Volume 48, Issue  1 - January/February 2009

THE PERFECT STORM
Investment Bank VP Gives Insight to Cause of Financial Crisis

Are you looking for a small trade show to give you some ideas on how to survive this economic downturn? LBM EXPO, sponsored by the Northeast Retail Lumber Association (NRLA), will be providing attendees with survival tips, February 4-6, 2009, at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston.

“Our theme ‘Mission Possible’ was coined at a time when hints of the economic situation to come were becoming evident, but not yet reality,” says Eleanor J. Murray, director of convention and meetings, NRLA. “It implies a message of accomplishing challenging goals through ingenuity, hard work and creativity. All these adjectives apply to the EXPO. While there are unquestionable indicators that our nation’s economy is suffering, our members have reported a wide variety of experiences in their businesses, depending on their geographic locations as well as how diverse their customer base is. The good news is that the economic slowdown is not being felt uniformly throughout the industry.”

Murray says the NRLA is using several key marketing initiatives to keep its trade show exciting and topical. 

“Our members have told us that they are most interested in four categories:  ‘green’ products, new products, show specials (pricing, terms or value-added offers) and demonstrations,” Murray explains. “Of these, the demonstrations are key to assisting retailers in the active process of showing product benefits in their retail environments.”

This year, Murray says there are more than 90 applications for these special categories.  Every year the trade show welcomes new exhibitors, and in many cases when exhibitors return the next year, they change the locations and sizes. This year, there are 200 exhibitors. 

The seminars this year represent expert points of view on topics that directly affect NRLA members’ businesses, including Paul Jannke of RISI addressing “The Economic Forecast for the Housing/LBM Industry;” Matt Kay Vitale from Caturano & Co., Inc. discussing “Yardstick for Success:  How Does Your Business Measure Up?”; Barry Elms from Strategic Negotiations International on “The Power of Persuasion:  How to Control the Outcome of All Sales Interactions;” Patrick Moore, Ph.D. from Greenspirit Strategies on “Green Building – Can Science Trump Activist Agendas?”; and Peter Pfeiffer, from Barley and Pfeiffer Architects on “Real and Relevant Green Building – Connecting the Dots.” 

Beyond the trade show and the educational seminars, the NRLA hosts several member events to recognize outstanding contributions to the association as well as the industry. 

“It is important to note that these networking aspects of the show have always been among its most valued attributes,” Murray says. 

Murray says the trade show’s pricing structure is being maintained. “

At $35 per member attendee, it is an extraordinarily excellent value,” she says. “Our exhibitors have an increased need to reach out to retailers at this time, and our booth sales are proceeding at the expected pace (some space remains available at this time).”  

Murray says that one of her personal models of successful retail entrepreneurship was Ray Kroc. “He experienced more than one ‘economic downturn’ during his business career. He said (I’m paraphrasing), ‘The retailers who stop their marketing and advertising activities during an economic downturn will fail to take advantage of the sales that are still out there, making the bad economy a self-fulfilling prophecy.’”

For more information on LBM EXPO, please visit www.nrla.org or call 800/292-6752. 

Schedule at a Glance
Wednesday, February 4, 2009

8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Registration Open
9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Exposition Open
Noon – 2 p.m. Super Session: Economic Forecast for the Housing/LBM Industry and Yardstick for Success: How Does Your Business Measure Up?
Noon – 1:20 p.m. The Power of Persuasion: How to Control the Outcome of All Sales Interaction
5 p.m. – 6 p.m. Red Carpet Reception
6:30 p.m. NRLA Industry Recognition Dinner

Thursday, February 5, 2009
8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Registration Open
8:30 a.m. – 10 a.m. Strategies for Combating the Industry Downturn
9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Exposition Open 
Noon – 1:30 p.m. Green Building – Can Science Trump Activist Agenda?
1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. After Lunch with Patrick Moore
3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. NYLE Annual Meeting

Friday, February 6, 2009
8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Registration Open
8:30 a.m. – 10 a.m. Real & Relevant: Green Building ... ­Connecting the Dots
9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Exposition Open


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