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Exhibitors include architects, interior designers, theming companies, construction companies and design-build firms. On the product side, there’s church products like seating and millwork to digital signage and antimicrobial flooring. It’s all in one place where you and your team can come together.

The practice of dividing and conquering is perhaps nowhere more appropriate than in researching and planning a church building project. For every budget and every scope, the options can seem endless and limited at the same time, and it’s rare to be 100 percent confident about any one decision. But, that’s the beauty of carrying out such a project with a team, and in relationship. Decisions don’t fall on the shoulders of one, all opinions are valuable, and many perspectives can contribute to the process of making the final selection.

 The value of this expo is how it accommodates the team. Two or three team members can show up, canvas the floor, ask questions and evaluate products and professionals.

Built for Teams

Year after year, the expo portion of the Worship Facilities Conference and Expo (WFX) has been planned and refined with the team in mind. “The value of this expo is how it accommodates the team. Two or three team members can show up, canvas the floor, ask questions and evaluate products and professionals,” says Jim Wagner, general manager of WFX and publisher of the event’s partner publication, Worship Facilities magazine. “In two days’ time, months’ worth of research and vetting can be accomplished, and projects can get underway that much sooner.”

Exhibitors include professional services providers such as architects, interior designers, theming companies, construction companies and design-build firms. On the product side, there’s also abundance, from seating and millwork to digital signage and antimicrobial flooring. “Even if a church’s building project is well underway, there are always those detailed areas that require expert advice and guidance,” says Wagner. “Getting a good price is still important at that stage, too, and if you can talk to a couple of firms and get them to sharpen their pencils, it’s worth the effort.”

Designed for Relationships

In addition to assisting churches with building projects and technology decisions, the expo is a source of information for scores of other church purchasing decisions. It’s also a place to simply see what’s happening and what’s being innovated and to make connections for future projects.

“Sixty percent of the exhibitors are technology, but the other forty percent are church furnishings, branding and marketing consultants, finance and fundraising consultants, and security system manufacturers. And those are broad categories—many of our exhibitors offer highly specialized products and services tailor-made for churches,” says Wagner.

Churches need a variety of products, and finding them is time consuming.

WFX limits exhibitor participation to companies with church-focused products and services, and many vendors return every year, bringing ever-increasing experience with them and offering it up to attendees. “Churches need a variety of products, and finding them is time consuming. [The practice of] evaluating or filtering out consultants you may want to engage with is best done face-to-face and with more than one person from your church involved,” says Wagner.

Alongside experience and the ability to vet face-to-face, a by-product of exhibitor tenure is a deep understanding of churches—their needs and challenges. “In branding and marketing, for example, a church needs to pair up with a communication firm that demonstrates an ability to relate to their church personality and heritage,” says Wagner.

Quality and depth of information, but also the relational aspect of WFX, and its expo in particular, are what have made the event so successful and useful to churches for 10 years.

“This expo is a wonderful place to see what is happening, generate fresh ideas and learn who the players are for future initiatives,” concludes Wagner.