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FCI sends six consultants to Coverings to share insights and knowledge with the industry

If you are going to Coverings, we hope you take advantage of the great, free education offered at the US top ceramic tile trade show. While the show features the newest, most innovative and yes, beautiful ceramic tile from around the world, you can also take advantage of education seminars offered by some of the country's top experts in their fields. We're sending six of our own from the Floor Covering Institute ("FCI") to share their knowledge and insights on a variety of topics. We hope to see you there too - Coverings March 14-17 in Las Vegas at the Sands Expo and Convention Center.

 Monday, March 14, 2011 2:45-3:45 p.m.  

Jim Gould, Donato Pompo, Mitchell Dancik, and Stuart Hirschhorn team up to provide insights on  Economic Strategies to Boost Ceramic Tile and Stone Sales and Profits  

"To fully understanding the challenges and opportunities of a product category requires understanding global forces impacting the market, trends in style and technology, end users, economic drivers that reveal the product's opportunity as well as ways to make the most of every transaction using the best technology and approach for delivering both products and services."

In this panel presentation, each expert contributes to present a full spectrum look at making the most of ceramic tile and stone sales beginning with a global perspective from Jim Gould, President of the Flooring Covering Institute and authority on the international industry, who takes a look at the influence of emerging markets and how ceramic tile fits into the big picture. Donato Pompo, President of Ceramic Tile and Stone Consultants, will speak about trends within the ceramic and stone industry and review end user markets, providing insight on how to make money with these products.  Mitchell Dancik, President of Dancik International and a foremost authority on B2B, will examine ways to lower operating costs using technology and more precise costing models for each transaction. Stuart Hirschhorn, Director of Research for Catalina Research and authority on construction industry data, will give an overview of the economic factors and trends that drive ceramic and stone sales including their correlation with end use markets and the housing industry. He will help attendees determine where to place their focus for business growth and reveal how data can be mined and interpreted for local markets.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011 9:15 to 10:15 a.m.

Christopher Ramey President of Affluent Insights and The Luxury Marking Counsel is an authority on marketing and selling to the affluent. He will present “The Nine Essentials to Effectively Selling to the Affluent.”

In this presentation, Chris will make sense of where to focus business and effectively market and sell to the affluent. The wealthiest 10 percent of Americans are responsible for 50 percent of the total retail sales. This special niche has a fundamentally different perspective than the mass market. "So, it’s no surprise," he says, "that the messaging and marketing that resonates with the affluent is fundamentally different than the middle market."  The presentation will make sense of the latest research, as well as use other luxury brands as case studies. Attendees will take-away an understanding of who the affluent are, their beliefs and attitudes, and the messages and merchandising necessary to effectively resonate with them.

Christine B. Whittemore is Chief Simplifier of Simple Marketing Now LLC and an authority on how to achieve the most bang for the marketing buck using today’s digital and social media.  She offers a guide to practical marketing and business survival in two educational sessions at Coverings this year.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011 9:15-10:15 a.m.

Practical Marketing for Small Businesses: Improving Your Digital Visibility 

Marketing and promoting your business matters now more than ever in a world where customers educate themselves online first. You must be digitally visible. The challenge,  for many small businesses is finding the resources [including people] to market effectively while also running day-to-day operations. How then to prioritize what you do so you don’t neglect activities that connect with customers online and offline, while also delivering business results? "The solution," says Whittemore, "has to do with thinking about how you deliver value to customers, creating content that addresses your customers’ needs, and consistently making use of that content across all of your customer touch points."

Thursday, March 17, 2011 from 8:30-10:30a.m.

Connecting with Customers Online & Offline: Business Survival Guide 
Whittemore joins Paul Friederichsen, from Brand Biz, Inc., to discuss the challenge many small businesses encounter when connecting with customers, particularly the right customers..."We can no longer wait for customers to come to us. Instead, we must figure out how to connect with them online and offline and invite them into our space to complete the sales process. That connection process requires that a business have the basics/fundamentals taken care of."

Coverings educational sessions are available to attendees free of charge. For information about Coverings 2011, visit

Posted by Susan Negley, Floor Covering Institute

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  1. Susan, thanks so much for helping get the word out about these presenations. I really appreciate your support and encouragement.


  2. I hope your sessions are filled to the brim with people who learn nuggets of insight from you. I wish I could be there myself for Wednesday's session!

  3. Thanks, Susan! Next time, please plan your time better so you can mingle with your fans. I can't believe I'll miss you completely. Safe travels to China and I can't wait to hear how it goes. Best, CB


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