Early-bird rates end Jan. 19 for the the 2018 ProSales 100 Conference this coming Feb. 28-March 2 in San Antonio, ProSales reminded dealers. It also announced details for a session at the event on "Cutting Through the Digital Noise: Navigating Strategies for Online Marketing," plus new speakers for other sessions.

The "Digital Noise" session will be led by Scott Ericson and Jennifer Swick of Wheelhouse 2020, a consultancy based in Portland, Ore. "Relationships always have and always will be the foundation of the LBM business: as an industry we like phones and faces," Ericson and Swick say. "However, it is also important to recognize that evolving technology and communication tools are changing customer habits, the way they buy and the way they interact with LBM companies. With limited resources, recognizing a return on the investment means distilling what is really important for your customers and acknowledging which stage your company is at in the digital progression."

In the session, Wheelhouse 20/20 will discuss strategies and tools that will help organizations cut through the digital noise and provide online marketing solutions that make sense for LBM dealers and customers.

Polar Explorer Ben Saunders
Leading Authorities Polar explorer Ben Saunders

Ericson and Swick will close out three days of learning, networking, and inspiration. The ProSales 100 Conference traditionally kicks off with a mind-expanding keynoter. For 2018, it'll be polar explorer Ben Saunders, the third person in history to ski solo to the North Pole and was leader of a 105-day roundtrip journey across Antarctica to the South Pole and back. He has covered more than 3,700 miles on foot in the Polar Regions since 2001. His appearance at the ProSales 100 Conference will take place just weeks after a new trip in which he made the first solo, unsupported, and unassisted crossing of Antarctica.

Attendees also can look forward to these sessions:

  • The annual mergers and acquisitions session features Chad Crow, CEO, Builders FirstSource; Ruben Mendoza, president and CEO, Foundation Building Materials; and David Dittmer, CEO of TAL Holdings, the holding company for Tum-A-Lum Lumber and an executive from Kodiak Building Partners. Michael Collins, a principal at Building Industry Advisors and ProSales' "Big Deals" columnist, will moderate.
  • The CEO panel will include 2018 Dealer of the Year Robb Wilson of Wilson Lumber, SRS President Dan Tinker, Hayward Lumber COO Paulo Sitolini (a recent addition to the panel) and Tibbetts Lumber Chairman Kyle Hooker.
  • The members of our ProSales/Dealers Choice Four Under 40 Class of 2018 will give tips on selling an LBM career to millennials. This session will be led by Bill Myrick, who at age 36 became COO of 84 Lumber and who went on to run ProBuild and, more recently, American Builders Supply.
  • Consultant Jason Forrest will explain why so many companies' training programs fail and give tips on how to make them succeed.
  • Winning over employees is a big part of implementing lean operations. To that end, consultant Scott Morrison will look at recent lean projects implemented at BMC, Shaw/Stewart Lumber, and Shepley Lumber, including how they persuaded workers to embrace the changes.
  • What will it take to get more women into construction supply? Assistant editor Marisa Mendez will explore this and related topics with Natalia Dittmer, marketing director, TAL Holdings LLC; Ann Marie Chilcutt, owner, New Home Building Stores; and Thea Dudley, vice president of financial services, SRS Distribution.
  • Mark Boud, chief economist at Metrostudy, will give his group's forecasts for 2018.

The event is open to dealers and distributors; only vendors who sign up as sponsors can attend. To register, visit here. To become a sponsor, contact Dan Colunio.