The Wallcoverings Association (WA) held its 2018 Annual Meeting in Clearwater Beach, Fla. The annual meeting drew more than 150 wallcoverings distributers and suppliers to the Opal Sands Resort, where attendees experienced two and a half days of networking and education.
In addition to networking, the annual meeting offered a main stage lineup, including talks from motivational speaker Chip Eichelberger of Big Speak; insights into the future of the hospitality industry from Rouse Media President Glenn Haussman; an update from Vinyl Institute CEO Dick Doyle; a talk on the multi-generational workforce by Phil Gwoke of BridgeWorks; and a 2018 trends forecast from Interior Design publisher Carol Cisco.
The opening networking reception on Sunday brought attendees together for cocktails and conversation. Monday evening honored two figures in the wallcoverings industry. During a dedicated dinner, the WA honored Gary Morris, founder of Eykon Design Resources, with the President’s Award, and Janice Hofmann, president of Creative Strategies Public Relations, with the Service Excellence Award.
WA Executive Director Matt Bruno also unveiled a redesigned website, with the 2018 goal of promoting the experience of wallcoverings taking center stage to define commercial and residential spaces. “The look and feel of our website communicates what we envision for the WA and the industry as a whole, as we look to the future,” says Bruno. “We have worked to position our website as a resource hub for the industry. With the design and ease-of-use, we feel we are poised to deliver on our commitment to wallcoverings.”
For the first time, annual meeting attendees had the opportunity to reserve pop-up meeting rooms in which they held individual supplier meetings. The chance to meet one-on-one is one aspect of the WA Annual Meeting and allows for connections to be made and maintained year-over-year.
The 2019 WA Annual Meeting will take place Jan. 26 – 29, at the Key Largo Marriott in Key Largo, Fla.