here can you strike deals, forge friendships, discover new technologies and party with your competitors? At Showcase, of course, the annual convention and trade show for the building systems industry.

Scheduled for Austin, TX, Oct. 31-Nov. 3, this year’s event promises to be the best ever.

“We have far more people than ever before attending,” says Stanley Waddell with West Windows, Showcase chairman. “With all the educational seminars, the networking opportunities and the trade show, we are confident that this year will be the best Showcase yet.”

What sets this convention apart in the home-building industry is its intimacy and access. Typically attended by representatives of fewer than 150 systems manufacturers, all of whom are members of the Building Systems Councils (BSC) of the NAHB, these companies produce billions of dollars in residential and commercial structures annually, according to industry analysts.

In this industry, some people grin and bear it. Other people smile and change it. And Showcase has often served as a launch pad for major industry changes, with dozens of successful industry initiatives to combat governmental regulation, increase marketing presence and adopt new technologies in home building.

“This is the long lasting value to Showcase, the ability to adapt to a changing marketplace through networking opportunities,” says Ron McCaslin with Stratford Homes, Showcase vice chairman.

A lifetime of dedication to the systems-built housing industry will be recognized at a special luncheon Tuesday afternoon, when the S.A. Walters Chairman’s award is bestowed.

At a special ceremony at Showcase, the winners of the only nationwide awards competition for the systems-built housing industry will be announced. The BSC Excellence Awards, cosponsored by this magazine, honor the finest in marketing and home design. This year includes categories for manufacturers, builders and suppliers.

The deadline to enter is Sept. 10. These awards are open to BSC member manufacturers and associate members, and any NAHB builder using building systems, including concrete, log, modular and panelized construction technologies. Winners will also be featured in upcoming issues of this magazine. To receive your entry form and list of submission materials, call 800-368-5242, ext. 8576.

Keynote Speaker
Dr. Cal LeMon is a senior faculty member of the National Seminar Group, an education and consulting firm. LeMon learned that the best way to solve problems and plan for the future is through strategic thinking.

In his presentation, “Seeing Tomorrow Today,” Dr. LeMon will share the secrets to restructuring an organization for profitability and optimal success. The answer isn’t in downsizing or disciplining–it is in employing the skills of “systemic thinking” to identify, confront and annihilate the unprofitable and unproductive systems that can ruin a company. Attendees will leave Dr. LeMon’s session with concrete ideas to implement to optimize their organizations.

Exploring Your Association Membership
Free legal assistance, legislative advocacy and business management resources are just a few of the advantages of your National Association of Home Builders membership. Discover how and why with this session.

New Concrete Council
While concrete has long been a part of everyone’s construction, above-grade residential construction has exploded in the past decade. Attendees will get a personal introduction to the mission and goals of the new Concrete Home Building Council, the newest addition to the BSC.

Upgrade Sales
Your company might offer customers varying levels of options and upgrades, but are you really giving home buyers what they want? Noted speaker and new home sales veteran Jane Meagher reveals the best methods of creating a platform and a process for offering the choices today’s buyer wants in her education session, “Increasing Profits Through the Sale of Options and Upgrades.”

Marketing Technology
There’s no doubt that home buyers want their homes to include the latest technologies. Is your company prepared to provide customers with the built-in features they demand? Dean Leach, vice president of AVAD Southwest, unravels the mysteries of new home technology and how to best present them to your customers in “Marketing Technology to New Homeowners.”

Logs & The New ICC Standard
The International Code Council’s Log Construction Standards may have the biggest impact on the log home industry since the saw mill. ICC Log Construction Standards Committee Chairman and BSC member Rob Pickett will lead a panel of committee members in explaining and fielding questions about the new standards during “Design & Construction of Log Standards.”

14-Karat Gold

Salespeople make commission, managers get bonuses, but what about the plant and field workers who assemble your products? Attracting, retaining and–more importantly–motivating your workforce is more significant than ever. Showcase 2004 keynote speaker Cal LeMon will host the special breakout session, “Building the 14-Karat Gold Organization” and share the secrets of a successful business where all workers, from the top down, are satisfied and productive.

Spouse & Guest Program
Will your spouse or significant other be forced by boredom into watching pay-per-view back at the hotel? Not hardly. The spouse/guest program features a Crème Brûlée and Wine Tasting Seminar hosted by the Hilton Austin’s own chefs. This program will be held Monday from 1:30-3 p.m.

Golf Tournament
Bring your sticks to treat your industry friends or trick your foes on Sunday, Oct. 31. Shuttle buses will depart the Hilton Austin at 7 a.m. for the Golf Club Circle C, one of Texas’ finest courses. The tournament will begin at 8 a.m., followed by lunch and an awards ceremony.

Spot The Sayings
Instead of “Where’s Waldo,” our centerfold this issue includes the special feature “Spot the Saying.” Our cast of characters, those who will be on the trade show floor, are acting out various cowboy wisdom. Spot all nine sayings, label them by number and then stop by the Home Buyer Publications booth for a gift.

  1. Never approach a bull from the front, a horse from the rear or a fool from any direction.
  2. Don’t squat with your spurs on.
  3. Don’t interfere with somethin’ that ain’t botherin’ you none.
  4. Timing has an awful lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance.
  5. If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin’. 
  6. If you get to thinkin’ you’re a person of some influence, try orderin’ someone else’s dog around.
  7. Always drink upstream from the herd.
  8. If you’re ridin’ ahead of the herd, take a look back every now and then and make sure they’re still there with ya.
  9. Always take a good look at what you’re about to eat. It’s not so important to know what it is, but it’s sure crucial to know what it was.

How To Register
The cost to attend Showcase is $360 for the first BSC member and $310 for each additional attendee from the same company. Non-BSC members can attend for $460. The cost for spouses to attend is $260, with an extra $150 for the Spouse Tour. The always popular golf tournament is $115. If you haven’t received your registration packet from the BSC, use the following contact information: The Office of the Registrar, NAHB University of Housing, 800-368-5242, ext. 8338; fax 202-266-8501; e-mail registrar@nahb.com or www.nahb.org/SHOWCASE.

Sunday, Oct. 31
7 a.m.
Shuttles Depart
for Golf Tournament
8 a.m.-2 p.m.
Golf and Lunch
2-8 p.m.
3:30-5 p.m.
LHC Grading
Committee Meeting
3:30-5 p.m.
IBS Booth Meeting
5-6:30 p.m.
LHC Technical Committee Meeting
5-6:30 p.m.
Systems Builders Council Meeting
6:30-8 p.m.
Welcome Reception

Monday, Nov. 1
7 a.m.-7 p.m.

7:15-9:30 a.m.
Breakfast, Announcements and Keynote Speaker 9:30-9:45 a.m.
Coffee Break
9:45-11:15 a.m.
Two Concurrent Education Sessions
11:30 a.m.- 1:30 p.m.
Networking Lunch

11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
CHBC Steering Committee Meeting
11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
LHC Marketing Committee Meeting
1-2:30 p.m.
BSC Sales & Marketing Committee Meeting
1:30-3 p.m.
Spouse & Guest Program: Crème
Brûlée and Wine Tasting

3-4 p.m.
Excellence in
Marketing & Home Design Awards Presentation
4-7 p.m.
Trade Show/Exhibit Hall Opening
6-7 p.m.
Exhibit Hall Social Hour

Tuesday, Nov. 2

7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
7:30-9:30 a.m.
Breakfast and Association Presentation
9:30-11:30 a.m.
Trade Show/Exhibit Hall Open 
11:45 a.m.- 1:15 p.m.
S.A. Walters Chairman’s Awards
Luncheon and Ceremony 
1:30-3 p.m.
Two Concurrent Education Sessions
3-4:30 p.m.
Modular Council Meeting
3-5 p.m.
Log Homes Council Meeting
4-5:30 p.m.
Concrete Home Building Council Meeting
4:30-6 p.m.
Panelized Council Meeting
5-6 p.m.
Associate Member Council Meeting
6:30 p.m.
Shuttles Depart to Showcase Networking Gala
7:15-10:30 p.m.
Showcase Networking Gala

Wednesday, Nov. 3 8-10:30 a.m.
BSC Board of Trustees Meeting

The final schedule is subject to change.
Please refer to the on-site guide for the most up-to-date schedule.