A Unified Industry: RIA’s First Virtual International Restoration Convention + Industry Expo Wraps Up

RIA capped off the International Restoration Convention and Industry Expo Virtual Conference, an inaugural two-day virtual convention that took place October 6-7. Featuring more than 40 exhibiting companies, over 550 total participants, and a digital exhibit hall (that generated over 4,000 clicks), participants took part in a wide range of exhibits, speakers, panels, and more. Kelley Dolan, the chair of the Convention Planning Committee, was pleased to see so many RIA members come together to share their knowledge. “It has been inspirational to get this involved in RIA’s annual conventions,” Dolan said. “I have learned so much, met wonderful people, and am learning what the future of our industry has in store for us all! To watch all these people come together with a real passion for imparting and sharing their knowledge has been an honor. It really feels like we are coming together as an industry.”

This year’s theme is “Fragmented No More,” demonstrating how all of the restoration industry are in this together. Highlighted was the Advocacy and Government Affairs Committee, which is continuing its efforts to unify the industry behind critical issues related to pricing and working with third party administrators and third party consultants. The goal of these efforts is to present a unified front that will affect real change for the benefit of the industry.

One of the most popular general sessions was the much-anticipated Wednesday closing session, “Face the Advocate,” that featured a candid discussion with RIA’s Restoration Advocate, Ed Cross, and Jon Held, Adrian Frank, and Sara Raley of J.S. Held.

Ed Cross Discusses TPC Position Papers

Other sessions included “New, Innovative Business Development & Marketing Strategies in a COVID-19 Environment,” which showed participants new ways to research prospects, conduct calls and presentations, how to use metrics, and provided selling tools; and “Will You Be Ready When OSHA Comes Knocking? Creating a Site-Specific Safety Plan,” which demonstrated how to develop site-specific safety plans to ensure worker safety.

The RIA also introduced the first of its historic Third Party Consultant (TPC) Position Statements, which are only available to RIA members. The position statements cover the proper role of consultants, how restorers should respond to documentation requests from consultants, whether or not consultants change the price and scope of a job, and more.

“Kudos to the RIA for bridging the gap between restorers and TPCs,” commented Warner Cruz, an attendee. “Great job, Advocacy and Government Affairs Committee, for opening lines of communication between all parties involved. This will help everyone!”

Greg Pyne, Vice President of Pricing Data Services for Xactware, also provided key insights on Xactware resources and white papers. Ben Justesen, an Xactimate affiliate Trainer, helped participants build on their Xactimate training and improve their estimating skills to create better job budgets and work orders.

As an additional benefit to attending, participants were able earn up to 17 continuing education (CE) credits with RIA and IICRC for attending both the International Restoration Convention + Industry Expo Virtual Conference and the April Virtual Conference.

Bob Kamholz, an attendee new to the industry, expressed his enthusiasm.

“Being new to the industry, I have to say everyone did a great job hosting this event virtually,” Kamholz said. “I am already looking forward to next year and can’t wait to attend in person!”

Attendees overwhelmingly had high praise for their virtual experience and viewed the conference as a huge success.

“This is amazing work that benefits all of us restorers,” Cruz said. “Please spread the word to all restoration contractors big or small. We must unify our industry, and support and invest in the AGA! Thank you to the RIA, and to all the committee members!” RIA

Did you miss the convention? No problem! You can purchase the convention on-demand content at www.restorationindustry.org.

Greg Pyne Gives Insights on Xactware Resources and White Papers

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