Each year, as the date of FIANA's annual convention and trade show approaches, those of us who organize the event start to grow concerned about how it will turn out and whether our members will get full value for their time and expense. We pore over our list of selected speakers looking for just the right mix to satisfy all attendees.

At our most recent convention in Kansas City this past October, it seems we got it right. In fact, not a single negative comment about our speakers or program was heard nor noted on the comment cards attendees turned in during the course of the event. Our featured speakers covered a variety a subject matter that was chosen specifically to improve participants' knowledge of business topics.

The only thing that continues to concern me is that some of our members demonstrated a distinct lack of interest in attending the seminars and listening to our speakers. That's unfortunate, because each facet of the program was designed to address subjects that should be of importance to anyone in any business. These were are not aimed at just distributors, but also at manufacturers who, in my opinion, have the same needs to learn as their counterparts in the industry's distribution segment.

For example, this year, our highly qualified speakers addressed the flowing topics:

  • Motivation
  • Understanding Finance
  • Internet Business
  • Business Succession
  • Selling in the New Millennium & The Trust Connection
  • Dealing with Other People

Certainly, it would appear that these issues would be of interest to all of our members.

In addition, we had two technical information sessions on installation. One addressed carpet backings and the other covered laminate flooring.

Then, to close out our convention, we hosted a visit with all-time baseball great and Hall-of-Famer Ralph Kiner. He spoke about baseball in his day vs. now, and talked about the celebrities he has known in and out of baseball.

All told, we put together three days of information, in addition to a trade show with 100 booths full of products and services for floor installation distributors. More than 450 people registered for the October convention and trade show. The event brought together distributors and manufacturers to work and learn how to improve professionalism, enhance relationships, secure new lines or customers, and enjoy considerable peer interaction.

This is what FIANA is all about. One first-time attendee, who is a major installation distributor in the Northeast U.S., summed it up well on his comment card. "I thoroughly enjoyed my first visit to FIANA," he wrote. "This is a forum for accessory distributors that is not to be missed."

So, if you are a manufacturer of flooring installation products, or a provider of services to the distributor, or a distributor of floor installation products, then join FIANA today and attend the 2001 convention and trade show in St. Paul, Minn., Sept. 26 - 30. For additional information, fax inquiries to (817) 326-4097, telephone us at (888) 883-4262, or point your Internet browser to our webpage at www.fiana.org.