I spent the last couple of days in Edison, NJ at the Cabinets & Closets Expo. The first day was a day of speakers and conferences. Robert Reiss, of The CEO Show, gave the keynote speech about the Transformative CEO. Essentially, he covered what these exceptional CEOs have done to stand out and make their companies so successful and how we could emulate them and transform our own companies. Following Mr. Reiss' speech, I spent the day attending educational seminars presented by the Cabinetmaker's Association (CMA), of which, I am a member. We covered a number of topics, such as, improving sales and marketing, the differences between the business and contractual aspects of commercial jobs versus residential ones, the benefits and pitfalls of automating a cabinet shop, and the key aspects of pricing. All of these topics were presented by fellow CMA members who have had a great deal of first hand experience with these subjects.
I spent the second day of the Expo attending the trade show. Exhibitors at the show included numerous hardware, materials, and machinery suppliers. There is always something new and interesting to see at these shows. An item that caught my eye was an extending table system from Richelieu that pushes into a cabinet. While the cabinet is about 14" deep, the table extends out about 60". A great item for getting the most out of compact spaces.
Of course, as a user of Microvellum Toolbox 7 design and manufacturing software, I spent a good deal of time at their booth watching Bill Watters and Roger Shaw demonstrate the software to a continuous stream of interested cabinet and closet makers.
Overall, it was a great show. Not only did I get to take a small break from the daily routine of the shop and office, but I was able to learn more about the business and more about all the new products being offered.