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!!

Don’t Waste Your Time Attending The Closet Conference IF –

IF – You think you can spend an hour walking the Expo floor and than get back to the shop…

IF – You’re way too busy to spend three days speaking to colleagues…

IF – You know everything…

Not the advice you expected?

Keep reading, give me a chance to explain.

You’re wasting your time because your not allowing yourself to learn something new, meet new people or come up with new ideas.

You work all year responding to what’s in front of you, never actually taking the time to slow down and work on your business – Attending the Conference gives you that luxury.

The Conference is a full day of inspiration, some of the topics include –

– Learning the go to marketing strategy of one of the leading closet companies in the country.

– Closet production – Manufacturing Vs Outsourcing.

– Learn first hand how the large kitchen manufacturers are building closets.

After a full day of sessions, we get out of the classroom and visit Plus Closets for a plant tour.  There you will see some of the newest machinery on the market.

By the way I haven’t mentioned my favorite part of the day – catching up with old friends and networking with new ones at the Top Shelf Awards Reception. 

All of this happens before the Expo even opens!

The deadline for early registration is March 22nd.  Click to register now and save $75. 

Meeting with vendors and seeing the latest hardware at the Expo is a bonus to all that you will learn during the Conference… Hope to see you there!



Are You Planning to Enter the Top Shelf Design Contest?

Well you should be and here’s why.

You have the chance to become an “Award Winning Designer” – Talk about differentiating yourself from the competition.  It’s something that you can add to your business card, promote on your website and include in your advertising.

Business owners with design teams you should encourage all your designers to take the time and enter… How great would it be if a couple of them won?  You could repurpose each entry as a “project” on your Houzz profile… Still don’t have one??  Click here to receive quick tips that will help you get started.

You will be recognized by your industry and you can leverage that with your potential clients too!  Check out some of the interviews from last year’s winners.

The cocktail party at the expo is always a lot of fun – it’s great catching up with friends and making new ones.

Start planning your entry now – The deadline is March 13th.

Click for contest details.

Need some inspiration?  Here are a few of last year’s winners.

  • Affordable Closets Plus

    Affordable Closets Plus - DeVoe Martin

  • Closets By Design VA

    Closets By Design VA - Debbie Cantell

  • More Space Place DC

    More Space Place DC - Rob Meyers

  • We Do Closets

    We Do Closets - Dave Skinner

What “Nuggets” Did You Take From the Closet & Cabinet Conference?

Mayor of Hardware

I have attended every conference since the beginning and every year I learn something new…

Some of the highlights for me –

Your turn –

What did you think of the conference?

What did you take from the show that you went back and put into action?

If you haven’t yet, that’s ok – put it on the calendar and get started!

I’m looking forward to your comments.