ClosetCon 2017 is this week!

Do you have your ticket?

I’m flying to Chicago right now and can’t wait to see all my friends and the latest market trends.

This is the only conference and expo that is focused on the closet industry.

“Not Showing Up To ClosetCon You Are Asking Not To Be Taken Seriously”

 

There is still time to register.

Can’t make it Tuesday? There is plenty going on Wednesday and Thursday to make it worth your trip.

Start the day with SEO and Goggle specialist Lauren Mobyed and Todd Barstow. They will give us the latest in online trends for cabinet and closet companies.

Attend the software design round table – learn shortcuts, tips and design tricks.

An hour of peer to peer round tables – You pick the topic – What’s your problem?

End the night with the Top Shelf Awards Reception – Richelieu is sponsoring this year so you know it will be a good time. Network, eat and maybe have a drink or two.

All of this plus nearly 100 exhibitors that are focused on your industry.

Like Al Bundy said you don’t want to miss ClosetCon!!

Hope to see you there.

The ACSP Is Hard At Work For YOU!

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Most of you know that I have am the current President of The Association of Closet & Storage Professionals and been on the board for the last 10 years.

If I’m being honest with you it’s not always rainbows and unicorns – there was a stretch when it was actually a little painful –

BUT – The ACSP is BACK!!

We are having fun again, people are getting involved, and new members are joining.

Our monthly webinar series is catching on –  The April webinar “Mistakes Your Designers Are Making That Are Costing You Money” had 63 people register.

The Closet Conference was busier than it’s been in years with almost two full days of educational content.  Expo attendance was up, there were over 25 first time exhibitors and more machines on display than ever before.

If that wasn’t enough good news – The ACSP is getting ready to roll out a brand new website – I know it’s been a long time coming…

I can’t wait for you to see it!

It will have a responsive design and be SEO friendly – (computer speak for work on your iPad and rank at the top on Google) 🙂

With this redesign we aren’t just targeting our members we are planning to speak to homeowners. There will be a blog and a member profile page so that you can upload photos and target potential customers. We want to drive traffic to YOUR site and promote YOU!

Other features include:

  • Lead sharing
  • Find a pro
  • Message board
  • Access to past webinars and the list goes on…

The new site is scheduled for the beginning of June and is going to make a HUGE impact for the ACSP, our members and our industry.

We also started discussions with Woodworking Network for next year’s Closet Conference on April 11th – 13th in Schaumburg, IL.

For the FIRST time ever we are planning to test and certify your designers at the conference. Your designers will be able to attend the Closet Conference, walk the show floor and take the ACSP Certification Test all in the same day!!

Can you think of a better way to standout in your market than having all of your designers being ACSP Certified??

I am very excited for the coming year and the future of the ACSP. I hope you will join us because it’s going to be some ride!!!

To become a member or get involved email me at RichDeMarco@optonline.net

Stay tuned for more to come…

Closet Conference 2016 Was A Huge Success

Leaving the office is never easy – the build up the week before is like trying to squeeze a pullout hamper into an overloaded closet…

But boy is it worth it!!

Can you think of a better way to recharge and get ready for the busy time of year?

People were catching up all night long. New friends and old –

The Closet Conference and Expo is my favorite show – it’s the only show that has two days of educational sessions geared specifically for our industry.

The Conference kicked off with John McDonald from Semihandmade. He told his story of how he came up with the idea for building doors for IKEA cabinetry, the hurdles that he had to overcome and what his plan is for future growth. It was a very interesting business model.

Lisa Adams presented on Tuesday and Wednesday – her first session was Designing High End Closets, her second session was the concept of the Million Dollar Closet. The way that she markets her company is unbelievable. She has created a personal brand that allows her to charge $30,000 for a 10 x 10 walk in closet!! Most of the audience fell of their chairs when they heard that… She cut the ribbon to the expo and posed for plenty of selfies… 🙂

Denise Butchko and Wendy Scott presented ideas to create High End Closets on a Budget. This session was so good that the Q & A ran for an extra 30 minutes – Attendees learned tricks like applying painted wood mouldings to MDF panels or how to create a jewelry cabinet. Everyone left with new design ideas.

Richelieu and Hafele showed off their new hardware, Erik Huberman discussed Marketing Your Closet Business and The Osborne Ideation Breakfast is always a great time to share ideas and learn about each other’s business.

The show floor opened up Wednesday morning and attendees rushed in to see the newest hardware, look under the hood of the latest machinery (literally), and demo the different design software on the market.

Everyone that attended seemed happy to be there and more importantly everyone got something out of it. If you couldn’t attend this year, be sure to mark your calendar for next year – April 11th – 13th in Schaumburg.

The ACSP has plans next year to test designers on Thursday so that your sales team could leave as Certified Designers… Wouldn’t that be a great way to standout in your market??

Your turn – what did you think of Pasadena? What was your favorite part of the show?

Your installer called in sick…

Closet Conference 2016

The floors aren’t ready, your edgebander is down, the hardware is on backorder, and the doors are damaged – should I keep going?

How many happened to you this week?

How many will happen to you next week?

What are you doing to try to fix these problems? No the bottle of vodka under your desk isn’t helping…

Networking with other closet company owners at the Closet Conference in Pasadena is your answer.

I know you’re too busy to leave for 3 days – what happens if your installer hits a pipe – who will fix it?

This is why you must attend!

Nobody feels your pain more than the people that

will be in Pasadena the week of March 21st.

Here’s the thing – it’s not enough for you to attend the Expo portion of the week, you have to attend the educational conference.

That’s where the connections are made so that when you get back to your office if and when you have a question, you have someone to call.

This year there’s almost two complete days of educational content –

I know you have been doing this a long time – but you don’t know what you don’t know.

Attending the conference is sure to open your eyes to something new.

Believe me the education doesn’t stop in the conference room, I have heard just as many ideas exchanged at the bar and the Top Shelf Awards ceremony… Of course some of the ideas sound better after a few drinks – but that’s the fun! 🙂

There is still time for you to buy your ticket and join the 100 other conference attendees. Use discount code EVEREA16 and get into the expo floor for free.

Even if you don’t come back with a new business strategy – the time away will re-charge you so that you are ready to get thru the busy Spring season and the next fire drill.

Your turn –

In the comments section below – leave your favorite experience from a previous Closet Conference….

I can’t wait to see you in Pasadena!!

Closet & Cabinet Expo is a HUGE Success!

20150414_182320-2If you attended the Closet Conference last week than you are probably just coming down off your high. This was the first time in a while that the rooms were full, the traffic lasted all day and people were excited about a strong year ahead.

Skip Labella kicked off the Conference by sharing Closet America’s “Go to Market Strategy” – the room was so full tables needed to be taken out so that we could fit more chairs.

There was a panel discussion that focused on the benefits of Insourcing VS Outsourcing. People left that session with a clear vision of the advantages and disadvantages of both models.

Closet Factory Virginia Beach owner, Jeff Bruzzesi explained how he turned building custom homes into a successful marketing strategy. By creating organization through out the custom homes, clients quickly realized that Jeff could do much more than build closets.  Here are some of the photos.

From the Conference nearly 200 people took a short bus ride to Plus Closets. They showed us the workflow in their shop, how they make drawer boxes and how they ship orders. It was one of the most organized tours that I have ever been on.

As we do every year we ended the day with a Networking Reception. We drank, ate, caught up with old friends and made new ones.

That was just day 1… 🙂

Day 2 didn’t disappoint – The Expo floor was packed with new items. Here are some of my favorites are –

The Boot Butler.  It’s a space saving way to hang your boots. It helps your boots maintain their shape, avoid creases and allows you to easily find the pair you are looking for. This is a cool item that your customers will love.

There was a handbag pull out and a pull out clothing rack for shallow closets, both are made by Glideware. Storing handbags can be a big problem especially if your client is like my wife and collects them… (That’s a topic for another day)  There are solutions for shallow closets, most are not as pretty as Glideware’s. Both options will work great for your high-end customers.

The Expo wasn’t all about accessories – Titus is introducing 5 brand new cam colors. They are designed to match the new textures that are on the market.   I consistently get asked for light gray (silver) and medium brown (warm cherry)  These should be available in 30 days.

Your turn – What were some of your favorite things about the Closet Conference & Expo?

I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.

For those of you that couldn’t attend, Woodworking Network has many of the presentation slides available on line – Check them out here – 

Be sure to save the date for next year’s Conference in Pasadena – March 22nd – 24th.

See you there!!