Cleaning & Restoration Breaking News

CFI's 'Education Vacation' Ready to Roll

August 1, 2001
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SAN DIEGO - Increased membership and an industry 'Who's Who' of expert speakers have combined to make the Carpet and Fabricare Institute's (CFI) annual convention, slated for Thursday, Aug. 30 through Saturday, Sept. 1 in San Diego, Calif., the best one ever.

According to CFI Executive Director Mike Perras, "We've got darn near as many people pre-registered as we've had in attendance in past conventions. Our membership is up 52 percent."

Convention co-organizer Lisa Wagner agreed. "If you want to have a lot of people at your convention, you have to grow your membership," CFI's secretary-treasurer said. "We have 100 more members this summer than last. We have more people registered now than we had in total attendance last summer (at the Palm Springs convention), and we're still a little more than 30 days out."

The reason, Wagner believes, is "CFI's conventions are the best in the industry because we address the tech's how-to knowledge, and the business end: How to get customers to use you more frequently and send you referrals. We hit on all the components to grow your business."

She's quick to point out this year's participants. For starters, QVC Home Shopping Channel host Dan Wheeler is giving the keynote. He will speak on "Creating A Perfect Selling Environment." Wheeler has sold more than $1.3 billion in goods to consumers. A featured speaker at Piranha Marketing's 2000 Boot Camp and a speaker for Steam Way's Distributors, Wheeler directs his information and skills specifically toward the cleaning industry. Participants need to pre-register for this program.

The convention will also host Jon-Don's Value-Added Service Training for Technicians (VAST) program on Saturday, September 1. The all-day program, designed for technicians and managers, will deal with creating "customer Cheerleaders."

"The VAST program is part of the Jon-Don's Strategies for Success series," Wagner explained. "It's a program that trains techs on how to deliver excellent customer service to turn customers into cheerleaders. Steve Toburen wrote it, and the course instructor is Jeff Cutshall. Last summer we brought it to Palm Springs, and the techs loved it and the business owners did too."

On tap for seminars and discussions are industry experts Barry Costa, Dan Wheeler, Joe Polish, Steve Kaufman, Joe Goodman, Aaron Groseclose, Craig Jasper, Tim Baker, Lisa Wagner, Tom Hill, Steve Marsh, Fritz Thompson, Patrick Moffett, Blaine Graham and John Fuchs. Also planned are seminars by several business experts, including Internet specialist Omar Spitani; management and efficiency expert Jack Doxey; time management specialist Richard Campanaro; and team building expert Cecile Bereal.

According to Wagner, "Not only will you be able to talk with experts in all fields during this event, you are also going to meet and network with some of the most successful cleaners in our industry.

"We talk about boosting efficiencies and profitability, and to run an operation so you can take time for yourself," she added. "There's no point in building a successful carpet cleaning business if it takes 80 hours a week of your time. Our target market is our association, and 90 percent who attend are CFI members. It seems on the whole that business owners that participate in associations are more prone to better their companies and improve every aspect of their businesses."

As usual, the CFI Convention boasts a trade show and several vendors. Anyone who attends the trade show will not only save money on products, they will be able to see the latest equipment.

Discount passes are also available for local tourist attractions. For more information on the convention visit

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