2022 IWCE (International Window Covering Expo) RecapApr 20, 2022
After a 2 year hiatus without much live interaction we finally had another International Window Covering Expo (IWCE) in Fort Lauderdale, FL last week!
Here are 5 things that I walked away with:
- I taught 2 classes at the 2022 IWCE. A full day installation certification for new people in the industry and an hour and a half class talking about tools for window treatment installers to make their life easier and the job faster.
People seemed to have the most interest in 2 tools we talked about
1. Laser Device (with a timer) - it is an excellent way to look professional and on the cutting edge. Combining with an extension pole and you can skip a ladder to measure skylights.
2. Drapery Pinsetter - a simple tool that will change the way you pin drapes. Specially handy when you have several panels. Your fingers will thank you kindly
- Interaction between people - Social media works! Even people that you don’t see a lot (or ever) and only know through social media can quickly become friends and colleagues. It was wonderful to meet so many of my “social media friends” in real life at the live IWCE event. It’s so much easier to start a conversation because you know their face through social media outlets and you already know each other on some level. Your business will surely grow if you become more involved in social media!
- Details matter - this panel was hosted by Sara Lynn Brennan, Vita Vygivska and myself,, and moderated by Lu Ann Nigara. We discussed why it is important to communicate between installer, designer, and workroom and how this communication ensures a successful installation. The biggest takeaway here is to communicate openly with your colleagues and clients and take care of all details with the appropriate party ahead of time.
- The importance of motorization - All of the booths that provided products at the IWCE had some sort of motorization. You need to get involved with motorizations because it is here to stay! You will surely lose money until you embrace this trend in your business. It is still a new industry for everyone but it is important to have in your “tool box” as I like to say. Automated rods, shades, blinds, shutters, everything is now motorized and it’s important to be involved and have knowledge on this for your business and clients.
- Lack of Installers - anywhere in the country. No matter where you are, there are not enough installers. I created an installation start-up course that launched recently to teach new installers the ‘tricks of the trade’. This is great for those who have just graduated high school, those in (or out of) the military, fire fighters, or anyone with a flexible schedule or wanting to change careers. What to expect, etiquette, how to deal with clients, how to set up a van, essentially a 360 degree view of the industry. One of my main goals is to help create a network of installers. You can find installers by state on my website here and you can submit your business if you would like to be included!
Overall, a wonderful week in Florida learning new things, meeting new people, and teaching some of the most important things I have learned in my many years as an installer. I hope you can join us next year!
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