Editor’s Note: Homecoming in Columbus This Fall

by Kyle Clapham

At Qualified Remodeler we are in a state of high anticipation. We’re bringing our 5th annual TOP 500 LIVE conference to Columbus, Ohio. There are several reasons for the excitement, which is spreading fast.

Set for Oct. 18-19, the event’s timing is perfect for experiencing leafy fall days and nights in the Midwest. As a graduate of Ohio’s Miami University, just down the road from Columbus, I can assure you this is a beautiful time to visit.

Another reason: the venues for TOP 500 LIVE—the Greater Columbus Convention Center and the Hilton Columbus Downtown—were selected for their proximity to a wide range of attractions. The sites are adjacent to an area of town called the Short North, a top spot for great bars and restaurants. Networking and industry camaraderie have always been a big part of TOP 500 LIVE, and attendees will be surprised by the breadth of what they will encounter in Ohio’s capital city.

The most important reason for the high anticipation of TOP 500 LIVE is the high concentration of nearby industry pros. Ohio lies at the heart of the home improvement industry, a swath of states that runs from the Great Lakes across Pennsylvania to the Mid-Atlantic and up through New England. Champion Windows and Universal Windows Direct, now part of Great Day Improvements, are just a few of the dozens of the very biggest TOP 500 firms based there.

In addition, many Ohio- and Midwest-based building-product suppliers such as Alside’s parent, Associated Materials, Owens Corning and coatings-giant Sherwin Williams, among others, are key suppliers to home improvement firms.

Because of this high concentration of industry players, there’s a palpable sense that this gathering of the TOP 500 and its sponsors will be particularly energized and packed with top pros. In a very real way, TOP 500 LIVE will be an industry homecoming. And there will be plenty to discuss for industry pros who venture back to ‘campus.’

Massive Growth, Change and Challenge

The past two years have seen unprecedented mergers and acquisitions activity in home improvement. A large influx of capital from investors and private-equity companies, unlike any prior capital infusion, is reshaping the industry.

The big are getting bigger and are emerging as national brands operating coast-to-coast—Renuity, Renovo and Leaf Home are among this group. Others such as Power Home Remodeling Group, West Shore Home and Renewal by Andersen are more organic in their approaches, but the result is the same. They’re entering new markets and quickly making big gains in market share.

At the same time, new business technology is emerging as the great equalizer. Smaller firms now have more tools than ever to scale their businesses with existing overhead, all while improving client experience and customer satisfaction.

The stage is set for a great industry homecoming in Columbus. Reserve your spot at TOP500LIVE.com. QR

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