Edu-ma-cation defined: Educational opportunities that make sense but have poor attendance
Manufacturers and supply store managers alike are grumbling a bit these days as their efforts to educate tradesmen on best practices and best use of their products are experiencing poor attendance. Events that often had 40 to 50 attendees in prior years now have eight or 10. It leaves everyone — including me — scratching their heads.
At Concrete Decor we understand the challenges of low attendance. After all, we produce the annual Concrete Decor Show and wonder why so many aren’t there. Decorative concrete is a technical trade. In my opinion, the only sure-fire way to turn this industry into a DIY market is to ignore the fact that technical expertise is the straightest line between a business’ success or failure. This is a technical trade where fundamental skills are the bedrock upon which other skills can be developed and supported. There is no way around it either. If you want to have the reputation as a technical expert, you have to invest time and resources into this process. And when you feel like you have learned everything then you need to start sharing your knowledge with others. That’s what successful trades do.
To suggest that current workloads are just too demanding is understandable. But not making time to invest in your own business or technical skills is like taking an unnecessary risk in life. I know this too well myself. It was only a few years ago that I finally started taking time out of my busy schedule to attend CEO conferences where I could hear from other field experts and gain new perspectives for ways to improve personally and professionally. Now it’s a part of what I do every year. I couldn’t imagine doing business any other way — nor should you.
When education is being offered — seize it. When events include networking opportunities — seize them. When a store includes promotional events with some product demos mixed in — be there!
Believe it or not, customers are actually OK with waiting when they know that your company makes these kinds of ongoing investments in its people and customers. I won’t even begin to talk about the headaches that happen when the job site is unorganized, unsafe or where delamination occurs because someone got too anxious and said, “Just get it done!”
Training, tech-time, edu-ma-cation, coffee break, tailgater – call it what you like. By all means though, never ignore it. Your business, my business and so many others in this industry rely on your ability to deliver professional results that continuously distinguish this trade from everyone else