CODA Conference: Has FWGDA Returned?

© 2004 Door & Access Systems
Publish Date: Fall 2004
Author: Tom Wadsworth
Page 40

CODA Conference: Has FWGDA Returned?

Oct. 20-23, 2004
Reno Hilton
Reno, Nevada

Interview with Ty Kehlenbeck
President, California Operator & Door Association (CODA)

By my count, this is your third trade show. Is each one getting larger than the one before?

Our first full-blown trade show was in San Diego in 2002. Then we went to Laughlin, Nev., in 2003, and we sold out all 75 booths. This year, we’ll have 100 booths at Reno, and we expect to sell out again.

Has the event been attracting larger crowds each year?

The first one attracted about 300 to 350 people. Last year, wildfires closed the freeway to Laughlin and reduced attendance. But we still had 500 to 600 attendees. We expect our Reno show to be the largest so far.

Why did you choose Reno this year?

We plan to alternate locations every year, going from north to south. We chose Reno to try to increase our northern California constituents. Plus, gambling always seems to attract people.

What does your show offer that is not offered at the IDA Expo?

We’ll never be an IDA; that’s not our goal. But we’re trying to meet the needs of dealers and manufacturers in the West, primarily in California and Arizona.

California also has several wood carriage-house door manufacturers and other suppliers of unique equipment for our industry. Many of these manufacturers aren’t large enough to compete at an IDA show. Plus, most major cities out here have distribution centers for the major manufacturers. The CODA show is a perfect opportunity for all these manufacturers to reach their target markets out here.

If the CODA Show has a unique angle, what is it?

Our unique angle is that we’re more personable. It’s a smaller show that allows dealers to spend time with local suppliers and see different products. At IDA, it’s hard to do that in two days.

Our price tag is also attractive. For only $50, a dealer gets the full trade show, a lunch, a reception, and a banquet. And it’s a good chance for everyone to meet. The cost to exhibit is also less … only $800 for a 10 x 10.

In 1996, the industry consciously did away with two shows when the Far Western Garage Door Association (FWGDA) merged with the Door and Operator Dealers Association (DODA). Aren’t you re-starting something that was deliberately stopped?

I don’t know. I wasn’t involved in the industry then. I just know we’ve had a lot of growth in the West Coast and Southwest in the last 10 years. Perhaps that’s why there’s so much support for the CODA show.

We’re filling a niche. We’re creating an inexpensive trade show that meets the needs of local dealers in the West. We just feel we’re offering dealers a good business event at a good price.

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