CITY OF COMMERCE, CA -- The 2011 Woodworking Industry Conference (WIC), sponsored by AWFS® (Association of Woodworking & Furnishings Suppliers®), WMIA® (Woodworking Machinery Industry Association®) and WMMA (Wood Machinery Manufacturers of America) will be held Wednesday – Friday, May 4 -6, 2011 at the Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort & Spa, in Marco Island, Fla.

Industry professionals looking to network and meet, discuss and dissect business opportunities and industry-wide interests and concerns in today’s improving yet still uncertain business environment, put the 2011 WIC on your calendar today!

WIC 2011 will welcome a new participating association, North American Building Material Distribution Association (NBMDA), serving the independent building material, lumber, and kitchen and bath dealer, regional and national home centers, as well as those that serve production companies involved in cabinetry, architectural woodwork, stock woodwork, store fixtures, solid surface fabricating, plastics fabricating, general and specialty woodworking industries. Distributor members operate more than 900 distribution centers throughout the U.S. and Canada.

As always, participants will have plenty of opportunities to network throughout the entire conference. A central theme of the 2011 WIC, based on the messaging of the guest speakers, will be Listening to Your Customer. The event will include a seminar by Brian Swanson, aptly titled “Listen to Your Customer and Change Your Business.” Swanson is Director of Operations and Enterprise Excellence at North Anoka Control Systems Inc., a design and manufacturing firm specializing in production of automated systems for medical and other various industrial manufacturers. He will examine tools and concepts that will help organizations derive excellence and power from customer input while strengthening the sense of partnership that customers feel for your company.

Don Shultz, CEO of Premier Garage and strategist for the woodworking industry, will speak in the opening session of the WIC conference with a thought-provoking presentation on Innovating Your Business Model. Having observed and worked through the paradigm shifts that have occurred in the woodworking industry, Shultz will discuss the need to truly understand the end consumer, the fundamental flaws in old-model marketing strategies and the power behind helping your customers differentiate from their competitors.

NEW in 2011, WIC will feature three industry forums with panelists from leading manufacturers in the areas of cabinetry, furniture, and architectural millwork. They will share their insight as to the current state of their businesses and what they expect moving forward, in a dynamic and interactive exchange of ideas. Most importantly, participants can expect a clearer understanding of how they can better anticipate and react to the needs of their customers, hearing this information directly from the source.

Board members of all sponsoring organizations are excited in their endorsement of the conference.

“This is an important event for us. WIC offers outstanding networking opportunities and allows us to meet with a number of peers and partners for the cost of just a single trip,” David Rothwell, president, WMIA, said.

“Listening to our customers, WIC 2011 has been planned with fewer total conference days, speakers who are directly related to our customers’ needs, and workshops inclusive of customers, distributors, and manufacturers. And there will be more networking time than ever before. You and your company will be rewarded if you join us in 2011,” said AWFS President, Joan Kemp.

“We have a great program for 2011. The customer is key -- forums will feature your customers discussing their needs and outlook; network sessions are face to face sessions with your customers and education sessions help you understand the economic and political climates in which we operate. Having the WIC in a relaxed setting enables everyone to step back from the daily grind and absorb some needed insight. I look forward to seeing everyone there,” said Mark Chappell, WMMA President.

This is the industry conference not to miss! Detailed conference information and registration will be available in January!

SOURCE: Woodworking Industry Conference

Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.