Total Solutions Plusis scheduled to take place from October 25 to 28, 2014 at the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort & Spa in San Antonio, TX. The annual conference is a collaborative effort between the Ceramic Tile Distributors Association (CTDA), the National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA), the Tile Council of North America (TCNA) and the Tile Contractors’ Association of America (TCAA), which joined the event for the first time last year.

The objective of the conference is to bring the tile industry together — allowing participants to network as well as to attend educational seminars. Last year’s event drew more than 500 attendees — an increase of 100 more people than the previous year. It is anticipated that Total Solutions Plus 2014 will also receive a positive showing.

This year’s opening keynote speaker is Scott McKain, who will present “The Collapse of Distinction: How to Differentiate Yourself in a Crowded Marketplace.” McKain creates captivating presentations and bestselling books, which reveal how to create more compelling connections between you and your customers, as well as how to stand out and move up, regardless of the economic climate in your industry.

Total Solutions Plus 2014

Total Solutions Plus will be held from October 25 to 28, 2014 at the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort & Spa in San Antonio, TX.

During breakfast on the second day of seminars, Eric Astrachan, executive director of the TCNA, will provide an overview of the array of tiles available in the market today, especially in terms of thickness and strength. He will discuss how one standard no longer applies to all tile applications. Especially for reduced thickness tiles or “thin tiles,” what opportunities are created and what are the challenges? Astrachan will explain this from an industry-wide perspective, explaining how thin tiles are different from conventional tiles in more than just thickness, and what those differences mean. He will also discuss progress toward new manufacturing and installation standards and the issues under consideration.

Comedian Frank Miles, who has performed in Las Vegas for over a decade as a juggler and magician, will give the keynote during lunch on Tuesday, October 28th. Miles had been pronounced dead following a hang gliding accident. When emergency room doctors gave him a second chance at life, he learned his first lesson. Courage, he realized, isn’t facing death — it’s facing life every day. “Laugh at Fear” is Frank Miles’ off the wall, hilarious response to his near-death experience and long road to recovery.

In addition to the keynote speakers, Total Solutions Plus will offer a full schedule of educational seminars for attendees. Among the topics on the schedule is “Best Practices of Successful Tile Contractors,” presented by James Woelfel, Dan Welch, Brad Trostrud and Jennifer Panning. These leading contractors from the NTCA and TCAA will participate in a lively discussion related to “Best Practices” in the field and the office. Topics being discussed include: quality assurance, training, bidding strategies, differentiating your company from the competition, and more. Attendees will be encouraged to ask questions and to participate in the discussion.  

Rod Sigman of Custom Building Products will speak on “Tile & Stone Maintenance Strategies.” This presentation will focus on some of the most common challenges, misunderstandings and opportunities that are associated with sealers and maintenance programs for tile and stone.

Additional seminars include: “Training For Success: A Look at Developing Successful Tile Sub-Contractor Collaborations,” presented by Chris Walker and Anthony Jung, and a “Specification Smackdown Panel” led by Mary Yocum of Crossville, Inc., architect Rick Engebretson of The RLE Group, architect/designer Susie Jauregui of Jauregui, and Al Grazzini of Grazzini Brothers.

Total Solutions Plus 2014 will also feature a Table Top exhibition from 4:15 to 7:15 p.m. on Monday, October 27th. The exhibition will provide an opportunity for attendees to interact with industry manufacturers.

As of press time, the following companies were listed as exhibitors: American Olean, Ardex, Atlas Concorde, BOE, Bostik, C-Cure, Ceramic Tool, Ceramic Tiles of Italy, Coverings ’15, Crossville, CTS, Custom Building Products, Daltile, Dansik International, Emser Tile, ETM, FinPan, Florida Tile, Florim USA, Georgia-Pacific Gypsum, Laticrete, Loxscreen, Lungarno Ceramics, Mapei, Marazzi USA, Mediterranea, Miracle Sealants Co., MLT System, Mosa Tiles, NAC, National Gypsum, Noble Co., Pearl Abrasive Co., Pliteq, ProSpec, Protecto Wrap, QEP, Russo Trading Co., Schluter Systems, Schnecher Lifson Corp., Tec, TexRite, USG, Viglacera Ha Long, Vitromex, Voguebay and Wausau Tile.