Linda Vogler, office manager of Carpet Connection in Panama City, Fla., poses with Mohawk mascot Tommy Mohawk.

Mohawk’s recent three-day “Spirit of the Entrepreneur” conference brought together members of its ColorCenter and Floorscapes programs, making the event the largest in Mohawk’s history. More than 2,000 show-goers including 1,170 aligned dealers convened in National Harbor, Md., near Washington, D.C., for the annual Solutions dealer event.

David Duncan, Mohawk’s svp marketing, stands next to the new Wear-Dated Revive PET carpet collection.

“This is the biggest dealer event we’ve ever had,” said Frank Peters, Mohawk Flooring president. Tom Lape, Mohawk Residential’s president, added that the event was a testament to the strength of the dealers who attended.

“Any dealer that’s made it here is a market-share leader,” Lape said. “These are people who are looking outward, and not just in hunker-down mode.”

Manny Llerena, Mohawk’s vp retail marketing, stands by signage promoting the benefits of becoming an aligned dealer.

The event featured several major product launches as well as significant updates to the company’s and websites. One of the biggest introductions was the launch of Wear-Dated Revive, a consumer-branded PET BCF carpet collection that will be merchandised in a Color Wall unit in more than 200 color options. Additionally, the product will feature Scotchgard Protector Advanced Repel Technology stain and soil protection.

Show-goers visit the show floor during Mohawk’s Solutions conference.

On the hard surface side, Mohawk released a new Ceramic Tile Boutique for ColorCenter Elite and Floorscapes dealers. The system, which is designed to simplify the ceramic tile shopping process, includes a tile wing display offering a range of samples; and a design center and design station to help customers choose tiles under three main categories: Porcelain, Ceramic and Accents.

Jeff Lorberbaum, Mohawk chairman/ceo, talks about the business climate with attendees during the recent Solutions convention.

Chuck Rosier, vp of Carpet Mart in Augusta, Ga., said he was excited about the new Wear-Dated branded PET carpet. “Just having that Wear-Dated Revive branding in PET gives it a good green story, and more people are interested in green.”

Linda Vogler, office manager of Carpet Connection in Panama City, Fla., said she was at the show to see what new products she could bring into the store. “Most of our business is through referrals and word of mouth,” she explained. “We constantly get new things in there to keep our customers coming back.”

Eric Ruppert, Mohawk's product director - branded nylon, discusses the company's latest CustomWeave styles while Manny Llerena looks on.

David Edwards, an owner of Edwards Furniture in Springboro, Ohio, added that one of his main focuses at Solutions was to get more deeply involved with the website side of his business. He noted that he sends e-mails to his customers to keep them informed of the latest sales and new products.

“I think it’s best to educate them with small tidbits, not overwhelm them,” Edwards said. “That way, when they’re ready to purchase flooring, you’ll be in the back of their mind as someone who has been helpful to them and not annoying.”

Mohawk promoted its popular Ricko the Rhino SmartStrand Challenge event with a giant inflatable rhino during the convention sales extravaganza.

During the opening session, Jeff Lorberbaum, Mohawk chairman/ceo, said he hoped people would use the event as an opportunity to get a strong footing for 2011. “Sometimes we forget about the excitement of running a business, but we want you to look over the horizon,” he said.