The 15th Custom Home Furnishings Conference & Trade Show was a roaring success! Draperies & Window Coverings would like to thank the speakers, volunteers, attendees and exhibitors for helping us make this year’s conference a truly exceptional one. With more than 750 in attendance, workroom owners, sewers, decorators, designers and exhibitors gathered together in Charlotte, NC, February 15 to 18 in a spirit of learning, sharing and networking. Highlighting the schedule were more than 50 classes/seminars—most hands-on so attendees could get right in and discover a tremendous amount of information and the solutions to the many different challenges in their workplaces.
But there were several special events that took place during the evening hours including an oversold Gala Dinner hosted by the Window Coverings Association of America (WCAA) and D&WC magazine. Added to that, The Custom Home Furnishings Academy welcomed attendees to a tour of its Charlotte facilities, which included a dinner that topped off the conference and is being raved about still today. Attendees had the opportunity to walk through the impressive Academy owned by Margie Nance and network with the school’s instructors, some of whom taught sessions at the conference, too.
Keynote speaker HGTV’s Wolfgang Schaber offered insights into how he got into the window coverings profession and had the audience laughing in recognition as he explained adjusting oversize draperies by hanging them over the railing of his balcony.
Another highlight of this conference was an expanded Working Workroom, encompassing 2,500-square-feet in the middle of the Exhibit Hall. Sloan Machinery sponsored the working sewing machines and a number of other exhibitors generously donated products to the workroom, which also was the site for the Amazing Slipcover Race.
The conference concluded with a group of warn out but well educated attendees who were reflecting on the knowledge they had picked up. Of course, the door prizes and giveaways also kept their attention right through to the closing lunch. Watch for a complete report on the conference—and photographs—to run in the April issue.
It has been said that education makes us what we are, and if that’s true than as an industry we just keep getting better!