the first official day of the Expo with his keynote presentation, “Success Strategies for the New Reality.” Randy will guide us through the steps necessary to survive in our industry’s new landscape and help us reevaluate our approach and our skill sets. Later that morning he will discuss the difference an innovative organizational culture makes to a company’s growth and competitiveness. Other breakout sessions cover metal plate–connected wood trusses, condensation in post-frame buildings, tips for online marketing and techniques for success.

New this year is a Wednesday morning session for NFBA members only. Attendees will learn about the results of the research conducted by FMI on the U.S. post-frame building market and receive a forecast of construction volume for post frame, including key building components, underlying trends and drivers of share growth in a changing environment. This session offers significant value to our members, and you’ll want to be there!

The trade-show floor opens at noon, with informative exhibits, product demonstrations and a prize drawing. In the early evening, the multidenominational Christians in Construction Reception takes place, featuring nonalcoholic beverages and snacks and entertainment by John Schmid, who shares a Christian message in personal stories, testimony and music. We are grateful to FBi Buildings, McElroy Metal, National Barn Company, Perma-Column and Rigidply Rafters for their support of this event (advance registration is required). The evening concludes with another hospitality event, sponsored by Plyco Corporation, at the Marriott Hotel. We’ll enjoy entertainment, food and beverages in a convivial gathering.

Thursday, February 21
Thursday opens with the NFBA’s Annual Business Meeting. Come to hear how NFBA has served its members during the past year and learn about upcoming projects and initiatives to expand the post-frame market. Morning and afternoon breakout sessions will cover topics ranging from new Southern pine design values, revised shallow-post foundation standards, a more efficient thermal envelope, ways to improve your company’s safety culture and tips for achieving greater success in sales and life.

The annual NFBA Awards Luncheon is always an inspiring event. We’ll recognize recipients of the Building of the Year Awards, the Crew Foreman of the Year Award, the Gail Miller Distinguished Safety Award, the Bernon G. Perkins Post-Frame Industry Award and the Rural Builder Hall of Fame Award. (Please note an additional fee and advance registration are required for those wishing to attend the luncheon.)

Chapter meetings, more trade exhibits and a product demonstration take place in the afternoon, along with the ever-popular screw-driving competition (sponsored by Atlas Bolt and Screw Company) and a prize drawing.

This year we are offering attendees and their family members an additional fun-filled option on Thursday afternoon — a tour of Graceland, Elvis Presley’s mansion. The audio-guided Graceland Tour also includes the automobile museum, the airport terminal and Elvis’s customized aircraft and the Sincerely Elvis exhibit. The $85-per-person cost covers the Platinum Tour, transportation and taxes.

Friday, February 22
The trade-show floor is open from 8:30 to 12:30 p.m. on the final day of the Expo.
Educational sessions will present information on a wide range of topics: fall arrest systems attached to roof trusses, use of NFBA-approved fire walls, life-cycle costing for post-frame buildings, compliance with revised Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations and ways to maximize the performance of metal roofing installed over wood substrates. We will also have a chance to hear from three contractors who won 2011 Building of the Year Awards about how their projects enhanced curb appeal, maximized design capacities, offered customers a cost-effective building solution and expanded post-frame market share.

I also want to direct your attention to a special seminar on Friday (7 a.m. to noon) led by James Schug, of FMI: “Improving Your Competitiveness and Bottom Line Through Productivity.” As Schug notes, the difference between a successful project and an unsuccessful project is the ability to effectively manage labor. You won’t want to miss this opportunity to make productivity a crucial part of your company’s strategy. (See the article on page 14 for more details on this informative seminar, for which an additional fee and advance registration are required.)

The Expo closes with the nail-pounding competition (sponsored by Maze Nails) and a grand prize drawing for a complimentary three-night hotel stay, full registration for two and $250 cash to attend the 2014 Frame Building Expo in Nashville.

Farewell
At the end of the Memphis Expo, my term as NFBA board chair will come to a close. It has been an exciting two years for me. I would like to take this opportunity to thank anyone who is currently serving or has served on the board of directors during my time as chair. I would also like to thank all the NFBA members who have volunteered their time to help on various committees via meetings and conference calls. I appreciate the hard work everyone has put in.

Rick Hess of Conestoga Buildings will be the new board chair, and we are very confident he will do an excellent job for you and take NFBA even further in the coming years.

I’m eager to see you in Memphis and have the chance to learn what’s new with you and your company, enjoy the opportunities for fellowship and networking with industry peers and expand our collective knowledge about post-frame building. I also welcome your ideas on ways that NFBA can serve you better — this is always a top priority for the NFBA Board of Directors.

To register to attend or to get more information on the Expo, please visit the NFBA website at www.nfba.org.  

Edema is the chair of the NFBA Board of Directors and Assistant National Sales Manager for Wick Buildings.

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