Nine Guaranteed Takeaways From Service World Expo

By Matt Michel

Are you vacillating about Service World? Do you wonder if it’s worth it? Do you think you cannot afford the cost or time away from the shop? Here are nine takeaways you will benefit from if you attend Service World.

  1. You will learn something unexpected that will change your business or your life.

Whenever I attend a conference, seminar, or trade show, I find myself, my business, or both changed. It used to surprise me. At the end of the event, I would find myself pondering the unexpected something I learned and realize that the event was totally worth it just for that one nugget.

I don’t know what your unexpected nugget will be. I just know that you will come across one or more. I no longer doubt. I will go to Service World expecting to learn something unexpected that will make a big impact and I will.


  1. You will learn new industry best practices by the sharpest residential/light commercial contractors in the world.

Service World is like the Navy’s Top Gun School for contractors. The best of the best will be there. True, there will be a great contractor here and there who won’t attend, but more top contractors will be crowded into one space at Service World than anywhere else this entire year.

These are the best because they execute well. Execution is the difference between being good and being great. However, they do more than execute well. They push the envelope. They try new things. They create the new best practices that supplant the old way of doing things because they are superior.  These contractors come to Service World to share what they’ve learned and to pick the brains of other top contractors. When you come to Service World you will get a chance to learn the new best practices years before your competitors even realize they are out there.


  1. You will return to the shop refreshed, recharged, and remotivated.

It’s not easy doing what you do. Your opportunities are other people’s problems. They don’t think of them as opportunities and get snippy if they think that’s how you see them. They just want the problems to get fixed right, fast, and affordably. Since most contracting solutions can be any two of:  good, quick, and cheap, your customers can get a tad grouchy when they discover they cannot have it all. Thus, the more opportunities you get, the more beat up you start to feel. Service World can change all of that.

There is an outstanding line up of top motivational speakers. These speakers are not cheap because they are at the top of their game. Fellow contractors speaking will also motivate, as will consultants and exhibitors. Zig Ziglar said motivation is like taking a shower. It wears off, so you need repeat treatments regularly.

Plus, there’s something downright therapeutic about talking with other contractors who face the same challenges you face. It’s even better when they faced and overcame the problems you’re wrestling with. In “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,” Stephen Covey’s last habit was “sharpening the saw” by taking time away from the day-to-day to rejuvenate yourself. Take time to sharpen your personal saw at Service World. You will return refreshed and ready to take on the world again.


  1. You will find products and services that solve unmet needs.

Contractor Ken Goodrich used to post in the Service Roundtable how much money he made from attending Service Roundtable meetings because of a new product or service he discovered. Inevitably, someone would challenge his figure because it seemed so preposterous. Ken would be ready, sharing his calculations. His logic was well reasoned and the point was made. There are plenty of opportunities for an excellent, near term return on your attendance investment if you will just spend time on the show floor and be open to what the different exhibitors are offering.

Exhibitors make substantive investments to come to Service World. Do you know why? It’s because they believe they have products and services that can help contractors’ businesses and that the case for their products and services is powerful and compelling. They believe enough contractors will recognize the opportunity and start buying to make the investment in the show is covered by the gross profit from their new sales. Think about that for a second. Odds are that there is something really good you will want to learn about in the exhibit hall.


  1. You will find products and services that will save you time, money, and aggravation over what you buy today.

Contracting Business Hall of Fame member Steve Saunders says that when he goes to a trade show, he treats it as a series of mini-seminars. Saunders stops by each booth and asks the exhibitor how he or she can help his business. It is amazing what you can learn.

All contractors struggle with the shortage of labor. All contractors want to make the phone ring. All contractors are trying to figure out how to survive in the world of Google, Amazon, and your friendly utility monopoly. All contractors want to motivate their people. All contractors offer some form of training. All contractors feel saddled with excessive amounts of inventory. All contractors have overhead. All contractors want to boost marketing conversion and sales close rates. All contractors have fleets of expensive vehicles that must stay on the road to make the company money. All contractors hate government paperwork, regulations, and red tape. All contractors have too few hours every day.

This is not news. You know it. I know it. Every exhibitor knows it. But while you are working on a multiplicity of problems, there will be exhibitors who focus on just one or two. And, they get really, really good in their area of expertise. These specialists can make your life easier, more profitable, and free up time for important things (like fishing).


  1. You demonstrate to your team the importance of training.

Do you tell your team that training is important? You should.  It is. Yet, even if you stress its importance, do you demonstrate it? Do you walk your talk? Moreover, do you truly believe that training is important? If you do, you will come to Service World.

The best way to get a technician or plumber to sell a new product is to put one in the tech’s or plumber’s home. Once they experience it, they understand the benefits and become much more effective communicating those benefits to your customers. When you come to Service World, you become better at convincing your team of the need for training in your shop.


  1. You will have networking opportunities with the best contractors and consultants in the industry.

In addition to the seminars, the breaks, and the show, Service World has networking time built in and encourages it. There are after hour events where the atmosphere is relaxed and conducive to meeting new people. Even if you’re shy and networking is not your strength, there are enough contractors and consultants present who are the opposite to guarantee you will make new friends and new connections, who can help your business throughout the year.

Canadian contractor, Joe Gerolami posted a message on Facebook asking for people to share how they met him. I was stunned at the number of people who met Joe at a contractor meeting. Joe is certainly not shy, but neither is he a guy who enters a room and calculates how much time he can spend with each person if he wants to shake hands with everyone. You will make connections. Moreover, you will make connections across the United States, Canada, and Australia.


  1. You don’t know what you don’t know.

People ask me what they will learn at Service World. I don’t know. But I know they will learn something to make it worthwhile.

I never know what I’m going to learn at a conference or trade show. If I knew, I might not attend. I go because I don’t know what I don’t know. As a curious person, I’m compelled to find out. This is why I’ve gone to and continue to attend industry trade shows in the U.S., Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, France, and Germany. I don’t know what I don’t know and I want to find out what that is.

Today, it’s more important than ever to discover what you do not know. Because of the Internet, the world seems to be changing all around us every day. You have to keep up. You have to stay on top of it.  Sometimes the only way to know what to pay attention to is to attend an event like Service World where there will be thoughtful people who have waded through the sea of noise and identified the real threats and opportunities that can affect your business going forward.


  1. You will have fun.

Finally, you will have fun. It’s fun to hang out with other contractors and industry leaders. It’s fun to be in Las Vegas. Even if you don’t gamble (I don’t), there are fun things to do. I like Red Rock Canyon, Valley of the Fire, Mt Charleston, and the Lee Canyon Ski Area. If you do not have fun… well, it’s your own fault. After all, it’s Vegas baby!


You can register for Service World Expo 2018 by following the link to the Service World Expo homepage. You will be asked to list information such as name, company, title, area, etc. You can also add other attendees and finish with summary and billing. Once registered, download our Service World Expo app where you can explore, play our game to win the Augustus suite, and schedule meetings with consultants, other attendees, and exhibitors. This opportunity is too good to miss! We’ll see you in Las Vegas!

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