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Education at Surfaces/StonExpo 2011

Christine B. Whittemore, Simple Marketing Now
Will you be attending Surfaces/StonExpo 2011 in Las Vegas? The combined show takes place January 25 through 27, with an intense Education Day scheduled for January 24. Workshops and seminars take place all four days on the show floor as well as in focused sessions. If you're attending the show, I hope you've set aside time to attend some of those sessions especially since many of us from the Floor Covering Institute will be sharing our expertise.

Here is a link to the Surfaces Schedule at a Glance so you can explore the flooring educational options available. You might also want to check out the Surfaces Blog where many of the presenters, including Jim Gould, share perspective on their education sessions.

[By the way, you'll need to register for classes since we are expecting record numbers of participants.]

I'll be presenting three sessions:

The Basics of Competitive Marketing on 1/24/11, a three-hour workshop from 1pm to 4pm with fellow presenters Paul Friederichsen and Scott Perron.  We each bring a different perspective to the session: branding, web/social media marketing and retail operations strategy, with a common focus: helping a retailer be more competitive in the flooring marketplace.  You can get a taste for the session via this link where I recap the interview Kemp Harr from just conducted with us.

By the way, I invite you take the survey that I've created for the session. Whether you attend or not, I'm sure you are facing unusual pressures in your business and I'd love to hear about them. We'll be sharing the results of the survey during the workshop and I'll summarize them in a blogpost afterwards.  Here is the link to the survey which consists of 10 questions.  Thanks in advance.

Social Media 101 on Tuesday, January 25, 2011 from 12:00pm - 1:00pm

This session gets more detailed about using social media marketing in your flooring business.  Here is the course description: "Consumers start the majority of their purchases at an Internet search window and obtain feedback on whether to purchase a product or visit a retailer based on word of mouth perspectives from their social networks. What is a retailer to do? Rather than ignore the online social networking trends taking place, retailers need to understand the range of digital tools available and decide how best to integrate them into their ongoing business activities to drive business results."

[If this is a topic of interest to you, you might enjoy my How Do I? series on social media and content marketing.]

Marketing to the Ultimate Power Consumer: WOMEN, on Wednesday, January 26, 2011 from 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Women make or influence over 80% of purchase decisions - especially in flooring! This presentation addresses marketing to women starting from a big picture perspective that puts into context how important women consumers are to the flooring business. From there, it explores the purchase process, the retail experience – both online and in-store – and communication differences between men and women to be aware of while selling. Included are many of the themes developed in Floor Covering Weekly and in Flooring The Consumer.

In addition, look for the sessions that Chris Ramey, Lew Migliore and Jim Gould are leading at Surfaces 2011 - included in the Surfaces Schedule at a Glance mentioned above.

Finally, Lew Migliore has also organized an intense two day seminar (January 24 and 25) - the Floor Covering Inspectors Symposium (FCIS) - developed for inspectors, retailers, distributors, manufactures, installers, specifiers, architects and designers.

Surfaces 2011 is shaping up to be an incredible educational opportunity from all perspectives. I hope you'll take advantage of what's offered. Please be sure to come say hello if you attend my sessions.

I look forward to seeing you at Surfaces!



Christine B. Whittemore
Chief Simplifier
Simple Marketing Now


  1. Social Media and Marketing to Women... sounds like a great lineup! Wish I was going to be there this year for these hot topics!

  2. This year's education program is sure to be one of the best yet! Not to be missed for anyone planning to better their business in 2011.

  3. Jennifer,

    I wish you were going, too! Something tells me you'd have great perspective to add to both topics.

    Thanks for stopping by.


  4. Chelsie, I agree completely! Between record attendance to the Education Program and a marketplace focused attitude that many of the Surfaces attendees I've spoken with have I think the learning opportunities will be beyond description. Can't wait to compare notes with my fellow presenters and you.


  5. How was the expo? I wish I was there. I believe their are a lot of things that could learn on the expo. Hope you can share it on your blog CB. I'll be watching that out on your carpetology!


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