Expo 2005 Preview

© 2005 Door & Access Systems
Publish Date: Spring 2005
Author: Tom Wadsworth
Page 40

Expo 2005 Preview
April 20-23, 2005
Opryland Hotel
Nashville, Tenn.

EXPO 2005

An interview with Garry Stewart, president of the International Door Association (IDA)

What are the key appeals of Nashville?

The Opryland Hotel and the music of Nashville have been great attractions for conventions for decades. The city is within driving distance of hundreds of door dealers, and this year we understand that several bikers will make the trip on Harleys.

Opryland’s convenience is another major factor for our past successes in Nashville. You can leave your room and take a casual walk through beautiful gardens to the meeting rooms and exhibit hall. The Opryland Hotel is magnificent.

What special features will this year’s Expo provide?

This Expo will be a major celebration as the IDA marks its tenth year of service to the industry. On Thursday night, after the Awards Banquet, we’ll have a major Southern Plantation party with music, dancing, gambling, and door prizes.

On Friday at 9 a.m., keynote speaker Gary McCord (professional golfer and CBS sports commentator) will provide a colorful and entertaining presentation. His speech precedes the Grand Opening of the Exhibit Hall at 10:30 a.m.

On Saturday, the Exhibit Hall will be the site for a great number of give-a-ways, so dealers are encouraged to pack the hall.

If you promoted only three aspects of Expo, what would you promote?

For me, I would say that exhibits, educational offerings, and sharing stories and experiences with my peers are the most beneficial aspects of Expo.


An interview with Dan Bernacki, president of the Institute of Door Dealer Education and Accreditation (IDEA), the group that manages all Expo workshops

Have you made any changes to the Expo workshops for 2005?

We re-evaluate everything every year, respond to input, and make changes to keep things fresh and informative. This year, we’ll continue last year’s successful Early Bird Workshops (Thursday 6:30 a.m.) and the plenary sessions (Wednesday and Thursday 10 a.m.). To make room for the big plenary session crowds, we’ll have bigger and better rooms.

The big new thing this year is Super Tech. It’s a 3-hour Saturday morning session designed to attract installers and service technicians. It will be about customer service skills, professionalism, troubleshooting, and helping a good installer to be the best he can be.

To encourage Super Tech attendance, IDA is offering a complete one-day Expo package that includes Super Tech, lunch, and the exhibit hall, all for only $50.

I noticed that you have 29 workshops, down from 34 in 2004. Why?

The number of workshops fluctuates from year to year. We focus on quality and freshness rather than quantity. Every year, we start fresh, building a schedule that we think will have the greatest impact on attendance and dealer needs.

Last year, we broke every attendance record and still tied the record for the highest quality ranking of all Expo workshops.

I see a high number of new workshops on the list. That’s impressive.

Yes, almost every workshop is new. We place a heavy emphasis on new programming for every Expo.

But we still bring back timeless and popular speakers like Linda Francis and John Zoller. They continue to pack rooms and provide great content.

If you could promote only three of the new workshops, which ones would you promote?

As a dealer, I wouldn’t go to Expo for just three workshops. I go to learn enough to pay for the trip. This year, our company is again taking some of our installers and salesmen.

I would certainly recommend Super Tech. Beyond that, just look at the 28 other workshops on the list. They are all excellent. We think it’s the strongest educational offering we’ve ever produced.