Coverings Sees Increase among Key Audience Segments and Exhibitors

May 29, 2014

Coverings 2014 saw attendance numbers rise when the show returned to Las Vegas this past May to celebrate its 25th Anniversary. There was a noted increase in distributors, retailers and contractors/installers at the show, which reflects the resurgence of tile and stone consumption across the U.S.

This year’s show welcomed more than 22,500 industry professionals, a bump of 3 percent from last year and 22 percent from 2011, the last year Coverings was located in Las Vegas. Overall, several key segments saw double-digit increases compared to 2011, particularly for retailers, distributors and fabricators, which were up 12, 16 and 36 percent, respectively.

In addition to a robust turnout, Coverings 2014 experienced an increase in the number of exhibitors. Coverings extended is footprint to 387,600 square feet of space and hosted more than 975 exhibitors.

“Our attendance and exhibitor numbers truly indicate an improvement to the health and vitality of the tile and stone industry in North America,” said Karin Fendrich, Coverings show director. “With new home sales continuing to rise, and the U.S. tile and stone consumption experiencing a fourth-consecutive growth year, attending Coverings was more critical than ever this year.”

First-time Coverings exhibitors indicated they had a strong show, with steady traffic and key connections made. ATEM, the Ukraine’s largest ceramic tile manufacturer, utilized Coverings to break into the U.S. market. Another show newcomer, California-based Burlington Materials, said its first year had positive results, and the company already has committed to exhibiting at Coverings 2015 in Orlando.

“We were very happy with the exposure that we received,” said Simi Kapoor, vice president of business development for Burlington Materials. “Because it was our first year, we weren’t sure what to expect…but we met a lot of new clientele, particularly based on the East Coast and several international contacts as well.”

Additionally, the Installation Design Showcase tapped area A+D associations to design four unique vignettes, including an indoor courtyard; bar; retail space; and a sustainable, accessible bathroom. Each design team was paired with an installer with Five Star Recognition from the National Tile Contractors Association and certification from the CTEF to highlight the importance of qualified installers.

Las Vegas-based designer Stephen Leon, who designed a bar vignette, saw his experience with the Installation Design Showcase as an opportunity to get hands-on education with installer Lambert Tile & Stone. “Not only was I able to bring a space representative of the city’s identity to life with interesting tile and stone materials, but I had the privilege of receiving a thorough education in the tile and stone installation,” said Leon, who also serves as president of the Central California/Nevada ASID chapter.

Coverings 2015 will be held April 14-17, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando.
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