Vision 2003, the educational segment of the Coverings show, will offer a variety of flooring-related seminars during Coverings 2003, which will take place March 24-27 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla.

Vision 2003, the annual program of seminars held concurrently with Coverings 2003, will feature more than 100 free workshops and courses. Scheduled for March 24-27 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla., Vision 2003 is expected to draw more than 30,000 attendees. Following are some highlights of the Vision 2003 program.

“How to Out-Market, Out-Sell and Out-Profit Your Competition,” will be a panel discussion moderated by Jeff Golden, publisher/editorial director of National Floor Trends magazine. Featured on the panel will be Tim O’Malley of Jacksonville, Fla.-based Custom Wholesale Floors. Panelists will discuss programs they have implemented to become top in their service area. Cash flow, pricing, marketing/promotion, advertising, staffing, training, customer service, and management will be addressed in this seminar.

“The Pillars of Profit -- Creating a Results-Oriented Focus,” will be led by Sam Allman, president of Allman & Associates. Allman, a columnist for National Floor Trends, will discuss the strategies that produce the greatest profits in a retail store, the key factors for building profits and the importance of focusing on results. The seminar will show how profit growth is exponential rather than linear when a business is built on multiple pillars, and explain what those pillars are.

Janet Carter, principal of the Carter Lynn design consultancy, will host “Showroom Design for Full-Line Flooring Stores.” Carter, also a columnist for National Floor Trends, will provide the answers to such questions as: Do you use manufacturers’ racks and displays or do you design your own? Can computers aid you in presenting the product to its best advantage? What about visuals, such as lighting? Do you need private meeting rooms to close a sale? These are just a few of the many queries Carter will answer.

Joe Grady, columnist for National Floor Trends and Floor Covering Installer magazines and president of Diversified Resources, will examine “Underlayment and Mold-Related Problems.” This panel discussion will include Don Halvorson of Forensic Tile Consultants, who has been involved as an expert witness and forensic tile consultant in the construction defect market for the past nine years.

“Effective Marketing for the Floor Covering Retailer,” will be covered by Paul Frederichsen, executive vice president of The Hauser Groups. Topics for this seminar include branding for the little guy, consistency of image and message, determining a budget, when to grow your in-house marketing department and when to hire an agency, and other essentials for marketing and advertising.

The “Planning for Profit” seminar by Fred Jaeckle, president of Jaeckle Wholesale Inc., will emphasize how important it is for retail dealers to plan for profit. The program will include a statistical comparison of data from the average retail store and a high-profit store in order to identify key profit variables. The seminar will also discuss pricing strategy as a means of increasing profitability.

Participants in the “Retailers’ Forum” will be divided into small discussion groups to share their trials, successes and experiences, and discuss some of the major issues related to the retailing segment of the flooring industry. At the end of the session, each group will share its ideas and conclusions with the entire gathering to generate further discussion.

Vision 2003 is expected to draw more than 30,000 attendees during the four-day period. More than 100 conferences, workshops and seminars will be offered. All are available to registered attendees at no charge.
Vision 2003 also will offer two three-hour seminars targeted for those interested in today’s ceramic tile industry.

The first, “Ceramic Tile University,” is a seminar that will detail how to expand a ceramic tile business in a profitable way, and how to present and sell the products. The main speakers will be Jonathan Trivers, president of Marketing Wit & Wisdom, and Donato Pompo, president of Ceramic Tile and Stone Consultants.

The second ceramic-related program, “The NTCA Contractors’ Workshop,” is a fast-paced technical presentation specifically designed for contractors and helpers. The program will start out with surface preparation and layout, and then address membranes, backerboards, mortars and grouts, finishes, and cleaning and sealing.

Other events will include Eric Astrachan of the Tile Council of America (TCA) leading a seminar on the new TCA Handbook, and “Developing a Dealer Network,” a panel discussion moderated by Jim Vogel of Conestoga Tile.

Vision 2003 will also feature several seminars about tile specification and installation hosted by industry professionals. Among these will be:

“Expansion Joints: Fact or Fiction,” by Scott Broney of Pecora Corp., which will also address the issue of tile tenting; “Estimating Tile Quantity and Usage for Your Product,” by Don Kinkaid of Louisville Tile; “Understanding the Danger of Floor Deflection and What You Can Do About It,” by Dan Louis of Laser Products; and “Thin-Set Mortars -- What’s the Difference?” by Steve Taylor of Custom Building Products.

Vision 2003 offers informative seminars covering a wide variety of flooring-related topics. To obtain more information, including a complete list of the courses being offered, contact Coverings at (800) 881-9400 or via e-mail at