World of Concrete can be hard to navigate. With so many exciting and important events taking palce, you can't possibly see them all at once. That's why we've put together a quick summary of some of the noteworthy seminars taking place on Jan. 22, 2008.

Repair defects effectively

During the Monday afternoon seminar, "Creative Techniques to Repair Common Construction Defects," Timothy Gillespie, Sika Corp., and George W. Seegebrecht, PE, CTLGroup, shared types of tests used to determine cause and extent of commonly encountered problems, and what corrective techniques can fix them. "Problems during construction are inevitable," the presenters said. "Knowing their cause and extent is vital."

Make sure the price is right

During his Tuesday "Accurate Labor, Equipment, Overhead and Profit" session, speaker George Hedley of HARDHAT Presentations—a perennial World of Concrete favorite on the speaker roster—shared his construction business expertise with attendees. He discussed how concrete construction professionals can calculate the right price for overhead and profit markup, evaluate accurate rates for labor, equipment materials and subcontracts, and follow a 12-step formula to ensure profit on every project.

Women can gain an edge in business

Denise Norberg-Johnson of Penguin Peak Performance, during Tuesday's "Women Improving Profitability" seminar, shared various ways participants could better understand communication differences between men and women, and she shared how different belief systems and culture impact hiring and promotion decisions made by (and about) female professionals. She also shared how to analyze strengths of team building, negotiating, organization, memory, and decision-making; and how to recognize elements needed in a successful action plan (including support, communication, and behavior change). The session was sponsored by the National Association of Women in Construction.

Keep your employees, and your cool

In a day and age where finding and keeping skilled employees is a challenge, retention is a vital area for construction managers to focus on. During the Tuesday session, "Love 'Em or Lose 'Em! Employee Retention Strategies That Really Work," presenter Linda Francis, of Linda L. Francis Inc., told participants various reasons why employee retention needs to be a strategic focus of every business. Francis also shared reasons why people stay at a business or decide to leave, factors that motivate employees, ways to use incentive plans, and a list of 10 cost-effective strategies for retaining employees.