Great Times Ahead

Laura M. Porinchak / March 2016

These are exciting times here at AWCI headquarters. Our annual convention is next month, our website’s new look is being well received by the industry, and we are already working on plans for AWCI’s Convention in 2018, which is when we will celebrate AWCI’s 100th anniversary.
    
New Orleans is once again the host city for AWCI’s 2016 annual convention and the INTEX Expo, the largest wall and ceiling trade show there is. Last year’s convention, which was held in Long Beach, Calif., was one of the best attended, one for the record books. Current comparisons show New Orleans is on track with Long Beach, and more records could be broken. At the time of this writing (in mid-February), registrations were skyrocketing and the primary hotel is already sold out. That’s always a good indicator of the construction economy—things are looking good!
    
More than 130 companies are ready to show you what they’ve got at the INTEX Expo, which will be held in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. For a preview, turn to page 47 for our annual list of exhibiting companies along with their contact information. Even if you can’t attend, this directory can be a tool you’ll use throughout the year.

For the first time in many, many years, I’m hearing some people say they can’t attend this great event because they are too busy. What a problem to have! It’s understandable. Contractors are feeling the ground firm up right beneath their feet, and they don’t want to miss any possible opportunity to fill the backlog or complete the job.
    
What is something that might keep you on the job longer? Change orders. The dreaded change orders have become more commonplace due to more incomplete drawings, say the AWCI member contractors we interviewed for the article that begins on page 30. New employees hired by general contractors and architects contribute to this trend. So do subs reject the change? Have new strategies been put in place to help avoid them altogether? Can you make sure you’re protected by the contract? For the answers, you’ll have to read the article.

I mentioned the new look of AWCI’s website earlier; it’s a renovation, if you will. Our new site contains more information than the old one, and it’s much easier to navigate. It will also work as well on your smartphone as on your computer monitor because we changed to what’s called “responsive design.” Your comments on the site are more than welcome, but to help acquaint you with the site as well as show you all the new things it has to offer, we will start running a contest next month. This contest will be based on a scavenger hunt through www.awci.org; the people who answer each website question correctly will have the chance to win some fabulous prizes.
    
So keep your eye on these pages for more details in the coming months. We will be publishing a companion article that will help you navigate the site—and perhaps win the contest—more easily. What fun we’re going to have!