Custom woodworking and closet businesses are enjoying a good business run, with remodeling projects on the rise. But today’s clientèle presents a challenge for owners, who must deliver not just expert workmanship, but a creative approach to projects that is in touch with contemporary design trends, and technology.

Register for CCCE Now!At the Cabinets & Closets Conference & Expo, custom interior remodelers can find just the tools and the training they need. Running April 14-16 at the Renaissance Conference & Expo Center near Chicago, in Schaumburg, IL, the 2015 edition of the show is packing real “star power,” with a roster of presenters that has already generated buzz across the country.

The three-day event begins April 14 with a 3-track conference day. Registrants can choose Closets Sessions, Business of Design, or Custom Cabinets tracks. Each begins with a rock-and-roll kick-off speaker. Regardless of which track they sign up for, registrants can mix and match at will to attend sessions in other tracks. (Open a PDF version of this article with including a timetable of conference sessions.)

CLOSETS SESSIONS Conference Track

Closets Sessions include eight seminars, opening with a presentation by Skip LaBella, president of Closet America, known for its dynamic product development, aggressive sales and marketing strategy, and state-of-the-art manufacturing platform. Other closet sessions include a look at the rapidly growing garage segment, a review of in-house versus outsourced production, and closet design technology.A session on luxury closets will include a presentation by Patrick Borg, president of Neff Custom Cabinetry of Chicago, as well as designs by Steve Abruzzo of  Abruzzo Kitchens, Wood-Mode Cabinet's leading distributor.

The Association of Closet & Storage Professionals will moderate these sessions. (See more details on the accompanying chart.) It concludes with a plant tour of nearby closet manufacturer Plus Closets, sponsored by Felder and Plus Closets. All conference registrants are welcome to attend, but RSVPs are required.

BUSINESS OF DESIGN Conference Track

The full-day Business of Design track leads off with a presentation on NKBA’s cabinet design trends study, with designer Brigitte Fabi of Drury Designs. An exciting presentation on 3D design visualization moderated by Denise Butchko is followed by Houzz.com’s Lindsey Thudin on closet and consumer design trends distilled from Houzz data. (Thudin also opens Closets Expo in a keynote address, “How to Close a Sale on Houzz.com.”)

A “Power of Design” session will include award-winning furniture designer Martin Goebel, cabinet hardware designer Pamela Anderson, and Brian K. Ellison of BKE Design. Ellison, who is a contestant on the SpikeTV Framework reality design show, will appear again at the awards event on the show floor on April 15.

CUSTOM CABINETS Conference Track

The Custom Cabinets sessions, developed in partnership with the Cabinet Makers Association, carry the theme of practical measures to grow business profitability. “Five Steps to Growing a Bigger and More Profitable Cabinetry Business,” the lead session says it all. Also on tap is a double session devoted to the perennially popular “Art of Pricing Profitably.”David ​Buchsbaum, owner of Beacon Cabinets - Atlanta Closet & Storage Solutions, is the perfect presenter for closets and cabinet business owners.

CABINETS & CLOSETS EXPO April 15-16

Following the April 14 conferences is the 2015 Cabinets & Closets Expo, running April 15 and 16.

Opening keynote speakers include Houzz.com's Lindsey Thudin April 15 and Bill Rossiter, building products marketing consultant, April 16. Rossiter was instrumental in advising giant Armstrong Cabinets recent rebranding and repositioning as acpi Cabinets.

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