The Restoration Industry Association (RIA) will host its inaugural RIA Conference and Tradeshow on the Sunshine Coast from 6 to 8 June.
The three-day event will feature educational sessions and panels, optional training courses and networking events for delegates. The conference will conclude with the RIA Conference dinner.
Ross Riek, chairperson of the RIA Australasian council, said the conference’s line-up of international speakers will give attendees unique insights into industry trends on a global scale.
“Our market in Australia is traditionally a number of years behind the USA with industry trends. Therefore it gives a unique opportunity to feed back to our local market some of the trends being experienced in the US by having our RIA USA speakers and delegates mix and socialise with our local industry,” Riek said.
Ashley Easterby, director of the RIA Australasian council, said the inaugural event will also give delegates the chance to network with like-minded operators.
“With Australia and New Zealand being so spread out and cities so far apart, many small operators are missing the opportunity to meet and see the latest products, hear developments within the industry and miss the opportunity to meet and talk with liked minded operators to network and learn from each other,” Easterby said.
The education program will feature presentations from local and international leaders. Keynote speakers include Chris Schumacher, Gary Loiben and Chuck Violand.
More than 20 vendors, including IICRC, Carpet Cleaners’ Warehouse, Encircle, MouldLab, Cleanstar, Coach8, Benefect, Decon Systems, Restore Solutions, Mobile Sips, Restoration Express, are set to exhibit at the trade show, which will also house a live demonstration stage. Training courses on offer during the event include RIA Building Sciences Course, IICRC Odour Course and RIA Water Loss Specialist Course.
Local expansion continues
The RIA has continued to gain momentum since the launch of its Australian and NZ steering committee in October 2015, initially set up to support current and new local Australian and NZ members.
In June the RIA approved the formation of an Australasian Council, giving its Australia and NZ counterparts a seat on the board of directors and the opportunity to help influence the RIA on a global scale, with 11 members now on its local leadership team.
Globally, RIA represents more than 20,000 cleaning and restoration professionals from 1100 member firms specialising in textiles, environmental issues, and restoration.
“RIA has moved from a steering committee to a fully-fledged Australasian council with a seat on the international board of directors,” Easterby said.
“Locally, RIA, has now expanded its committees to include membership, vendors, education and conference. As membership has grown so too has the opportunity for members to get involved with the direction the association takes here in Australasia.”
Riek said RIA is uniting the local industry locally through establishing common initiatives and programs.
“Our 11-member leadership team made up of small medium and large industry leaders are working together to help lift the profile of the restoration industry in Australia and NZ.”
Setting its sights on further growth, the local RIA arm is aiming for the Restoration Conference and Tradeshow to become the leading event in the restoration event.
“Our aim is to increase the profile of the restoration industry in Australia and NZ so our clients see the unique skills and benefits of engaging professional restorers to handle day to day and complex projects,” Riek said.