Volume 47, Issue 1 - January/February 2008

DeckExpo 2008 

Opportunities Exist for Dealers and Distributors
by Drew Vass, the assistant editor of Shelter magazine.

DeckExpo may be an event primarily for deck builders and contractors, but the show also has a great deal to offer dealers and distributors. Not only is it a good opportunity to discover the latest products and manufacturers, but more than 2,000 attendees and several networking opportunities could present an opportunity to gain new customers. The three-day event will be held March 4-6 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. It draws more than 150 exhibitors and offers a line up of decking-related conferences and clinics.

If you provide design or take-off services, this may be a good show for your designers or estimators to attend. Before you make flight and hotel arrangements, you may want to review the North American Deck and Railing Association’s (NADRA) conference offerings, scheduled to begin a day prior to the event. DeckExpo courses cost additional and can be purchased individually, or in packages.

For Designers and Estimators
Two of NADRA’s pre-event sessions may be of interest to dealers and distributors. Monday, March 3, from 8 a.m. to Noon, Jim Mailey of Simpson Strong-Tie will present a “Deck Framing Connection” seminar. This session will cover possible causes for deck collapse and review the standards and methods needed to meet the International Residential Code® and International Building Code®. Then, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Richard Oesterreicher of DeckTools will cover “Design Software to Increase Sales and Efficiency.” He will be using DeckTools software to demonstrate how using virtual reality can help increase sales. The course will cover initial setup, configuration and a complete project design, to prepare your designers and estimators to get up and running quickly.

Networking and Hands-On Demos
Wednesday and Thursday, “Brown Bag” Rounds have been scheduled to take place over lunch. Organized networking tables will be arranged, allowing attendees an opportunity to share ideas. Brunch will also be held Thursday, March 6, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., providing additional opportunities.

Hands-on demonstrations may be provided primarily for those who work in the field, but they also provide an opportunity to discover tips and tricks associated with the products you sell.

Several deck carpentry clinics held Wednesday and Thursday will discuss and demonstrate: openings in exterior walls, deck structure details and radius layout and calculations. Deck building technology clinics will cover: issues and solutions associated with treated lumber and metal connectors, flashing a deck ledger, alternatives for fastening a ledger, railing and post connections and composite decking installation and maintenance.

NADRA will be holding its annual meeting at the event, Wednesday, March 5, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. It will also be hosting its second annual NADRA Open—an opportunity for golfers to enjoy a day outside. The event will be hosted at the Kissimmee Bay Country Club, voted one of Golf Digest’s “Best New Courses.” A contest for the “Longest Drive with a Two by Four,” returns for a second round this year, so grab a spare stud from the lumberyard and start practicing.

The registration deadline for DeckExpo’s discount pricing is February 8. For more information, visit www.deckexpo.com or call 866/475-6707.

DeckExpo conferences will be held 
Tuesday, March 4, through Thursday, March 6. 
Here’s a list of several that may be of interest:

Tuesday, March 4
9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Building Code for Building Decks, Glenn Matthewson
Complying with building codes is a responsibility that spans from the design process through finished construction and beyond. This session will cover the requirements of the 2006 IRC as it relates to outdoor living structures.

1 p.m. - 3 p.m.
Functional Area Approach to Deck Design, George Drummond
Visualizing deck design can be made easier by describing the project in terms of functional areas and how they relate through sizing and placement. A three-step process will be presented to help ensure a deck “works.”

Wednesday, March 5
8 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.
Unknown to Known: Relationship Marketing, Adrienne Zoble
Zoble will explain how “unknown to unknown” marketing is out and relationship marketing is in. She will cover event marketing and explain how it can be one of the most effective ways to build relationships that pay.

Gary Topchik will serve as the event’s keynote speaker. The management and leadership consultant will present “The Accidental Leader.” In it, he will explain how to juggle and meet the needs of being an effective manager, including dealing with team members who were once peers, holding others accountable, motivating and developing staff and exceeding bottom line expectations. 

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