T.W.C.

Should I stay or should I go?

# professionalinstaller #business opportunities #career opportunity #industryknowledge #inspiration #windowcoverings Mar 31, 2022

Today, we are going to talk about the importance of networking events and seminars and why attending home shows can help you become a better professional. Consequently leading you to more success!

With the International Window Covering Expo (IWCE) happening between April 5th - 7th, everyone is talking about the show. The question is: 

Should you stay home or should you attend?

When I first started in the industry, I had no clue about anything. I was simply handy with tools and initially thought that it was more than enough to keep me going.  Soon, I realized that there was more than just screws and brackets involved in hanging shades.

My whole mindset started shifting when I stopped in a high-end store looking for work. The first thing the manager asked was if I had a Hunter Douglas installer certification. And of course my first thought was: Who the heck needs a certification to install shades?

 But I simply said “I don't but I will find out how to get one” and thanked her for the opportunity.

I went home and researched more about the topic.

To my surprise, I found one training happening in Minneapolis in just two months…And that was officially my first training in the industry.

Because I was so new to this field, I learned so much at that first training and at every training since then. I was and continue to be like a sponge .. absorbing everything the instructor shares: tools and techniques mostly.

At that first training, I also really enjoyed listening to stories from the other installers. It was so fascinating that I was completely hooked….Someone talks about a tool and you buy that tool. Another person talks about a product….You research that product and BANG: now you want to attend a seminar provided by the manufacturer of that product.

 I even became a “joke” to others because I attended the same seminar five different times. By the third time showing up, the presenter asked me “haven't you been here before?” and I said “yes sir” but every time I come here, I learn something new.

 Fast forward to today’s date…It is much easier to get access to products, information and feedback from peers through one of the many Facebook groups out there. So you are probably wondering what the benefits of going to those shows in person would be instead of staying in the comfort of your home….or office. I'll tell you: nothing replaces a firm handshake.

 

Experimenting with real products and tools or attending a live class or learning from others … It is simply priceless. 

 

The International Window Covering Expo is the largest event for our industry. Filled with dozens of seminars catered to all areas: sales, marketing, installation, fabrication, design, products, supplies and so much more.

So, what are the most important reasons to attend LIVE and what should you do if you are new to the industry or if you are going to the show for the first time?

Well, to me the most important reason for attending those types of events are the interactions with other pros, the small talk in the classrooms… the conversations over drinks at a bar…or even during breakfast. 

Those conversations sharing experiences, products or a new supplier are invaluableIt is also a great opportunity to meet all of your Facebook friends in person.Ultimately turning those virtual friends into real friends is the goal, isn’t it?

Now, if you are attending the show for the first time …I suggest that you wear comfortable clothes and comfy shoes because you are going to be walking a lot from booth to booth to booth... 

Also bring lots of business cards to exchange and a notepad to take down lots of ideas. You can even meet some of your best friends during those shows. You just won’t know it yet…

 That’s what happened to me in 2007 during a Norman shutter training in CT. I met Angelo Karpetas.  My brother from another mother and now we are great friends. Hang out together, travel together and all the good stuff….

I hope to see you in Fort Lauderdale, and always remember: never stop learning! 

Roger

 

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