The Katz Roadshow: Advertising and marketing By way of Training

“How did you begin the Roadshow?” I can’t rely what number of instances I’ve been requested that query. There are two solutions—a protracted one and a brief one. The quick one is: arduous work, luck, and alternative. The lengthy reply…

Anderson Plywood, 2015 (Be aware: Click on any picture to enlarge)


Every time a giant change happens in my life, I usually consider Larry Haun and a passage from his final and—in my view—his most consequential e book, A Carpenter’s Life:

“Change, even minor change, will be robust to face and doesn’t come simple for many of us. We get used to our routine methods of residing, even when issues usually are not what we want; we choose to stay with ‘the tried and the true.’ Even a change like switching off a senseless TV program to learn a very good e book shouldn’t be simple. We get in a rut and discover it tough to get out. However shouldn’t be change actually all there’s?”

Picture by Dean Dela Ventura

Larry was extraordinarily perceptive. Having grown up in Wyoming the place the one factor that ever modifications is the rate of the wind, Larry was particularly delicate to the winds of life. Change is de facto all there’s and it’s usually precipitated by a single seemingly unimportant occasion or expertise.

Rings Finish, 2008

Again within the early Nineties, I began publishing articles in High quality Homebuilding and JLC. In late 1998, I revealed my first e book, The Door Hanger’s Handbook. Shortly afterward, my cellphone rang and the caller stated: “Hello Gary, that is Craig Savage.”

If you happen to’re below 40, chances are you’ll not know who Craig Savage is, so think about a world the place there is no such thing as a social media, no cell telephones, no digital cameras, no GPS, no impression drivers! And no web. If you happen to needed to be taught, you learn books and also you subscribed to magazines. I used to be very aware of the identify Craig Savage. In spite of everything, he wrote the primary up to date e book on end carpentry: Trim Carpentry Strategies.

Craig requested me if I’d take into account doing a door-hanging presentation at JLC LIVE!  Sure, publishing articles, after which a e book, result in JLC LIVE! That’s an instance of how one small change impacts and precipitates one other, after which one other…

Jed Dixon (with a ponytail) at JLC LIVE! Columbus, 2005

For 2 years, I hung doorways (no prehungs! scribe, aircraft, butt, bevel, and bore) at JLC LIVE. Each hour I began the method over once more, 4-6 doorways a day, and generally pairs, too, with astragals and flush bolts. My second yr, the oldsters at JLC LIVE requested if I may set up trim, too. The next yr I met Craig Flynn—President and CEO of WindsorONE.

Evanston Lumber, 2005

Craig watched my first trim clinic. Afterwards he stated: “You ought to be doing this at lumberyards. All around the nation.” I stated: “Proper.”

Lower than a yr later I noticed Craig once more at one other JLC LIVE occasion. He slugged me within the arm, fairly arduous. He was pissed. “Hey! I instructed you! You ought to be doing this at lumberyards all around the nation!”

Marvic Provide, 2010

Once more, I stated: “Proper.” In spite of everything, I used to be only a end carpenter who took per week off of labor 4 instances a yr to do carpentry demonstrations at a nationwide commerce present.

However Craig wouldn’t surrender: “I’m severe,” he stated. “I’ll have my gross sales folks arrange a present. We’ll choose a lumberyard someplace near you. How a lot cash will it price me? Title a determine. Be sure it’s sufficient. What you do is necessary. I need to aid you do that all around the nation. Encourage younger folks to enter the trades, enhance craftsmanship in America.”

Ricci Lumber, 2011

Ricci Lumber, 2011

Sure, Craig Flynn stated all that—used these precise phrases—virtually twenty years in the past. Lengthy earlier than hashtags and advertising campaigns about craft and coaching tradespeople, Craig Flynn put his cash the place his coronary heart was.

And that was that. BIG change.

Ganahl Lumber, 2003

I did my first occasion at Ganahl Lumber in Orange County, CA. Earlier than the occasion, I contacted the businesses that sponsored my JLC LIVE sales space—Senco, Bosch, and Stabila. All of them needed in. The parents from Bosch instructed me they’d been making an attempt to give you a program for lumberyard occasions but it surely was all the time too costly. I solved the issue: I introduced a gaggle of sponsors collectively, known as them ‘companions’, and had the quick luxurious of ample and enthusiastic sponsorship—the start of a program based mostly on advertising by means of schooling.

IDEAS Present, 2016

Six months later, WindsorONE shipped my crate of instruments and units to Seattle and I did my first out-of-town occasion at Dunn Lumber. Just a few months later I did three occasions for Ganahl Lumber.

That yr, at JLC LIVE in Portland, in a non-public assembly room, I joined Craig Flynn, Mike Fraser from Stabila, together with advertising and occasion coordinators from Bosch and Senco. Round a big desk, the dialogue hinged on how we’d formalize the partnership, and the way we’d select lumberyards to host Katz Roadshow occasions.

Ganhal Lumber, 2004

On the spot, Jason Feldner (then advertising VP with Bosch, now Advertising and marketing Director for Canyon Creek Cabinetry) opened his laptop computer and rapidly constructed a spreadsheet. He populated it with the names of lumberyards chosen by the group, after which developed a easy methodology so the 4 taking part sponsors may vote and resolve on the High Precedence Lumberyards.

Then they dumped the arduous work on me. I needed to contact these lumberyards, introduce them to an idea they’d by no means heard of, after which persuade them to take the danger and host an occasion. I should have spoken with forty places and managed to schedule occasions at eight or ten lumberyards.

Just a few months later, I shipped my present crate to the east coast, and did three occasions in New England, with Tom Brewer from JLC LIVE as Highway Supervisor. Tom dealt with all of the gear, setup, tear down, and stored me on a fair keel. The next yr we produced 12 occasions; then we did 12 once more the following yr.

Mike Sloggatt joined the staff a yr later and we added extra sponsors and elevated the variety of reveals. Quickly my daughter Tristan joined the enterprise. She managed all contracts, with each the sponsors and the lumberyards; she scheduled all of the occasions; she managed the web sites and created invites; and ultimately edited our journal, And he or she put out fires—heaps and many fires.

HP Starr, 2018

For nearly twenty years, we have been the one nationally organized program producing peer-to-peer development coaching occasions at lumberyards all around the nation. And what a thrill, what a unprecedented achievement and immeasurable reward, to assist fellow contractors, brothers within the commerce, be taught extra about fashionable supplies in addition to reinforce the usage of conventional strategies; to assist lumberyards help their prospects with high quality academic applications that improved craftsmanship (over 400 reveals at lumberyards throughout America, and I want I may thank every one…individually…on this article!); and to work with main producers who cared about supporting schooling in our trade.

Evanston Lumber, 2009

Similar to the outdated Chautauqua occasions that introduced lecturers and dramatists and audio system to communities all through America, the Katz Roadshow introduced hands-on development coaching.

In fact, we realized so much about working with producers, advertising, and gross sales groups. There have been a variety of people concerned in our program, and a variety of totally different ‘needs.’ However one factor remained fixed: we focused on real academic displays, data that helped contractors work smarter, quicker, and extra profitably; strategies that concurrently improved craftsmanship and productiveness.

Through the years, we labored with among the absolute best producers in our trade, and I need to thank all of them:

However above all, I need to thank two corporations—two males—who actually made the Roadshow attainable: Mike Fraser from Stabila, and Craig Flynn from WindsorONE. Their help for the trades and for the Roadshow by no means pale; as founding sponsors, they continued to help this system proper till this yr, the final yr we produced occasions with a gaggle of pre-arranged sponsors. However that doesn’t imply the top of the Katz Roadshow!

Shepley Wooden Merchandise, 2016

In 2020, we’ll be producing DIRECT academic occasions for development corporations, lumberyards, producers and trade teams, with every host arranging their very own sponsorship help.

As Larry Haun stated: “Change is de facto all there’s.”

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