The National Wood Flooring Association’s (NWFA) annual convention at Music City Center in Nashville, set for April 16-19, will include expanded education sessions and longer trade show hours. The show’s theme is “Strike a Cord,” combining the “chord” in Nashville music with the “cord” in a cord of wood.

“Education is going to be a bigger focus,” stated Anita Howard, NWFA chief operating officer. “Our attendees indicated through surveys that they wanted more time in education sessions, so we’ve expanded those from 45 minutes to one hour each. We also added a three-hour ‘deep dive’ education session called Wood Floor University for contractors, and another for distributors and manufacturers.”

She added, “The education tracks include one for technical issues; we also are offering tracks on marketing and management. There will be a new exhibitor demonstration stage where exhibitors can showcase their products. For contractors who want to earn installation certification, hands-on testing will be offered on the show floor as well. A fun optional evening event will include a pub crawl on Music Row that will bring all the contractors together off-site for some fun, music and Nashville history.”

NWFA Certified Professionals will hold its Inspector Symposium 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 16. Open to all NWFA certified professionals and NWFA members, the symposium will offer two tracks with topics including relative humidity in the home, industry and ASTM standards, dimensional change coefficients, the role of the professional consultant, wood species identification,  wood inspection scenarios, environmental effects on wood flooring and legal responsibilities of the inspector.

Robin Crow, founder and CEO of Dark Horse Recording, will give the keynote on Thursday, April 17, with a focus on expanding business through innovation, outside-the-box thinking and evolving to a changing market. That night, the North American Association of Floor Covering Distributors (NAFCD) will co-sponsor a joint NWFA/NAFCD reception for distributor and manufacturer attendees.

On Friday, April 18, Somerset Hardwood Flooring will be offering a mill tour and “lunch-n-learn” open to architects, designers and contractors, with two CEU credits available. That night, the annual Wood Floor of the Year Awards will be held in conjunction with a seated/plated dinner and a closing concert featuring Country Music Awards (CMA) winner Pam Tillis. Attendees will also have the chance to win a VIP trip for two to the 2014 CMAs.

On Saturday, April 19, NWFA will hold a community service day, where association members and expo attendees will help install and/or repair floors for wounded veterans through the Operation Finally Home program. The group will also collect books for a local children’s hospital as it has done for the last two years.

Regarding this year’s venue, Howard noted, “This is the first year in quite some time that we’re in a citywide destination. This gives our attendees several options for hotels in a variety of price ranges, and gives us a lot more flexibility in planning the event. It truly is a beautiful venue that showcases a variety of wood species and applications.”

The 2015 show is scheduled for April 28-May 1 in St Louis. The 2016 show is set for April 27-30 in Charlotte, N.C. The 2017 show will be held in Phoenix, April 12-15. For more information, visit www.nfwa.org.