SAN ANTONIO—Despite current economic concerns, an upbeat mood permeated the recent 16th annual Floor Installation Association of North America (FIANA) convention. “Not only was the venue well received by the show’s attendees, manufacturers and distributors, so was its agenda of communication, education and distribution,” said Gary Verhey, president.
Overall attendance was up slightly from last year with three new manufacturers exhibiting at the trade show. “The mood was definitely up but still with some caution as to when we will see a truly clear upward trend regarding the economy,” Verhey said. “Manufacturer and distributor management said they had excellent opportunities to meet one-on-one.” The highlight of the convention, as always, was the trade show. But two other events also had a positive impact on attendees. “First, the speakers, who included Sam Allman and Charles Marshall, made powerful and informative presentations, ranging from the current state of the floor covering industry to strategies to deal with
these uncertain times,” Verhey said. Second, he noted, was the tremendous interest in the FIANA Training Center program, introduced at the 2009 convention. “Several manufacturers are now planning to introduce courses into the Internet training program, and several distributors have committed to implement programs within their organizations to support their employees, inside sales, outside sales and branch team members.”
From a manufacturers’ point of view, attendance for the trade show was great, according to Cathy Panagakos, director of marketing for Para-Chem. “On Saturday, we had many folks watching demos in our booth and asking questions. I believe the focus on communication, education and distribution ideas in a professional environment were all met [at this convention].”
The organization’s 2011 convention will be held Sept. 15 to 17 in Kansas City, Kan. For more information, call 888.883.4262.