ATLANTA - Presented by Closets & Organized Storage magazine, the 2018 Closets Symposium is an all-day event dedicated to closet designers, builders, and garage businesses. Speakers and panelists will discuss the latest design, color, and material and hardware trends, business opportunities, and offer plenty of audience interaction. The audience will learn design ideas to sell more home organization projects. Topics will include everything from marketing to manufacturing to the latest industry trends. The Closets Symposium is a must for industry professionals to learn “What’s Next.”

The symposium is one of several taking place the day before IWF starts, August 21, 2018, in the Georgia World Congress Center in downtown Atlanta. There will be a joint coffee and pastries meet-up during the registration process and a joint luncheon for all symposia attendees.
 The storage and home organization market is estimated at nearly $9 billion and will only continue to grow as homeowner demand for organized spaces increases. This expanding market will provide numerous business opportunities for closet and cabinet firms.
 The full-day session, developed and presented by Closets & Home Organization magazine, will focus on trends in storage and home organization, best business practices for small firms and how to determine if buying a franchise is right for you. Final and detailed descriptions of presentations are not yet available. Here are some general subjects that will be part of the program:


8:00 AM - 9:00 AM - Coffee & Pastries
9 am – 10 am
How to Grow Your Business 
Lisa Carlquist, Artisan Closets 
Real life ideas from a closet firm that saw dramatic growth, going from zero sales to nearly $9 million in about 7 years. Get business tips on everything from personnel and hiring to marketing.
10 am – 11 am
How to use PR effectively
Amanda Edens, Stoner Bunting and David Biggs, Woodworking Network 
Have you completed a high-profile project or hired a well-known designer? Learn how to attract media attention and gain coverage of your firm by using effective PR strategies with digital marketing and social media.
11 am – 12 pm
What’s Trending in Colors and Textures 
Michele Weitzel, Northern Contours 
Whether in urban centers or smaller metro areas, European furniture designs are increasingly popular. This presentation will provide a look at the hottest styles from Europe and how to apply them in a successful business strategy for the North American market.
Noon to 1 pm Networking Lunch
1 pm – 2 pm
The Ins and Outs of Closet Manufacturing
Phill Hunt, Dream Closets 
See how this North Carolina company evolved from a dealer to a wholesale manufacturer of closet systems, cabinet components, and furniture.
2 pm – 3 pm
Best Business Model: Manufacturing or Outsourcing?
Eric Marshall, Kitchens and Closets by DEA, Mike Carson, Inspired Closets and Phill Hunt, Dream Closets
Hear real-life experiences from two industry vets on the pros and cons of manufacturing and outsourcing as well as best practice tips on how to make your business a success regardless of the model.
3 pm – 4 pm
Build Business with Brand Engagement
Michael Mendelssohn, Gravity Well Marketing
Winning strategies on how to create an engaged customer.
4 pm – 5 pm
Micro Living and Multifunctional Spaces
Eric Pothier, Richelieu Hardware 
With Boomers downsizing and Millennials preferring smaller living spaces especially in urban areas, creating interior designs that accommodate micro units sizing 300 square feet are less is more important than ever. Learn what products and materials are best suited for these small spaces.
TARGETED AUDIENCE:  Closet and storage industry professionals needing to stay current with market trends and to network with their peers are the key target audience for this symposium.

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