Once again, the time is drawing near to mark your calendars and program your Palm Pilots to remind you of The Cooperator's annual Co-op and Condo Expo, which is descending on Midtown's New York Hilton, 53rd Street and Avenue of the Americas, on March 6th for a jam-packed day of information-sharing, free advice, new products and service demos, networking opportunities, raffles, door prizes, and (of course) lots of freebies.
For 16 years now, the Expo has been cementing its place as the largest trade show in the New York metro area specifically catering to the unique needs and interests of area co-op and condo shareholder/owners, managing agents, board presidents and members, sponsors, and related professionals. Back in 1999, the Expo was a one-floor affair with just over 100 booths; since then, it has grown to occupy two entire floors of the Hilton - and to host over 200 exhibitors in 2002.
For the 2003 Expo, The Cooperator has assembled a vast array of professional vendors, managing agencies, legal and accounting firms, service providers, and other co-op and condo industry pros under one roof, and scheduled a full day of free educational seminars for Expo attendees. After the Exhibition Hall opens its doors at 9 a.m., the day's activities will kick off with "The Role of the Board: Taking Responsibility," which will outline the fiduciary and bureaucratic duties of board members in both large and small residential buildings. "Security: Protect Your Life and Investment" will cover the changing face of personal home security and offer tips on how boards and individual shareholder/owners can keep themselves, their families, and their property safe and secure. After lunch, "Capital Improvements and Alterations: Is Your Building Up to Par?" will address the burden of funding major renovations and improvements and give attendees tips on how to make the process easier and less onerous for both residents and board members. At 3:30, drop in for "Long-Term Planning: Keep Your Building Running Smoothly" for ideas on how to project your building's financial and managerial good health into the coming years and make sure its needs - and the needs of the people living in it - are provided for over the long haul.
In addition to the wealth of information exchanged at the Expo, there are, of course, giveaways and prizes. On top of nearly everyone's list each year is picking up the latest copy of The Cooperator's Official Directory of Co-op & Condo Services, which is a compendium of useful names, numbers, and contacts, compiled and updated annually. If you're a board president in need of an experienced boiler repair technician, a new shareholder/owner looking for a licensed interior decorator, or a long-time shareholder in need of legal advice, the Official Directory is an invaluable tool that saves time and effort, giving you a Yellow Book's-worth of resources without all the filler.
And while you're picking up your new Directory, co-op and condo shareholder/owners can fill out a slip for the 1 p.m. drawing for the Expo's Grand Prize: a whole month's maintenance, up to $1,000, courtesy of The Cooperator. You have to be there to claim your winnings, so take your time browsing the booths and exploring the array of resources. Among those resources is another annual staple: The Cooperator's Free Advice Booth, manned throughout the day by some of the paper's regular contributing attorneys, accountants, property managers, insurance brokers, and mortgage brokers/lenders. If you've been mulling over sending in a question for The Cooperator's "Q&A" column, consider stopping by the advice booth and asking your question in person.
The Annual Co-op and Condo Expo is a terrific opportunity to learn new things, network with new people, and check out the latest developments in the thriving microcosm of New York's co-op and condo community. So whether you're running a board, maintaining a building, or just thinking of buying a new apartment, you're guaranteed to find something useful and enlightening at the Expo. We at The Cooperator invite you to stop by, and look forward to seeing you there. n