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16 04, 2016

5 Reasons to Attend Coverings

By |2017-03-03T12:06:48-05:00April 16th, 2016|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , , , , |Comments Off on 5 Reasons to Attend Coverings

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Show Floor, Coverings

Show Floor, Coverings

Coverings 2016 kicks off in Chicago, IL on Monday April 18, and we’re so excited to see everything that this year’s show has to offer. As the premier international trade fair and expo dedicated exclusively to showcasing the newest in ceramic tile and natural stone, Coverings attracts exhibitors from more than 40 countries, and thousands of attendees flock to their floor each year to see some of the most innovative tile and stone products in the world.

 

Here why we think you should attend Coverings:

 

Tile installation

Tile installation

Find Inspiration for Upcoming Projects

 

With over 1,100 exhibitors, Coverings is the perfect place to find inspiration for your next project. Over 40 countries are represented, showcasing a vast array of innovative tile and stone products. For the first time Coverings will also highlight a Living Wall Exhibit, which will show how you can integrate a vibrant vertical garden in your home. Don’t miss out on seeing all of 2016’s latest trends in tile and stone in action!

 

Get Educated!

Continuing Education Unit

Continuing Education Unit

 

You can earn free Continuing Education Units (CEUs) – details on approved sessions for NKBA, AIA and IDCEC can be found on the Coverings site. The Social Media Lounge (Booth #4031) will also feature primers on design-related channels such as Houzz, Instagram and Pinterest. And Coverings’ Keynote Sessions will cover an array of topics, from a panel moderated by Interior Design Magazine to global trends in hospitality design.

 

See Design and Installation in Action

 

The Installation Design Showcase returns to Coverings again this year (Booth #6245) on Wednesday, April 20 from 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. The IDS will showcase four unique interpretations of commercial storefront lobbies. Designers, architects and installers will then collaborate using tile and installation materials/fixtures to bring these spaces to life at McCormick Place. The 2016 showcase will feature a newly designed courtyard style featuring a boutique retail shop, a spa lobby, a bar/lounge and a boutique hotel lobby. These vignettes will demonstrate the varied ways tile and stone materials and advanced installation techniques can influence the look, feel and performance of a commercial space.

Also for the first time, Coverings will tap the Chicago Mosaic School for instructive lessons on contemporary and classical Mosaic Arts. The Chicago Mosaic School offers classes and workshops by top art professionals who teach about both the process and materials in the Mosaic Arts. Limited space is available by registering online.

 

For more information, call [email protected].

Posted by Fabulous Floors Magazine.

 

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7 10, 2014

“Think Pink.” What are you Doing to Connect with Your Customers During “Breast Cancer Awareness Month?”

By |2017-03-03T12:06:54-05:00October 7th, 2014|Categories: beliefs, Blog, Building a Brand, Reaching the Consumer|Tags: , , , |Comments Off on “Think Pink.” What are you Doing to Connect with Your Customers During “Breast Cancer Awareness Month?”

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Beat breast cancer.

Beat breast cancer.

According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation,  more than 200,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer across the United States this year, worse; approximately 43,000 will die as a result of being afflicted with the disease. I lost both my sister and cousin from this dreaded disease. There aren’t many months that give us an opportunity to stay in front of our female customers and make a difference.  October, Breast Cancer Awareness month is one; the other is Women’s Heart Month, February.

You may have seen national retail stores marketing pink-themed products over the last few years. Every time a pink product is purchased – be it a makeup bag, purse, scarf or t-shirt – a portion of the proceeds is donated by the merchant to the breast cancer organization of their choice. If you don’t want to peddle pink merchandise, how about holding an event in your store and have a pink theme? How about holding a pink hat contest?

Whatever you do, make it matter. To make it matter even more, Fabulous Floors Magazine is giving away $100.00 to the store that has the best party with the most people supporting Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Please send me your photos and the details, so I can blog about it either in October or November. I know; the rules are more subjective than objective, but one of you will win. Please share your stories; it’s the stories that keep the fight alive.  My sister was too late; my cousin wasn’t up for a repeat fight.

I look forward to your entries, whatever you do, it will make a difference.

I can’t wait to see the photos.

Thank you for making a difference.

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8 10, 2012

THE SECRETS OF A SUCCESSFUL EVENT

By |2017-03-03T12:07:03-05:00October 8th, 2012|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , , , , |2 Comments

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Last week I spoke at an event entitled Successful Showroom Selling; my topic was Creating Traffic Using Events And Social Media. The event is held at Crossville Inc. in Crossville, Tennessee and is very well attended. The  people attending are top notch designers and salespeople who have held events before.  I spoke about how to use social media to  kick up the excitement provide good followup.

Great events require planning and follow up. Mediocre events are another story; unfortunately most businesses produce mediocre events. The difference between the two isn’t much but does take more planning. I’ve downloaded a link on planning an event on a tight budget.

Here’s the scoop on getting your event from boring to great:

Get excited. If you want your guests to have a good time and show up, you’ve got to act as if it’s your first birthday party. Decide on a theme that everyone loves so you’ll have lots of buy-in. It’s just as much work to do something that isn’t much fun as something that in. Actually it’s more work to do something you don’t really like.

Be timely. This time of year there are lots of events you can get involved in; events that will have national appeal and provide great partners to support what you’re doing. October is Breast Cancer Awareness month (Pink) as well as Domestic Violence Awareness month (purple). It is also Sarcastic month and Adopt a Dog month. If you need good ideas go to October awareness month. Plan  your events for a 12 month period.

Ask all of your customers about their social media preferences. I can’t stress this enough. To have a successful  party you  need lots of people. It’s up to  you to build your party list! This list is more than a party list, it’s a potential customer list. Inviting potential customers to a party is a good way to get to know them. Create a good experience for your guests and they’re sure to be back when they need  your products.

Find willing and resourceful partners. Join up with not-for-profits who have substantial mailing list and  will help out during the event s well as  follow up. Partners who don’t have a social media plan won’t be able to get  you party guests or potential customers  Other partners can include  businesses who have interesting products or services that would be fun for your guests.

Assign everyone on your team a list of guest to invites. Not long ago I was at an event hosted by a 100 year old business.  It was a fun, women’s night out but was poorly attended. None of the salespeople invited their customers and it was up to the owner to invite all of the guests. I couldn’t believe the salespeople were on commission and weren’t assigned the task to bring at least 20 of their best customers. (A 100 year old business should be able to scare up at least 20 customers per salesperson, right?)

Do your homework. Send out written invitations, follow up with phone calls and then call a day or so before the event. Also offer to pick up your best customers! This really works great and your guests will be thrilled.

During the event. Post photos and tag people on Facebook, get testimonials, and tweet during the event. Show your guests how special they are. Engage in on line conversations with your guests and talk up your next event. After the event blog about it and keep the buzz going on Facebook.

Provide a great experience for your guests so they feel welcome.Over the last several years the innovation discussion has shifted from a focus on a product to and business  innovation to consumer experience, this is a good article on how to get it right. Having an interesting a fun event is one way to add to the customer’s experience.

Fabulous Floors Magazine has an event planning handbook  that is available if you just send me a note.  We can help you plan the event as well as well as give you ideas for creating a theme.

It’s not over when it’s over–it’s just beginning. This is the time to send thank you notes, ask for testimonials (video testimonials are good), put up more photos and plan for the next event. You may even want to ask some of your guests to help you with your next event.

Lisbeth Calandrino is the associate publisher of Fabulous Floors Magazine as well as social media marketing. She teaches businesses how to build loyal customer relationships through customer service and sales seminars.

 

 

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16 12, 2011

Want to Stay Employed? Stop Living in the Past

By |2017-03-03T12:07:07-05:00December 16th, 2011|Categories: beliefs, Blog|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |6 Comments

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Being successful is hard work and not everyone likes hard work. It might be safe to say that many people are lazy, they do just enough to get by. I remember when I finished high school I knew I had to go to college so I could get a good job. When I went to work I found out I needed a master’s degree so I could keep my job so I went back to college. I began to notice that education never stopped except after college I would have to be responsible for my education. To stay competitive in the job market I would have to continue to learn and grow. Sometimes I had to learn things that weren’t interesting but were important to my career survival. Not only hasn’t this changed but it’s changing every day or maybe every minute. In my travels I often hear business owners saying, “I’m glad I’ll be out of this business soon so I won’t have to do that social media thing.” Chances are once they get out of  business social media will still be chasing them, especially if they want to communicate with the rest of the world.

This coming Tuesday morning, 9AM, EST on my radio show, indysmallbiz.com I will be interviewing Tom Denham, owner of Careers in Transition. Tom is going to talk about what we can do to stay on top of our career. Check out my Facebook for the link to the show.  

Here are 8 things you can do right away:

1. Always be curious and interested in the world around you. It may be more exciting than you think. Dive into your life, get excited. Excitement is catching. People who are exciting are fun to be around and very motivating. Look out around you, what do you see, what’s out there waiting for you? Think about an event you’re going to attend in the future and get excited. What is going on in your life at this moment that can make you excited?

2.  Read articles that keep you current with changes in your industry. What you remember from the 90’s might not help you. Read articles from industry experts, join LinkedIn or check out Facebook. If you’re in the flooring industry join us on Fabulous Floors Magazine facebook page and join the discussions. If you want to give “red hot customer service” you have to know your products.

3. If training is offered to you, particularly for free, take it. Taking classes will help motivate you and improve your outlook on life. Look for training classes in your community, are there free classes you can take or some for very little money?

4. Take a college class and brush up on your writing skills or take any class that helps you to think. You know the old saying, learn it, teach it, do it. Or is the new expression,  Teach It, Tech It, Learn It, Lead It, by the way, this is a great blog. Whatever you learn, share it with everyone; if you can teach it you probably understand it. 

5. Be responsible for your own education and learning. This may mean investing your own money so you can stay in the game and remain employable. It’s a competitive world out there and the winners will be those who keep up on technology.

6. Question what you know and what’s new. What could you learn that would make you “more employable?” What are younger people studying in college, what skills do you need to master if you’re going to remain employable?

7. Whenever possible take a sales class even if you don’t sell professionally. We are all salespeople and always selling something including ourselves.

8. Listen and learn from others. Check out blogs that interest you and watch TV shows that do more than amuse. Check out YouTube for something you want to learn. I love YouTube you can learn everything from horseback riding to knitting.

I love this quote:

The difference between school and life? In school, you’re taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you’re given a test that teaches you a lesson.
Tom Bodett

Lisbeth Calandrino is a motivational speaker and trainer. Check out her blog, Lizbizbuzz and join her on Facebook.

                

                 

 

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17 02, 2011

LOVING YOUR CUSTOMERS GOES A LONG WAY

By |2017-03-03T12:07:11-05:00February 17th, 2011|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,