Kiosk of the 2010 Remodeling Show in Baltimore

Why Attend?

Truth – It’s not like I have the motivation, the budget or the time to attend our industry’s trade shows.  So even when the 19th Annual Remodeling Show and Deck Expo came to MY town (Baltimore) last week, I still only managed to squeeze a few hours out of my schedule for it.

And . . . with no point of reference – I’ll say this; I was impressed by the turn out.  Though I can’t speak directly to the number of attendees, I can say I was slightly awestruck by the number of presenters, the smoothness of the event as a whole, as well as by some of the more elaborate exhibits.

And if you think I am here now to provide in-depth coverage on new products or techniques or any other such news, you might as well just stop reading here.  I did not attend any workshops, I didn’t do my RRP training, nor did I sit in on any sustainibility seminars.

The only product booths I spent more than a minute at were those of Tile*Redi, DuraDeck and Festool (more on that one down below).  I was there, at the Show, for one reason and one reason only . . . no, actually two — to check it all out and well . . . to put some faces to some of the names, OK – in most cases . . . to the twitter handles . . . that I know.

To Network with Others in the Remodeling Industry

Todd Fratzel Robert RoBilliard Ethan Hagan at 2010 Remodeling Show

* Home Improvement Bloggers

First stop — @SLSConstruction. Sean Lintow (“lint on your toe”), Sr, and nowhere near the 60-year old dude that I always imagined.  Sean is an Alabama-based contractor with no noticeable signs of anything southern.  An Arizona transplant, a one-time IT guy and avid road cyclist . . . now sometimes blogger (who did a fantastic job with disseminating good information about the EPA’s RRP rule change), Sean hit me quickly with a card for his latest business initiative —  Alabama Green Building Solutions.  He had some sound advice, too, for me and for Building Moxie – “do it more on weekends . . . as you get it started.”

Next, Sean and I found our way to a blogger’s round table — the table was round and they were just finishing up lunch. We caught – Ethan (who I interviewed previously) @OneProjCloser, Todd Fratzel (Home Construction and Improvement and others) @tfrazel, and Robert RoBilliard (A Concord Carpenter) @robertrobillard as they were talking shop over some remnants of purchases from the nearby food court. I had eaten earlier.

(See a later Interview with Todd Fratzel, there.

Shake hands, exchange cards, and they were about to hit the exhibit floor again . . . and soon. Sean had a cheeseburger and fries, and I still had enough time to bitch about my site’s speed.  These guys know about the trials and tribulations of blogging.  Each now receives thousands of hits a day, and they served me up some good advice.

Michael Anschel Carl Seville Sean Lintow at the 2010 Remodeling Show

* Thought Leaders in Home Performance Arena

Next — Sean and I popped over to see @GreenCurmudgeon (aka Carl Seville) and his exhibit-floor presentation on Home Performance.  Not two slides into it, we (Sean & I) were greeted by the charismatic and (*errrrmmm* *errrrmmm* – two throat-clears) well-dressed @michaelanschel – action and distraction in tow.

And only a few seconds later, the poking and good-natured ribbing between Sean and Michael began (picture me, of course, “Focus jb! What did Carl just say?”).  Throughout the presentation, Carl spoke several times directly to Michael – and I saw why . . . earlier and at one point, Sean actually referred to them (Carl and Michael) as “the dynamic duo” (or some other equivalent).

What I ultimately heard of Carl’s presentation was outstanding.  Based on article he did for Home Energy Magazine, I think I caught Carl saying  such things as — “. . . We are looking at an opportunity to retool this industry . . . .  As the term ‘design build’ slowly crept into the vernacular so too will ‘Home Performance’. . . .”

fun photo Michael Anschel Carl Seville Sean Lintow at the 2010 Remodeling ShowAlso I think I heard things along the lines of — “. . .  It’s in the process and not necessarily the products . . . .” And that — “. . . We in the industry can lead the way . . . we can transform (the landscape) of existing homes to make many more comfortable and healthier, while saving energy along the way . . . .”  At least I think I heard Carl say that stuff — can’t really tell you for sure.

* World Class Remodelers

Later and as I tried to squeeze just an hour of *me* time out of the Show, I stopped in one of the more “scenic” locations on the exhibit floor to snap a pic. But as I was doing so, I just happened to glance over to see another face I recognize – yeah, just by chance – Indianapolis-based and Big 50 remodeler @ChrWright of WrightWorks, LLC.

Chris Wright of WrightWorks at the Festool Booth at 2010 Remodeling Show

He was hanging at the NARI booth, and I got confirmation almost instantly — this is a guy that is Doing It Wright (ok – Chris you can have that one – no charge). What I mean — Chris, a good looking guy, has done a great job of “branding” himself through social media. (See the facebook link above.)

See a later Interview with Chris Wright, there.

The balance of my time at the show was spent chatting with Chris.  We discussed such things as his business operation, the merits of Festool power tools, and (surprisingly) the benefit of forums for the growth of a/the (small) business contractor.  JLC-Online Forum as well as the forum at Remodel Crazy came up frequently as Chris heralded the ability of participants to interact, engage, and share in these types of environments.


While I asked several people (and even some random folks in line at concessions) the same question: What has been the highlight of the Show so far for you?  I think Sean Lintow said it best, and his response came something like this — “Seeing the people.”

I had to agree and left longing for more time there that week.  There were certainly a few more people and things I would have loved to have seen — Maybe next year, they say — but I guess it won’t be quite so convenient. Chicago.


See Sean Lintow’s coverage here.

For our coverage throughout the years from the Remodeling Show.

Thanks for reading & BMoxie BMore!

23 thoughts on “Building Moxie Goes to the Remodeling Show

  1. Hark! I believe you are the only one to capture a picture of the elusive Sean Lintow! Glad you were able to go and place a few faces. It reallys sounded like an awesome event. Yes, Chicago is a haul, but maybe they’ll come back this way again?

  2. hey Todd — good meeting you and thank you for the offer. I will ping you (via email) at some point this week. Have a great one.

  3. Thanks Ethan. Good seeing you again – pic turned out good huh. I will look into DreamHost as you suggested and will let you know how it goes.

  4. as a trade show vet — Sean made a great guide. I was pretty much walking around in sensory overload. But had a couple good laughs and saw some things. b did some time in Chicago and he wrote this morning and said he wants to hit it next year. I say somebody needs to pay me for this. thanks for the comment Amy. g’day.

  5. Wow…Lintow is pushing sixty? That’s a big relief. For a while there, I was beginning to think I was the oldest dude in this online milieu (just teasing you, Sean! :-)

    jb, I am glad you wrote this wonderful recap. It’s really great to finally see faces, plus some additional insights and anecdotes that helps add yet more dimensions to people that I’ve come to know mainly via Twitter.

    Despite the awesome power of social media, there’s still nothing compared with meeting folks face to face. Like yourself, I have very little time to make it to these shows, but I am hoping that in time that will gradually change.

    Great posting, jb, and thanks!


  6. Jeez — John long weekend — too many editorial oversights and I am sure there are more.

    I don’t know what it is but I hear Sr. and I think well — old. (again no offense Sean) and I do not know his age — if he’s pushing 60 he looks good.

    face to face is key and i know personally I spend enough time on this thing — that I forget that there are real people behind and driving these online presences (<< that's a word). It certainly was refreshing. have a great day John -- thx for the comment.

  7. jb,

    I was totally kidding around with that one.

    I completely realized how you meant it…not that he actually was sixty!

    But neither Sean nor I ever pass an opportunity up to bust the other’s chops, so I just couldn’t leave that one alone….. :-D

    Funny thing is, I actually *am* on the verge of turning 50. So I am always joking about desperately trying to find folks in my social circles who are actually older than me…it’s becoming more and more of a rare occurrence!

    Later, bud.

  8. didn’t take it any which way (and notice how Sean hasn’t chimed in yet) – I was just exclaiming that I missed a few things in my late night edit . . . and man RemodelCrazy driving some traffic at me today . . .really slowing things down.

    And speaking of 60 and RC — The Paul would be the first one to point out that 60 really isn’t that old. smiles

  9. Thanks for the shout out, and my (marginally sincere) apologies for making fun of your feeble mind in my tweet about your post. Glad you enjoyed the presentation.

  10. just as long as I don’t have to retract anything! — I’m cool. thanks Carl for the comment. I pledge my *full* attention at some point in the near future. ~ jb

  11. JB, Nice recap. Love the double-clearing of the throat when announcing my appearance! Thank you for posting the picture of Carl and Sean attempting to flip me upside down. It provided plenty of laughs on this end.
    Carl is old, but he does get it right often enough. I can’t blame him for his obsession with energy. A lot of old hippies (many of whom are writing policy these days) are still in love with that subject. All I can tell you is that I am doing my best to help him get through it. One day at a time, as they say. ;)

  12. Michael I have to admit this is one of the better comments I have gotten on my slow-ass blog.

    never has a nice dig been filled with so much love and respect.

    thanks for checkin’ in. and hopefully talk more soon.

  13. It was great meeting you at the show JB. Thanks very much for the mention.

    As was said, one of the best reasons to attend these shows is the opportunity to connect and network. It’s great putting a face and voice to the blogs, tweets, articles, rants and raves we all follow along with here and elsewhere on the net.

    It was great talking with you and I’m sure our paths will cross again.


  14. Agreed on all fronts Chris. It was a pleasure and thanks for the comment (esp. with all the site troubles today). good luck finding a new office manager. and we’ll chat again soon.

  15. John, I’m not saying I’m older than you, but I am in your realm. But then, I’m not in your profession. Social circle is up to debate after I zinged you last week!

  16. I will not take the bait you set (you little twerp!). I am confident that I get it right more often than most people (including you!). Respect your elders, pay attention, and maybe you’ll learn something one day.

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