CKCA National Forum 2022 was held in Waterloo, Ontario, September 28 – October 1, 2022.
It was a combination of plant tours, education sessions with presenters, social events and a manufacturers roundtable and welcomed more than 125 attendees from across Canada, both manufacturers and suppliers.
CKCA President, Pete Fournier welcomed everyone and was MC for the event.
As the industry had not gotten together since Feb 2019, it was evident that a strong sense of community was enjoyed by everyone attending. With the labour shortages in our industry, manufacturers continue to struggle to pull themselves away from their business to attend. But those that did, really benefitted for the many conversations they had with their peers.
The plant tours created opportunities to get new ideas, to see how others are manufacturing in the industry. For the hosts of the tours, it was a chance to get the input from their peers. Not only did we tour kitchen cabinet manufacturers, Chervin Kitchens, Woodland Horizon, Barzotti Woodworking and Kraemer Kitchens, we also toured a cutting tools manufacturing facility, Royce Ayr. This variety exposes participants to different sizes of shops, large and small. As well, participants toured Conestoga College Woodworking Training Centre, one of the largest in North America. A chance to present to students from the Bachelor of Design program also gave attendees the chance to have one to one conversations with students, raising awareness about the many design opportunities in the kitchen industry. CKCA wants to do more of this at future events to mix and mingle with students. It’s the best way of introducing students to the many employment opportunities in the kitchen cabinet industry.
Want to watch the videos from the presentations given at Conestoga by your industry peers? Click here for details.
Social events offered a relaxed environment for attendees to talk and there was never any shortage of that. This is an industry that needs to talk and clearly Covid has slowed that down, there was a lot of catching up to do.
We heard from industry experts on the ever changing sales world as well as a panel discussion on the future of the industry. This session was so popular, we will be running a webinar with the same panelists in the coming months.
Summaries of key points from the presentations are below.
Changing Sales World – Are you Adapting? «Summary of presentation»
The Future of our Industry «Summary of presentation»
The Manufactures Roundtable rounded out the event with 40 kitchen cabinet manufacturers meeting to discuss business and share ideas. While CKCA has gone to virtual roundtables every month on Zoom, the chance to meet face to face is still the most ideal way to connect.
The event was rated as excellent to very good by attendees. This event showed us once again that the industry needs to be connected. But don’t take it from us, listen to these testimonials and join us at a future CKCA event.
Kitchen cabinet manufacturing is a complex business, business owners can find tremendous value in talking to eachother and learning what’s new from their suppliers. But what it all boils down to is building relationships that can help the entire industry move forward and this is definitely something we saw taking place over this event. We look forward to hosting another CKCA event in person. Watch for details for 2023.
We’d like to extend our sincere thanks to our sponsors who are an integral part of this event and help to make it possible!