We always go to Congress, lots of seminars,meet with friends and see the latest and greatest. Tell me when you're going and we'll get together for a beer. The tailgate party is always a blast.We go all three days.
Yes I am planning to attend. Hope to get a good deal on a 32" Exmark. Went to the trade show last week by the airport and was very disappointed. Unless you wanted to buy a very large commercial mower there was little selection. Only Walker and Scag had one mower available. No representation from Exmark at all. Toro had nothing below a 72" displayed. Steiner had several tractors but at $18K they were way out of reach for me.
My partner and I are planning to go on Thursday. It'll be the first time we've gone. We'll probably sit in on a seminar before/after checking out the booths. Wouldn't be worth the drive to just walk around aimlessly.
I called you on-route to the show from my cell on Thursday but got the recorded mssg. saying you'd be out of the office during the show days. I'm guessing you only had trade show passes, and not on-site passes including seminars anyway.
Trade show was pretty cool. Saw some area dealers from Burlington/Oakville that we know and deal with. Found out that Toro is no longer offering their 0% financing deal on equipment. That closes the door on Toro for us. I prefer Exmark machines when interest rates are evenly matched.
Checked out an interesting plow design. The Blizzard Plow built by the Boss Plow guy's son. It hydraulically extends from eight feet to ten feet via two wings. The wings can be left straight, or angled forward like add-on wings on a regular straight blade.
My partner and I also sat in on Charles VanderKoi's seminar about Estimating and Bidding. Thought we might pick up some useful information. Nope. The guy is a freak. Kind of like a snake oil selling, televangelist, that suffers from Tourettes Syndrome. Buddy is walking around SCREAMING for two full hours. The only reason we didn't leave is that we'd already paid $50 EACH for the day. Should have just gone to the Trade Show and saved the extra money that the freakshow cost us.
Has anyone else seen/heard this guy? He ends his tirade by hawking his book for $45CDN (CASH), says he can't take checks and that he'll mark down those that pay and send them a copy later. Uh, yeah, right.
Saw vanderkoii and thought he was a blast. He is coming to Ottawa in Feb to the L.O. chapter. If you didn't hear something to help you make more money you wern't paying attention. Sure the guy's shpiel is weird but that's just his way of keeping our attention at the otherwise boring subject of bidding for two hours.
Most of the people at the seminar don't know how to price their work. Most Landscapers don't have a business degree and also, as vanderkoii said, we don't charge enough. You have to know your costs and most contractors don't. Why do you think there are so many fly by night opperators in this business? How many times have we seen a new company start up and not even make it through one season. One of the worst problems in this industry is low bidding,IMHO,the more people who attend seminars like vanderkoii's the better for all of us.Perhaps they will begin to see what their real costs are and stop lowering prices for those of us who need to make a profit.
Charles VanderKoi is one of the most well respected landscape consultants in the industry. If you didn't get anything out of what he had to say then you must have the "overhead recovery" method in your company working flawlessly.? Though many of the biggest companies around continuely tweak their numbers and methods in order to increase their bottomline. Makes you wonder if we can ever stop having to learn. I hope I never stop learning. I hope that I will be able to pick out the "nuggets" during a lecture from one of the most respected individuals in the industry.