A record-sized Cabinets & Closets Expo will greet attendees March 23-24 when the show opens at the Pasadena Convention Center in California. Twenty-five first-time exhibitors will appear among more than 80 suppliers and organizations currently booked for the 12th edition of the event, which originated in Dallas as a Closets Conference track at the Texas Woodworking Show in 2005.
Since then the show has grown bigger, yes, but Cabinets & Closets Expo remains an intimate event, prized by attendees and suppliers for the less-harried quality of meetings, networking, and for the closet- and cabinet-focused professional development during the pre-show conference program, this year being held on March 22. While drawing nationally, Cabinets & Closets Expo moves each year to make it accessible to a fresh group of cabinetmakers and closet professionals in major metropolitan areas. Attendance will be strong when the floor opens at 10:00 a.m., drawing from thousands of closet and cabinet professionals serving 10 million Los Angeles area residents living in 3.5 million homes, 47 percent of them owner-occupied.
Presented by finishing expert Phil Stevenson, it includes five sessions covering finishing room design, sanding, spray booth layout, and finishing profitability.
Closets business and design conferences
Held the day before the Expo, the Cabinets & Closets Conference includes three tracks: Closets, Cabinets, and new this year, Finishing. Registrants for all three tracks will hear the conference keynote, a must-see event: John McDonald, founder of Semihandmade Doors, a thriving entrepreneurial business that has grown exponentially by modifying IKEA cabinet boxes with high end doors and drawer fronts. McDonald, a former screenwriter, will share his success and the steps he has taken to expand since first exhibiting at KBIS 2015.
After McDonald, Lisa Adams, CEO and chief designer of LA Closets, kicks off the Closets Conference, and will share her odyssey as the star of HGTV’s Million Dollar Closets. Also on the docket is How to Market Your Closet Business, with Erik Huberman, CEO of Hawke Media, a Los Angeles-based social media and branding agency measurable results in inquiries and sales.
He’ll share strategies of his most successful campaigns. Panel sessions on Designing High End Closets on a Budget, closets software, and closets hardware and accessory trends create a valuable program for professional development.
The full-day wood Finishing Conference will be presented by well-known finishing expert Phil Stevenson, and includes five sessions covering finishing room design, sanding, spray booth layout, and finishing profitability.
Plant Tour at K&Z Cabinets
Each year a plant tour is one of the highlights of the event. It has been incorporated into the conference program for the last two years. Sponsored this year by Stiles Machinery, the March 22 plant tour will visit K&Z Cabinets, one of southern California’s largest casework manufacturers. The tour is open to registered Cabinets and Closet track conference attendees.
Just before the Expo, visitors will have a chance to hear another side of Lisa Adams, closet designer to stars like Eddie Murphy and Billy Crystal in a March 23 keynote at 9:00 a.m. Attendance is expected to be strong when the floor opens at 10:00 a.m., drawing from more than 1,000 closet professionals across the state of California.
When the show opens March 23, visitors will find the latest in panel and hardware, machinery and software for both design and business. Cabinets & Closets Expo is the first event devoted to interior remodeling following KBIS 2016, attendees will truly see innovative colors and textures in panel and wood components, as well as hardware innovations that have just entered the market.
Running CNC woodworking machinery
With the recovery, closets and cabinetmakers are reexamining their approach to production. For this reason, among more than 80 exhibitors at the show are seven CNC manufacturers: Biesse America, Felder Group, Holz-Her, Laguna Tools, SNX Technologies, Stiles Machinery, and Thermwood.
Along with those companies, there are also two vertical panel saw manufacturers exhibiting: Putsch Inc. and Colonial Saw. Other machinery exhibitors include Castle (joining machinery), Schmalz (material handling), and Timesavers (sanders).
Software to control the machinery, and for designing closets and cabinets, will also be on view at Delcam ArtCAM, Cabinet Vision, Microvellum, Mozaik, Real Closet, and RSA Associates. In addition business software for managing customer relations and growing leads is being shown by Improveit360 and MarketSharp.
Another big draw March 23 will be the Awards Reception at 4:00 p.m. on the Expo Stage, with Best in Wood custom woodworking awards and the Top Shelf Closet Design Awards winners announced. A surge in Top Shelf entries to 70 – 10 percent higher than last year – is another sign of the growth of the home renovation market, as home organization businesses picked up many new projects over the past year.
The Young Wood Pro award winner will be feted during the event. And CCI Media will also celebrate the relaunch Closets magazine with a special presentation during the awards. CCI Media acquired Woodworking Network and Cabinets & Closets Expo in December 2015.
New capital investment tax incentives
Cabinets & Closets Expo is also the first big show with running wood manufacturing machinery and controlling software to take place since Congress made permanent the investment tax incentives known as Section 179. Congress voted in December 2015 to make permanent a 100 percent deduction for capital investment, up to $500,000. (It is retroactive through 2015, according to www.Section179.org.) Investments above that level, up to $2 million, are deductible at a lower rate.
In addition, a 50 percent Bonus Depreciation is part of the law, and it will be extended through 2019. Businesses of all sizes will be able to depreciate 50 percent of the cost of equipment acquired and put in service during 2015, 2016 and 2017. (In years past, these write-offs were enacted in the waning weeks of the year, too late to plan investments.) More information will be available from Quail Leasing (Booth 430) as well as equipment and software exhibitors.
Opening the week before spring break, Cabinets and Closets 2016 is shaping up to be a business event with opportunities for learning, networking, and run and relaxation. Located in one of Southern California’s most appealing vacation spots, the show is close to attractions like Disneyland, Universal Studios, and beautiful California beaches and coastline.
The 12th annual event has grown in scale and mission, from its roots as a Closets design and home storage solutions conference with a small expo, to the much larger event that will have sold out its space at the Pasadena Convention Center. In 2012 the show — and its accompanying conference — was renamed Cabinets & Closets Expo, to reflect the increasing crossover between custom cabinet shops and closets and home organization firms. The synergy between the markets continues.
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