You’ll always hear my husband, author and presenter, Greg Burnet, and I say that JLC Live is the best tradeshow available in the building industry. This is due in part to our long history with the magazine and its connection to JLC Live. (Greg has been a JLC subscriber since its inception—yes, he began reading at a very young age). Greg started attending the show in Providence back in the 90’s, when it was branded as the CBTC (Construction Business and Technology Conference). This was several years before I met Greg and well before 2003, when I got involved in our business. At the time I knew very little about the building industry. So at Greg's suggestion I took some classes being offered at JLC Live. 

Wow, I was off and running—accounting, marketing, estimating, contract negotiating, you name it. I took it all in like a sponge. I did this for several years, and each time I returned home re-energized to improve one or more aspects of our business. Using what I learned at JLC Live, I implemented a new accounting system, re-worked our contracts and learned all I could about marketing including how to deal with clients—both good and bad. Along the way we also met some great people, many of whom we’re fortunate to have as friends today. 

A group of JLC Live attendees check out new products on the tradeshow floor.
A group of JLC Live attendees check out new products on the tradeshow floor.

I mention all this urging you to explore the classroom offerings at JLC Live and not limit your visit to just the tradeshow floor (which has its own wealth of hands-on and product knowledge). But if you're feeling stuck in your business, need to improve your systems, talk out ideas, or just need a morale boost, I urge you to look at the education tracks that are being offered.  

To be fair, I haven’t been "upstairs" to the classes in a couple of years, but going over this year's list of presenters, I see a number of newer faces that I'm planning to check out. Bob Kovacs is doing clinics on Estimating & Scheduling, Gary Striegler is speaking about The Craftsman Led Business Model, and Matt Whitbeck talking about Exterior Sustainability. Of course, there are many great instructors returning to continue their focus on the all-important fundamentals, such as Leslie Shiner (Overhead & Profit), Tim Faller (Lead Carpenter Training & Avoiding Call Backs) and Alan Hanbury (Business Planning & Markup/Margin). 

Specialists present expert knowledge and insight on industry-related topics.
Specialists present expert knowledge and insight on industry-related topics.

I know that I probably sound a bit like a cheerleader, but I truly feel that JLC Live offers unequaled opportunities to learn about our industry, share ideas with like-minded people and feel proud about the professional work that we all do every day. As Ferris Bueller said: ”If you have the means, I highly recommend picking it up.” It's not too late. You can pick your registration here.

See you at the show! 

If you have a suggestion or would like to let us know about a training program, please send us an email at JLC_Training@hanleywood.com.