This year’s Cabinet & Closet Conference was buzzing with the success that is spreading through our industry. All of the discussions, either informal or during our content sessions, were filled with enthusiasm and a positive outlook for things to come. Increased production, capital investments in machinery and expansion of teams were common themes. Our industry keeps gaining momentum.
Sprinkled throughout discussions with industry veterans we were able to meet the next wave of up and coming industry players. For me personally, this is very exciting to see, since only a few years ago I was the new guy on the block. The infusion of these new business upstarts is vital to the evolution of our industry and lent an air of excitement to the conference. They infuse a fresh approach of sorts, not previously being encumbered by processes and business habits that have been the norms. They are challenging the status quo in the most meaningful ways. 
Each year at our conference different treads and new products are discussed. For instance, LED lighting first began making waves and became a focus a few years ago. This year, I observed even more conversations about LED lighting than the past few shows combined. Why is that? It takes time for new products and trend to mature in the market. Not all have the legs to become a recurring theme year after year and it is important that we collectively tease out what has staying power and where we should be investing to keep up with consumer demands.
The conference itself fosters the creation of collaborative alliances between closet companies and the industries that supply them. The sheer possibility that you could gain or maintain a completive edge in your market is case enough to ensure annual participation at this event.   
I encourage all of you to take a minute and calendar mark next year’s expo. We will be returning to the Charlotte Convention Center on March 5-8, 2019. Is it worth the trip? You tell me. A full day of educational conferences, onsite ACSP Closet Certification, supplier exhibits, plant tour and some fun networking sessions, often lasting well into the evening. It is a complete end to end view of our industry under one roof over a few days and Charlotte is as welcoming a destination as I can think of for such an important event.
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