Personally, I think that this year will be a bumper year for the IWCA Convention and Trade Show at St. Pete Beach FL. The buzz surrounding the event is heightened with a high UK interest in using the event as a platform to network and meet new potential customers.
Me personally? I will be doing a little of the same. Since starting the Window Cleaning Magazine just over a year ago, I have made some real good friends and met or spoke with some of the most interesting people in the business.
The IWCA has given me a media pass that should allow me to convey the essence of the Convention and Show in picture form and video form. I will endeavor to bring the readers of WCM the feel of the event and describe ‘whats hot and whats not’.
I will be looking forward to meeting people like Mark Reinhart and Co from the IWCA camp and Kim Little of MWCoA. Steve Blyth from J Racenstein has kindly offered to pick me up from Tampa International Airport, which is mighty kind of them.
Who else is there?
The Mark Unger interview we did back in the July issue of 2012 meant that Mark and I spent well over an hour on the phone whilst I interviewed him. I am looking forward to meeting his team. Diane Smahlik of Ettore, whom I corresponded recently for the interview in the Jan 2013 issue and all the other guys that have contributed and supported the magazine I am so looking forward to seeing them.
Perry Tait of Futureofcleaning, The Brodex team, Mike Howard of Facelift and more will also be there. The bar is going to be the place to be and with having booked a room close to the bar with a balcony sea view I will be sure to catch everyone in my WCM net lol.
I Voxer with Perry Tait and Chris Lambrinides ( WCR, WCRA, WCBO ) regularly and these people have become really good friends over the pass year. Perry ‘Pezza’ is responsible for the Myth Busting section in WCM that is awesome. His articles challenge your way of thinking and I like that.
To actually get the chance to meet up, talk about the industry, drink, eat and have a laugh together with these dudes is going to be awesome!!
So what is the Trade Show layout?
The layout of the event has all the usual booths with some new to the event. UK companies such as Gardiner Poles will be represented by US distributors J Racenstein and the Reach-iT range of poles and the new Wash-iT Pro represented by US distributor WCR. The only UK company with a booth from what I can tell will be Brodex taking up a large stand in the same section as Glass Renu, WCR, Detroit Sponge and Spectrum Marketing.
The largest booths are Ettore, Unger, IPC, ReachMaster, All Access Equipment and J Racenstein.
The American Window Cleaning Magazine will also be there on booth 33. Norman Finegold the President/Partner of AWC will be in person.
There are only 3 window cleaning magazines in the world WCM, WCBO, AWC. Chris Lambrinides has already mentioned we should get a group shot at the event of him, me and Norman. That would be so cool if we can pull that off, lol.
Because of the attraction on this current event it wouldn’t surprise me if we see new product releases unveiled for the first time. Manufactueres like to keep tight liped about this type of thing but as soon as we spot something, we will get the data and info back to our readers in time for the next issue.
Meeting US window cleaners
This will be a great chance to mingle and swap ideas with fellow US window cleaners on marketing and growing your business. As you all know I run a window cleaning business when I am not working on magazine work. Any new ideas that I do pick up it of course I will share in the magazine.
The Window Cleaning Magazine Facebook site is a place where I have met a lot of US window cleaners and I look forward to meeting them all at the event for that promised beer 🙂
The Convention promises to be a learning one ( check the IWCA website for costs http://www.iwca.org/ )
On the first day the convention covers everything from building a positive team culture in your business to glass education, marketing in the 21st century, SEO, OSHA and solving account receivable nightmares. The keynote speaker is Ramsey Mohsen.
Extras thrown in are wfp best practice and navigating the unique hurdles of high rise work.
Phew! – and that is only the first day. It is safe to say that there is heaps more on the following 3 days and best of all there is now an app for your smart phone so that you can stay up to date with the sessions!! Yup, an app.
The IWCA Convention & Trade Show 2013 has just gone mobile ( http://www.iwca.org/?2013Guidebook )
The Guidebook can also be found here http://m.guidebook.com/6432/ and this guide will give you the full schedule of which briefly I discussed above and more.
I will make new friends, there is no doubt about that. I am so looking forward to making those new connections and hanging out with the valued connections I have made so far. As always, I am at Florida on business and there to report on all the in’s and out’s of the event. I hope to bring you my feed back for the April’s issue of www.windowcleaningmagazine.co.uk
See you there.
6 more sleeps 🙂