- THE MAGAZINE
There comes a time in the life of every trade show, convention, exhibition, educational conference and distributor meeting when expectations carried forward from the prior year run head-on into the brick wall of unrealized potential and unfulfilled promise.
That wasn't the case at this year's Connections Convention and Trade Show.
"How many of you own your own business?" Gerber asked. A great many hands went up. He pounced. "You're the biggest problem in your business! There is no problem in your business: people aren't the problem, money isn't the problem, time isn't the problem, can't-find-good-people isn't the problem, the customer isn't the problem. Nothing you believe to be true about your business is true. Everything you believe to be true is in fact based on your experience, and experience is the worst teacher in the world. So shut up and listen!"
Special care was taken to devise a seminar schedule with something for everyone, from "Stain Removal and Odor Control" and "Emerging Technologies in the Cleaning Industry" to "Big Marketing for Small Businesses" and "Area Rug Cleaning: Problems and Solutions." Speakers were brought in from a wide array of backgrounds, experts like Werner Braun, Barry Costa, Dane Gregory, Carey Mitchell, John Mosher, Michael Bowdoin and Brandon Burton. There were lawyers, insurance experts, company presidents, CEOs, MDs and more offering the benefit of their experience to appreciative audiences.
The Industry Connections Award, given to an individual, company or group that has forged connections between the cleaning and restoration industry and other industries, was presented to well-known industry figure Dr. Michael Berry. The Connections Kenway Mead Leadership Award, presented to an individual, company or group that has displayed vision, leadership and tireless energy on behalf of the cleaning and restoration industry on a regional, national or international level, went to IICRC Technical Advisor Jeff Bishop.
The Connections Events would not be possible without the cooperation and innovation of 13 regional trade associations: the AWCC; the CCINW; the CFI; the FIO; the CRCII; the LMCCA; the MSPCA; the PCRA; the NEIRC; the SCRT; the NYRCI; the TRSCA; and the PCUCA. Just as large a piece to the Connections puzzle is the contributions of sponsors including Bridgepoint Systems; Prochem; the IICRC; DuPont Teflon; Pro's Choice; Water Out Drying Corp.; Sunbelt Rentals; Jon-Don; Air & Water Center; Phenomenal Products; the CRI; Beneficial Capital Leasing; Dri-Eaz Products; Chemspec; Dry Air Technology; FLIR Systems; U.S. Products; and Code Blue Restoration, as well as ICS Cleaning Specialist.
The 2006 Connections Convention and Trade Show demonstrates that it is indeed possible to continually raise the bar and, even more important, to meet and exceed those raised expectations.
The 2007 Connections Convention and Trade Show is scheduled to be held at the Las Vegas Hilton in September. The 2007 Connections Conference and Exhibition will take place at the Hilton Clearwater Beach Resort in Clearwater, Fla., May 3-5.