The Experience has been a staple in the restoration and cleaning industries for 17 years. Next month, Sept. 6-8, The Experience Convention and Trade Show returns to The Mirage in Las Vegas with a massive indoor and outdoor expo, breakout sessions, networking opportunities, and more.

Think this is just another industry trade show? Organizer Larry Cooper disagrees. He dove into what makes this event special in this interview with R&R.

1) Why Vegas every fall? Do attendees love that venue? What makes it such a draw?

We have been producing shows in Las Vegas for 17 years. It is easy to travel to Las Vegas and the hotels are amazing. Very few cities have rooms that can hold a show of our size. Our tradeshow is over 90,000 sq. ft. and we use an additional 50,000 sq. ft. for meeting space.

The Mirage Hotel and Casino has become a great partner and, with their great facility, it makes it a lot of fun to produce great hands-on live shows there every September. Oh yeah, and there is also gambling, bars, great restaurants, and big time shows like Love featured at the hotel.

2) How is The Experience Convention and Trade Show different from other big industry shows?

The Experience Convention and Trade Show is a one of a kind show. We feature classroom education, live demonstration and hands-on education. The Experience is all about learning hands-on, trying new tools and products, and meeting and networking with the best and brightest in the industry. We like to have fun at the show so we also have receptions and the largest industry party at the Mirage pool including dinner, drinks and live music.

3) What’s going to be new this year at the trade show and in breakout sessions?

This year’s trade show is packed with great exhibitors, new products, the most recent innovations, and the solid products that are available in our industry. We will feature a huge outdoor tent with live demonstrations – 10 truck-mounted hot water units set up for demos, contests, competitions, and just a country- type fair. Inside we will feature three flood houses - The Experience Flood House, the Dri-Eaz Flood House, and The Phoenix Flood Products Flood House. All will be built and flooded for restoration using the latest techniques in the industry. We will also test the new Shaw Carpet Backing that is water proof.

The inside area will also feature Health and Wellness, Hard Surface Floors Cleaning, and Restoration including wood floor cleaning, Shaw Carpet and Luxury Vinyl Plank, Georgia Carpet will teach workshops on selling hard surface floors, and we will have a rug cleaning workshop area.

The Diamond VIP area is also on the main floor and ICRA will have hands on live certification for carpet cleaning and carpet repair.

4)   What is your process for finding the best breakout sessions for the restoration and cleaning industries every year to be sure they are relatable to the industry’s current landscape and trends?

We talk to everyone in the industry about what is new and what innovations are coming out into the marketplace. There are new and old ideas that need to continue to be brought to the show to teach and discuss. This year’s show will feature many of these including two:

  1. Managing Ambient and Surface Temperatures in a Flooded Environment Directly Impact Drying Times with Dr. Dan Bernazzani, Sr. Vice President, Environmental Division, YOUNG & Associates and Ed Jones - Code Blue VP of Education, Research & Development.
  2. What Is In Your Mattress? with John Banta, Certified Industrial Hygienist and Author.

We are always looking for the science in the industry.

5) Tell us about this year’s keynote speaker! (I see his video on your website!)

We are very excited to have Brian Tracy as the keynote The Experience. I have been trying to get him for years. He is the mentor that I learned sales and negotiations from. His presentation will turn heads. He can make a difference in everyone’s business immediately. He will not sell anything at the event, he will only share value. This is a do not miss event. The Experience Diamond Members have been invited to a special lunch will Brian before he goes on stage.

6) What is the #1 thing you hope attendees take away from your fall conference every year?

Of course A GREAT EXPERIENCE! This show offers an opportunity to meet great people, the best vendors, great education, but most importantly learning hands-on. We learn so much more when we take the time to try it out and learn by doing.

7) Anything else?

The Experience Features the industry’s only amateur speaking contest with a $1,500 prize for the best 20 minute presentation. The Experience convention is offering an opportunity for innovation in our industry by inviting industry (amateur) speakers to present on The Experience program in Las Vegas. How can we run a fantastic business and live the life we dream about? What new technology, equipment and ideas will make it easier to build our businesses? How can we hire and enjoy great employees? We will select four amateur speakers who have a chance to make the difference and help others in your industry be successful! We have three live judges and the audience will participate in the voting. Lots of fun.

We will also feature several great pre and post education programs. The preconference program September 5th is with Howard Partridge. “How to Build a Phenomenal Dream Team for Your Cleaning & Restoration Business”? The program will be about: how to attract phenomenal team members and high-end clients, how to overcome price objections consistently, how to increase profits, and how to build systems in your business. This program is priced right at $79 for the whole day. Go online to to register or to see the whole program.