The 9th annual Flooring Installation Association of North America (FIANA) Convention & Trade Show was conducted Sept. 11-13 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel at Reunion Tower in Dallas. This year’s convention welcomed nearly 500 attendees to see what’s new among the more than 70 companies that exhibited.

One of the big draws for this year’s convention was a special FIANA promotion that allowed each distributor member who registered for the full convention to register one of their counter salespeople, outside salespeople, or an architectural representative for a free distributor weekend (a $195 value). “To our knowledge, this was the first promotion of this type in our industry, said Jim Lee, FIANA president.”

FIANA also provided that person with a free room night at the Hyatt Regency Dallas (a $180 value). As an extra bonus, FIANA also reimbursed as much as $200 per person for airfare for salespeople brought to the convention under this promotion. More than 40 members took advantage of this program.

Because one of the major goals of FIANA is the education of distributor counter/ outside salespeople and architectural representatives, several manufacturers chose to take advantage of the opportunity to give product demonstrations.

The following are companies who gave demonstrations this year along with their respective topics: All Purpose Adhesives, V-Block Moisture Emissions Barrier; Ardex/Henry, New Adhesive Products; Bengard, Laminate Floor Mouldings; Bullet Tools, The Magnum Shear for Laminate & Hardwood Flooring; Carpet Shims, Carpet Shims and Side Shims; Crain Cutter Corp., New Installation Tools; Halex, The Proper Use of Underlayment; M-D Building Products, New Products; MAPEI Corp., Wood Flooring Adhesives; N-C Carpet Binding, Bobbinless Portable Carpet Binder; National Carpet Equipment, New Flooring Equipment; Orcon Corp., New Carpet Seaming Techniques and Tools; Protecto Wrap Co., “Whisper Mat” Sound-Control Underlayment; Super Stop, Carpet Spot Remover; Surface Shields, Carpet, Window, Floor and Dust Shields; Taylor Adhesives, New Adhesive Products; USG, “Fiberock” Brand Underlayment; and Workhorse Tradesmen, New Products.

In addition to visiting with exhibitors, conference attendees also got a chance to sharpen their business skills in a variety of educational seminars, including “Choose to Lose” presented by Joe Malarkey; “Take This Job and Love It” presented by Dr. Alan Zimmerman; “How to Become a ‘Techno-Savage’” presented by Bill Metcalf; “Managing Inventory for Improved Profits” presented by Bob Langdon; “Creativity and Communication, Yes They Go Together” presented by Joel Zeff; and “To Be a Better You!” presented by Dave Pettijean.

The closing-session dinner featured a presentation by Don Finkell, president of Anderson Hardwood Floors. Finkell discussed the history of Anderson Hardwood Floors and also some of the important trends he sees in the marketplace.

During the business session, the organization elected four new members to its board of directors. Board members elected to a three year term are: Vincent (Vin) Giardini, Carpet Products, Mansfield, Mass.; Grant Medhurst, Shamrock Flooring Supplies, Calgary, Alberta; Ted Egan, Parachem, Simpsonville, S.C.; and Greg Gundlach, Beno. J. Gundlach Co., Belleville, Ill.

In addition to the new board members, FIANA also welcomed several new distributor and manufacturer members for 2003. New distributor partners include William M. Bird Co., Salesmaster Associates Inc., Installers Supply, Golden Flooring Accessories Ltd. and Wholesale Installation Supplies. New manufacturer partners include Base King LLC, Chamlian Textiles, Innovative Energy, Floor Line Design, Foam Products Corp., Greiner-Perfoam GmbH, Modern Carpet Tools Ltd., Sealflex Industries Inc., Marizzaldi Mfg. & Development, Workhorse Tradesmen Products Inc., D.S. Sifers Corp., DeVault Enterprises, Carter Industries, and Primatech.

“Every year the convention seems to exceed our expectations,” Lee noted. “Building on the strength of our prior year’s conferences, we are able to bring in better speakers delivering targeted messages from which everyone can learn. We are already looking forward to next year.”

Next year’s 10-year Anniversary FIANA Convention is scheduled for Oct. 14-16 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in New Orleans.