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Expo Education and Training Opportunities

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Tuesday, February 6

Know what you have in your Product

7:30-9:00 AM

Pamela Deats Connaly, Custom Built Awards
Session Code 101

To achieve profitability in your company, it is crucial to have a clear understanding of the components that make up your product. The expenses related to overhead, and staff are significant factors that contribute to the "hard cost" of each job. Once I discovered the solution to properly manage these costs, my company experienced significant growth. This seminar will explain a simple formula for calculating overhead costs, including the cost of current and future employees.
0.15 CEUs Business

Let's get Jiggy

7:30-9:00 AM

Steve Utick, Rocky Mountain Laser Arts LLC
Session Code 102

An introductory guide on utilizing LightBurn and CorelDRAW for the purpose of crafting jigs tailored to meet the requirements of your laser engraver and UV printer. By employing these software tools, you can establish precise placements for your products within the machinery, enabling enhanced production capabilities in the realms of engraving and UV printing.
0.15 CEUs Technical

The Five Deadly Sins That Can Wreck the Exit or Sale of Your Awards Business

7:30-9:00 AM

Allen D'Angelo, Transformation Acquisitions, LLC
Session Code 103

Like most awards business owners, if this is the first time, you’re considering exiting a business, you have questions. No entrepreneur, however, should consider exiting without understanding “a clear business plan and a personal wealth plan to get them to where they want to go.” Sometimes the best advice you can get when you are thinking about exiting your business is determining when you can exit your business or whether it should be exited. In this session, you will learn the 11 Questions to Ask Yourself in Preparing for Exit Planning, the Five Deadly Sins That Can Wreck The Exit or Sale Of Your Awards Business, and How to Build a Well-Resourced Exit and Acquisitions Team Around Yourself.
0.15 CEUs Business

Examining the Properties and Possibilities of Fiber Laser Marking Systems

epilog laser logo9:30-11:00 AM

Bob Henry, Epilog Laser
Session Code 111

Fiber laser systems and applications are becoming increasingly popular in the awards and personalization industries. Though they are more specialized than CO2 laser systems in terms of compatible substrates, engravers who have a diverse range of customers and applications can benefit from having this more industrial type of machinery. Likewise, engravers who are looking to expand their service offerings can allow them to quickly and efficiently tackle jobs that are not well suited for their CO2 laser equipment.

This informative lecture will cover the principles of how fiber laser systems work, how it’s different from CO2 laser systems, and common applications ideally suited for this type of technology. We’ll also offer live demonstrations of two types of fiber-based laser systems including flatbed and galvo systems. Participants will leave the session better educated about the exciting possibilities of fiber laser technology, and whether this type of equipment is a fit for their business.
0.15 CEUs Technical

The Importance of Content Creation In Your Business

9:30-11:00 AM

Trevor Wanamaker, Maker Experiment
Session Code 112

In this session, you will learn how important content can be for your business. Whether it’s social media posts, product listings, or blogs, creating evergreen content is a great way for your business to grow.
0.15 CEUs Business


CorelDRAW: Review, Photographs & Productivity

12:30-2:00 PM

Randy Allen, Engraving Concepts
Session Code 121

In this session, we aim to give users a concise overview of powerful tools, artwork, and features. We will focus on using CorelDRAW to produce laser-engraved photographs and provide both basic and advanced tips to boost productivity in the shop.
0.15 CEUs Technical

Company Culture and Sincere Management: A Recipe for Hiring and Retaining Talent

12:30-2:00 PM

Melissa Swander, AWARDS4U
Session Code 122

Recruiting and retaining talent can be challenging. Discovering new ways to adapt to the current employee market is essential for successful onboarding and low turnover. This session aims to demystify the process with a focus on leadership and company culture as the backbone of retention.
0.15 CEUs Business

Unlocking Business Growth with AI: Harnessing Innovation in Awards and Personalization

12:30-2:00 PM

Dan Bencsik, Bux-Mont Awards
Session Code 123

Discover the power of AI in customer engagement for awards and personalization. Learn practical strategies and insights to improve experiences and gain a competitive edge. Embrace AI as a powerful tool for business growth.
0.15 CEUs Technical

Open an Etsy Shop

2:30-4:00 PM

Lauren Kilgore, Handmade Seller University
Session Code 131

If you've ever thought about expanding your reach and taking advantage of the 90 million built in buyers on Etsy's marketplace, this class will guide you on how to open an Etsy shop! Together we'll walk through the beginning steps of opening a shop and you'll learn how to list your first item on the platform.
0.15 CEUs Business

Laser Engraving Photographs - The Next Steps (AND a LIVE demo)

2:30-4:00 PM

Jason & Deanna Ramm, Centex Laser Engraving & Embroidery
Session Code 132

Learn the latest trends in photograph engraving with Jason and Deanna. They'll share tips on processing and conversions, as well as a live demonstration from photo to final product in Corel.
0.15 CEUs Technical

The Magic of Customer Service

2:30-4:00 PM

Justin Varn, Awards4U
Session Code 133

Have you ever wondered what separates Disney©, Ritz-Carlton©, Chick-fil-A© or Apple© from their respective competition? It's simple customer service. In this seminar you will learn everything you need to set yourself apart in the personalization industry. We will cover the framework needed to go from good to great when dealing with customers of all sizes. No matter if you are a one-person show or a company that employs several customer service reps, join us as we go over tips and tricks that will be sure to elevate your customer service to the next level.

0.15 CEUs Marketing/Sales

101 Ways to Grow Your Business with Heat Transfer Vinyl

JDS sign supply logo4:30-6:00 PM

Colin Van Lint, JDS Sign Supply (Co-speaker: Dave Haan)
Session Code 141

Many people associate Heat Transfer Vinyl (HTV) with apparel only, but it can actually be used on a variety of surfaces. This class will provide hands-on demonstrations of the various substrates that can be used with HTV, and show how the creative application of HTV can benefit your business.
0.15 CEUs Technical

High Impact, Common Sense Hiring & Retention

4:30-6:00 PM

Bill Collier, Arch Engraving
Session Code 142

Discover effective strategies for small businesses to enhance their hiring and retention techniques and boost profitability amidst the challenges posed by the pandemic. Let me showcase some valuable insights by drawing from the exemplary approach of Arch Engraving.
0.15 CEUs Business

Roundtable Discussions

4:30-6:00 PM

Session Code 143

Pull your seat up to a table and join engaging conversations with your colleagues. The Roundtable Discussion is intended to provide you with direct access to industry experts. This is your opportunity to ask questions and share ideas on a trending topic that impacts your business.
There are four round table discussions that will explore:

Our moderators are geared up to share their best practices and provide you with tangible steps that you can execute right away into your day-to-day operations.
0.15 CEUs Business

Wednesday, February 7

Colorfill: Hands-On Session

rayzist logo7:30-10 AM

Liz Haas, Rayzist
Session Code 401

During this hand-on session, you will paint a wine bottle, wine glass, and rock as well as sandcarve one project for a highly unique textured (relief carve) appearance.
.25 CEU Technical
Price - $125 Members/$150 Non Member

CorelDRAW: All About Wood and Adding Bling to Your Engraving

7:30-10 AM

Doug Green, Express Yourself
Session Code 402

CorelDRAW expert, Doug Green will show you how to get more and better results from engraving wood and how to add “bling” with a variety of inlays including wood, Epoxy, Mother of Pearl and more.
.25 CEU Technical
Price - $125 Member/$150 Non Member

PROSPER Formula for Personalization Businesses

7:30-8:30 AM

Eddie Hill, CRM, Award Masters Inc.
Session Code 201

Einstein once said, "Compounding is the most powerful thing in the universe". The "PROSPER Formula" is comprised of seven powerful tactical marketing and operations ingredients you can immediately implement in your business. Each ingredient builds upon the other to create a massive compounding increase in your profit. Join APA Speaker of the Year, Eddie Hill to realign your thinking, improve your skillset, and grow your business!
0.1 CEUs Business

UV Printing: From Production to Profitability

logojet logo7:30-8:30 AM

Evan Reutling, LogoJET
Session Code 202

UV printing has opened the doors for full color when it comes to items in the awards and promotions space. By implementing higher efficiency in both technology and production methods, you can boost your profits. Evan Reutling, Applications Specialist at LogoJET, will walk through the steps from printing to production to profitability.
0.1 CEUs Business


7:30-8:30 AM

Session Code 203

0.1 CEUs Technical

The Bottom Line of Happy Employees: How Company Culture Drives Success

9:00-10:00 AM

Lexi Boyd, B&A Metal Graphics
Session Code 211

Join this session for an engaging discussion about how your company culture and leadership qualities can minimize turnover and increase profit and longevity. We aim for attendees to leave with fresh ideas and actionable steps on how to cultivate a positive and successful workforce.
0.1 CEUs Business

Community Marketing: Leveraging local events and networking

9:00-10:00 AM

Crystal Evans, Conejo Awards
Session Code 212

Learn about effective ways to market your business to your local community. There are various events that local businesses participate in and a variety of ways to increase brand recognition without breaking your marketing budget.
0.1 CEUs Marketing/Sales

Laser Hacks to Expand Business and Increase Productivity

9:00-10:00 AM

David Stevens, Trotec Laser
Session Code 213

This session will provide new insight into ways you can grow your business and generate more revenue with your laser. Instruction will include processing techniques that will boost efficiency and increase the value and selling prices of your finished goods. Attendees will also gain insight into ways to broaden market reach and win new customers.
0.1 CEUs Technical

Thursday, February 8

Blazering – Lasering with Sandcarving

trotec logo ikonics logo7:30-10:30 AM

Darin Jones, IKONICS and Dave Stephens, Trotec
Session Code 403

This hands-on technical session explores the innovative fusion of two distinct but complementary technologies, laser engraving and sandcarving. Seminar participants gain insight on how to upsell to glass customers by transitioning from their laser's shallow etch to the smooth-sanded, deep-carve capabilities of a sandcarver. In addition, participants will work with substrates that were traditionally difficult with lasers, such as polished metals and hard ceramic glazes. Instructors, Dave Stephens of Trotec and Darin Jones of IKONICS Imaging, are experts in their respective technologies. John and Darin will empower participants with a working knowledge to combine laser with sandcarving in one process to enhance offerings.
.25 CEU Technical
Price - $75 Member/$100 Non Member

How to Sublimate with an Oven or Heat Press: Hands-on Session

makerflo logo7:30-10:30 AM

John Modi, MakerFlo Crafts
Session Code 404

Discover your inner artist and delve into the world of full-color customization with MakerFlo Crafts' all-encompassing course on Sublimation. This course will teach you everything you need to know about the business of sublimation, including the essential tools such as sublimation ovens, presses, and top-of-the-line Epson printers. With these advanced resources at your disposal, you'll be able to create personalized, vibrant products that are sure to impress your customers and expand your product line. Gain a thorough understanding of the intricacies of sublimation, allowing you to incorporate this technique quickly and easily into your current operations.
0.25 CEU Technical
Price - $75 Member/$100 Non Member

Successfully Manage a Personalization Business on Lean Manufacturing and Process Improvement

7:30-9:00 AM

Geoff Warleigh, Premier Awards/Rayzist Photomask (Co-speaker: Billy Willis)
Session Code 301

Operating Premier Awards in Australia, Geoff Warleigh has built his business on maintaining specific standards of quality and service. His business services government, county, and city projects, and is the main source for the corporate awards, donor recognition, and memorial industries. He will share his practical experience of successfully operating a daily workflow, staff, and implementing lean manufacturing adjustments that have increased daily production. Geoff will describe in detail why and when he chooses to laser vs sandcarve orders. In a service-related industry, there is always room for improvement!
0.15 CEUs Business

CorelDRAW for Beginners and Advanced Users

7:30-9:00 AM

Doug Green, Express Yourself
Session Code 302

Join CorelDRAW expert, Doug Green to learn tips and tricks to help you better utilize CorelDRAW!  You'll learn how to turn clipart into a vector object, hot keys and Macros to help you draw faster, and more. This session is for all CorelDRAW users, from beginners to advanced users. 
0.15 CEUs Technical

Strategies for Hiring and Developing People: Developing a Workforce to Support our Partners

9:30-10:30 AM

Lindsey Moellers, Gemini
Session Code 311

This session will be filled with stories, tips, and missteps that have helped Gemini reduce turnover, increase employee engagement, and foster a culture where people feel valued all while being challenged with COVID-19, the great resignation, and rapid growth. Participants will gain valuable knowledge on how Gemini supports our partners and how these strategies can be translated into action with their own teams.
0.1 CEUs Business


9:30 - 10:30 AM

Session Code 312

0.1 CEUs Business

Streamline Production

9:30-10:30 AM

Megan Raymond, Raymond's Trophy & Awards
Session Code 313

Time is Money - streamline your business for better productivity and multi-tasking in order taking, design, proofs, production, and pick-up. We'll cover how to make your workspace more productive, how to help your designers manage jobs in a more productive manner, and tips for following through ensure attention to details. Learn to make every single movement/action count.
0.1 CEUs Technical


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