Navigate Your Future in Tampa, Florida
Find your direction in Tampa, and chart your course toward success. By attending the 2022 NWFA Wood Flooring Expo, you’ll accelerate your career, build knowledge, experience the latest products, and reconnect in-person.
On the following pages, you’ll find all of the details, including the event schedule.
You will have many opportunities to network, learn valuable tips and tools from the experts, and be among the first to see the latest products and trends in wood flooring.
Who you will see:
Join like-minded attendees and exhibitors who will come together at Expo to share a common passion: wood flooring.
What to expect:
Recharge, reconnect, and take advantage of educational opportunities and networking possibilities only the NWFA Expo can offer.
Graphs and Laughs with the Bowtie Economist
The theme of this year’s NWFA Wood Flooring Expo in Tampa, Florida, is “Navigate Your Future.” What better way to do that than to take a deep dive into all the factors impacting the economy? At the opening session, attendees will hear from Elliot Eisenberg, Ph.D., chief economist for GraphsandLaughs LLC, a Miami-based economic consulting firm that serves a variety of clients across the United States.
Eisenberg is an internationally acclaimed economist and public speaker specializing in making economics fun, relevant, and educational. He is a former senior economist for the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), creator of the multifamily stock index, and has testified before lawmakers.
Hardwood Floors magazine caught up with Eisenberg to learn more about him and the lessons NWFA Expo attendees can expect to walk away with following his session.
All Wrapped up in a Bow (Tie)
It probably won’t come as a surprise to you that Eisenberg received an “A” in the first economics class he took back in high school. The subject came easy to him, deepening his interest in how the economy worked, why some things are cheaper than others, and why some things are mass-produced while others are not. He went on to earn a B.A. in economics from McGill University in Montreal, as well as a Masters and Ph.D. in public administration from Syracuse University.
While Eisenberg was at the NAHB, he worked on the development of the multifamily stock index. Throughout his time there, he began doing a tremendous amount of public speaking to various home builders’ chapters around the country. It was instrumental in making his career, as he has now spoken to hundreds of business groups and associations. Through his company, GraphsandLaughs, he incorporates humor into economics.
“…Economics is deadly serious, like a lot of subjects in life. It doesn’t mean we can’t laugh along the way.”
— Elliot Eisenberg, Ph.D.
“I think economics has a reputation as being as unpleasant as a bad dentist visit. I think given a choice between macroeconomics or a root canal, most people would choose the root canal,” says Eisenberg. “The research clearly says that people are more receptive to learning when they’re happier and in a better mood. Moreover, economics is deadly serious, like a lot of subjects in life. It doesn’t mean we can’t laugh along the way. It’s looking at things a little differently, it’s explaining things a little differently, and it’s trying to have a good time along the way.”
To that end, Eisenberg took on a self-imposed challenge of writing a daily 70-word blog on the economy. It may seem like a daunting task to drill down complicated subject matter into something so brief, but he says it’s a skill he has developed.
Join Elliot Eisenberg at the Welcome Aboard Opening Session on April 12 at 4:30 PM.
“It’s amazing how much you can get in 70 words once you start throwing away all kinds of extra words,” he notes. “Some days, I can discuss so much in a blog that the reader becomes a virtual expert on the subject matter. I’ve provided so much information that the reader
can go to a cocktail party and not only say the information, but then explain it and have a really good understanding of it.”
Supply and Demand
In Hardwood Floors magazine’s 2022 Industry Outlook, contractors surveyed named home remodeling as their number one opportunity going into the second half of 2021 and into 2022. Eisenberg believes the demand for home renovations is going to remain strong.
“One, there’s not enough inventory out there, so people can’t get what they want by looking around,” he explains. “Two, builders aren’t building enough new homes, so the chance of getting a new home with the features you want is pretty low. Three, partly as a result of all of that, home prices keep going up.”
“The stock market’s done well, home price appreciation has returned well, salaries are going up at a decent clip. Collectively, more money, lack of availability, low interest rates, and high home appreciation is a pretty good combo of things that should get us continued renovation work.”
At the time of the Hardwood Floors magazine Industry Outlook survey last year, more than 40 percent of respondents reported unusually extended lead times and unpredictable supply, primarily in raw materials like hardwood, engineered flooring, solid hardwood flooring, adhesives, subflooring, and transport items like packaging and packaging accessories. Eisenberg believes the supply chain situation will improve this year. He reminds us that the reason the supply chain is so bad is due to a staggering unusual series of events.
“Demand for goods plummeted 15-20 percent in March and April of 2020. Then in relatively short order, it jumped back to where it was, and then up 20 percent. You’ve gone from 100 to 80, then up to 120,” explains Eisenberg. “Over the last six to eight months, we’ve seen demand kind of level out at that plus 20 range. There’s no evidence that the demand for stuff is continuing to rise. It’s high, but not going anywhere. This is giving supply a chance to catch up. Everything points to an improvement in the situation from both the demand side coming down and the supply side going up.”
“By the time they walk out of my session, they’ll know how the overall economy is doing, inflation, interest rates, what the Fed is going to be doing, and how the housing market is going to behave.”
— Elliot Eisenberg
Planning for Your Business
While the last two years have been unpredictable, Eisenberg does have some tips on what wood flooring professionals should take into consideration when planning for their business. He suggests expanding lines and finding solutions that require less labor.
“Installations can be the biggest problem. Yes, I can get the material, and I can get it delivered, but I can’t get it installed. So what can I do to improve my ability to install? It’s either improve the quality of my workers, hire better ones, or give them more training, skills, or education,” advises Eisenberg. “More product, different product lines, and workers who are better skilled should give you an edge in overcoming the problems we face.”
Elliot Eisenberg is called the “Bowtie Economist.” More than 20 years ago, he started wearing bow ties every day to work and, until recently, owned around 150 different bow ties.
During Eisenberg’s keynote at the NWFA Expo, the audience will hear further insights on the economy, labor and supply chain issues, inflation, housing markets, advice on reducing risk, and staying ahead of the financial curve. Be sure to attend the Welcome Aboard Opening Session on April 12 at 4:30 PM to hear more about what Eisenberg expects the economy to do throughout 2022 into the first quarter of 2023. Following his address, the NWFA Expo will host a launch party for all Expo attendees.