Show-goers browse new products at last year’s NWFA convention near Washington, D.C.

Building new business and taking advantage of a reviving economy will be the focus of the upcoming NWFA convention, April 26-29 in San Diego, Calif. According to Ed Korczak, NWFA’s executive director and ceo, the four-day event is designed to “prepare our industry for this reviving economy and the new reality of the future.”

“The new normal is going to require a lot more business skills. You’re not going to be able to quote a price without job costing. You’ve got to have very positive customer service. And retailers/contractors, distributors and manufacturers are all going to have to work very closely together,” he said.

The NWFA expects around 200 companies at this year’s show. Pictured is Mirage’s exhibit at the 2010 convention.

Part of the new economy will also require becoming involved on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, Korczak added. “The generation out there now is shopping on their computers. Our people need to use Facebook and Twitter. NWFA is using them, but we can only sell a product generally – our members have to sell it locally.”

Another topic that will be covered is the current preliminary investigation by the U.S. International Trade Commission to potentially increase the tariffs on engineered hardwood flooring from China.

“We won’t be discussing the platform – there are two strong groups on both sides of the issue,” Korczak said. “But we want people to know what’s going on from a process standpoint, and our forums at the convention will probably be very much an open discussion on how people are planning for it and how they may react.”

Show-goers visit the Wagner Electronics booth during last year’s event.

This year’s event will also feature displays for the annual NWFA Floor of the Year contest, offer a range of technical courses and include around 200 exhibiting companies in 320 booths at the show. Korczak, who is retiring at the end of the year, said that his successor Michael Martin will also be on hand to meet with members and be available to answer any questions.–Michael Chmielecki