Independent flooring retailers and vendors from all over the country arrived in Gig City anticipating a few days of networking, learning, food, fun and camaraderie.
That is precisely what they got at the annual FCA Network Spring Convention from March 20-24, 2019.
The four-day event was brimmed with passionate, expert presentations, educational mill tours and many hours of fellowship amongst Network members and their families.
A spirited cocktail party kicked off the event on Wednesday, the 20th. Network members mingled, enjoyed drinks and delectable edibles – the seasoned lambsicles were a particular highlight.
The convention began in earnest on Thursday. As if a great concert bill, the show opened with a lively presentation from Piet Dossche, founder of USFloors and inventor of COREtec. His energetic 45-minute set had the audience nodding with agreement between fits of laughter and eye-widening realizations. Up next, representatives from yours truly, Wallace Baxter, delivered the goods on a digital marketing program tailored for the dealers that enlightened and entertained (the upside-down screen was a pioneering feat.)
“The Retail Doctor” himself, Bob Phibbs, also hit the stage. His humorous, interactive presentation showcased ways in which the brick and mortar flooring dealer can compete with (and beat) the big box stores in any market. Day one of extensive tours at the DreamWeaver Carpet and Shaw Floors mills in Dalton, Georgia encored the afternoon, capped off by an attendee-wide evening of dinner & cocktails.
Day two was all about networking. Each vendor and dealer participated in a multi-table round-robin format, with lots of idea-sharing and communal product and service knowledge being shared. Another round of mill tours concluded the afternoon, with the locations being flipped from the day before.
Saturday the 23rd featured the second phase of vendor presentations and roundtable discussion. Upon conclusion, a free afternoon was available for attendees before a gala awards banquet at the beautiful Hunter Museum of Art. The serene setting on the Tennessee River was an idyllic backdrop for an evening of industry recognition, cocktails and a lavish four-course dinner. Live music, dancing and perusal of the impressive art exhibits accompanied the night.
In all, attendees had a wonderful time at the 2019 FCA Network Spring Convention, and excitement already abounds for the next event in September.