Building service contractors can once again look forward to venturing out and meeting colleagues face to face at the 2021 Contracting Success Conference hosted by the Building Service Contractors Association International (BSCAI). After transitioning to a virtual event last year, the three-day conference reconvenes in Las Vegas at Park MGM and the Las Vegas Convention Center from Nov. 17-19. Attendees also gain complimentary access to the exhibit hall of the co-located ISSA Show, featuring more than 500 exhibitors.

Billed as BSCAI's largest annual event, the conference equips contract cleaning professionals with the latest tools, technologies and best practices to excel in every facet of their business. In addition to ample learning and networking opportunities, members can earn credits toward CBSE certification.

Education Is Key

Conference participants can hit the ground running with a range of sessions designed to address their most pressing issues. Over the course of three days, industry thought leaders will share their knowledge and personal experiences in a series of seminars designed to help BSCs hone their leadership skills, improve day-to-day operations and prepare for an uncertain future.

"Topics this year are very relevant to the time we're in and our overall industry," says Eric Luke, BSCAI president, CBSE, CPA, and president of MG Capital Maintenance. "We focus on recurring needs for the building services industry but with specific focus on issues of today including the labor shortage we face and the challenges of the COVID pandemic. We need to continue to be the leading expert for our customers and clients as we look into 2022 and the future."

The show is divided into six educational tracks for BSCs to maximize their time and customize their experience. These include customer service/retention; employee recruitment/training; leadership/strategic management; administration and finance; operations; and marketing and sales.

"While we have some of our top speakers, we've also invited several new speakers we're excited to hear from," notes Luke.

Highlights include presentations about employee communications and training, social media, DOL and OSHA protocols, insurance rates and much more.

The show opens on Wednesday with the "Bidding and Estimating Seminar" led by Curtis McLemore, CBSE, CEO, McLemore Building Maintenance, and Steve Shuchat, CBSE, president, Clean All Services. Geared toward those who are new to the BSC industry, this seminar demonstrates a step-by-step approach for pricing services in today's competitive marketplace. The course is a four-part series including three online modules and one in-person session. Attendees will receive an overview of the components that are part of every contractor's cost estimate, including how to properly determine supply and equipment costs, review the correct method for determining employer tax/insurance rates, and outline standard overhead costs to learn the use of technology to support this process.

Another noteworthy seminar on Wednesday that will appeal to both new and seasoned BSCs is the "Productivity Seminar." Hosted by Pat Fragomeni, CBSE, Sr. Consultant, Concepts 4, this two-part session will first evaluate productivity and offer solutions that eliminate wasted time, increase production and improve quality. The second part of the seminar explores how operational leadership impacts service delivery and customer retention.

COVID-19 has affected every facet of the contract cleaning business, and employee recruitment and retention are no exception. Thursday's session, titled "Building an Inspired Team – The Post-COVID Edition," explores strategies for hiring employees in a virtual world, as well as ways to engage a hybrid workforce. The session features Claudia St. John, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, president of Affinity HR Group Inc.

More highlights of the conference are the keynote speaker sessions. The first speaker is Jason Dorsey, a GenZ, Millennial and generations speaker and researcher who has appeared on more than 200 television shows and headlined events worldwide. His keynote "Crossing the Generational Divide in Building Service Contractors' Industry" takes place on Thursday.

"Jason Dorsey spoke to our association two years ago at a BSCAI CEO Seminar, and we wanted our whole association to hear what he has to offer," says Luke.

Filled with personal stories and real-world examples, Dorsey shares surprising data and powerful frontline strategies that drive better attraction and retention and offer measurable results.

Headlining Friday's sessions is the second keynote address, "Igniting the Next-Level of Leadership," featuring Sara Ross, founder of BrainAMPED. According to Luke, Ross offers a new, essential perspective on leadership vitality and leading in the new world.

Ross's company provides brain-based tools to decrease stress and exhaustion and increase leadership vitality through energy management, emotional intelligence and resilience. The session, which will be held at the Park MGM, posits emotional intelligence as a powerful predictor of performance and organizational success.

Following on the heels of Ross's keynote address is a seminar titled "Low Cost/High Impact Client Retention Strategies." In this session, Jill Kellermeyer-Kegler, director of business development at Double A Solutions, discusses the hard and soft costs of gaining versus retaining customers, why retention is critical to future business success, and low cost/high impact ways to stand out from your competitors.

The final day of the conference continues with sessions from the operations and leadership/strategic management tracks, including "Coaching vs. Managing," "Understanding Contracts and When to Involve Legal," and "Protect Your Supply Chain in Turbulent Times."

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