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FBMA Convention and Trade Show: 2014 Highlights and Re-Cap

Each year, the Florida Building Materials Association (FBMA) hosts its premiere event, the annual convention and trade show. Click here for information on the 2014 event and its schedule. This is a gathering where industry professionals come together to share ideas, showcase their products and services and build relationships with industry peers.

My company has been a member of the SBCA for many years, but we have had little luck making an impact and contributing to the industry. So we decided to give the FBMA a try to see if we could contribute. As a life-long Florida resident, I have seen all of the changes and growth in the marketplace over the last 2 decades, from a not only a manufacturing perspective, but also from the design end. As a new member to the FBMA, I must say that the administrative team did an excellent job making us feel welcome and comfortable. We even had a discussion about sitting on one of the committees. As a person who believes in and lives the mantra of “Pay It Forward”, helping my fellow man (or woman) is very important to me.

The show in 2014 was in Orlando, FL, at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort and Convention Center. What an amazing facility! The building is immaculate and the service was outstanding. Excellent job FBMA in selecting such an elegant location.

Rosen-Shingle-Creek-Resort-and-Convention-Center

As for the trade show itself, it had outstanding attendance. I must say, I have seen fewer people at the SBCA’s premiere event, the Building Component Manufacturers Conference (BCMC) in years past. The fact that so many people were there and that it was only from one state was indeed impressive. Here is a re-cap of the events:

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

8:00 am: Golf Tournament

All Day: Exhibitor Setup

5:30 pm: Kick-Off Reception

Since we didn’t participate in the golf tournament or exhibit in 2014, the highlight of the day was the reception. The staff at Shingle Creek did a wonderful job ensuring that everyone’s needs were met. This was a great networking opportunity for some. For others, it was all about strengthening existing relationships.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

7:30 am: Kick-off Breakfast with Keynote Speaker

8:00 am: Southern Design Symposium

9:30 am: Industry Panel Discussion

11:30 am: Hall of Fame Luncheon

1:00 pm to 5:00 pm: Exhibit Hall Open

6:00 pm to 9:00 pm: Hospitality Row

The kick off breakfast and the company was wonderful. We were seated at the new member table and were formally introduced as new members. As for the speaker, I was not impressed and got up and walked out at one point. In fact, I was offended by some of his comments and let him know about it afterwards. It seemed he was more concerned about poking fun at things and people, rather than being truly motivational.

The highlight of the show for me by far was the industry panel discussion. It is amazing to me that no matter what part of the industry you are in, the problems are the same. The Q&A session was led by Don MacGruder. The panel consisted of 6 executives from the industry:

  • Bryant Scott
  • Steve Sallah
  • Deanna Jenkins
  • Bill Myrick
  • Lawrence Newton
  • Rick Sanders

The discussion took many twists and turns. Each executive shared their thoughts on various subjects relating to the industry, the state of recovery and the future. The consensus on the state of the recovery was between a 5 and a 6 on a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being the highest). By far, the most interesting thing was the concern for Amazon.com and how it will affect the industry in the future. It will be interesting to see how this takes shape in the years to come.

Once the exhibit hall opened, it was time to build relationships and look over the latest innovations. Very impressive! Some of the booths had a unique flavor to them and were very inviting. I hope everyone there had a successful day.

We also had the honor of being invited to the Hospitality Row event, thanks to Simpson Strong-Tie. Thanks go out to Stan Sias and Andy Viars for the invitation.

Also throughout the day Thursday and Friday, there was the “Southern Design Symposium” classes being offered for CEU’s.

Friday, August 22, 2014

8:00 am: Southern Design Symposium

8:30 am: Sales Days Breakfast with Speaker

10:30 am to 4:00 pm: Exhibit Hall Open

Friday was an abbreviated day for us, as I had to get back in time for the Sabbath.

I wish to formally thank everyone that exhibited there. Your support of the industry is crucial to its future. I would also like to thank everyone that I spoke with and that took the time to speak with me and my team that attended.

For an industry that has remained nearly unchanged for the last 100 years, if we are to remain a presence in the next 100 years we must change our methods. Remember: The only constant in life IS change.

Christopher Gould – President

Gould Design, Inc.