The show had a record total attendance of 40,389. Surfaces also set records with 938 exhibiting companies in over 535,000 net square feet of exhibit space.
"Surfaces 2003 was definitely the most impressive ever," said Chris Davis, CEO of the World Floor Covering Association (WFCA), which sponsored the show. "Everyone I talked with, exhibitor and attendee alike, were upbeat about the show and what they were getting out of it."
The Surfaces 2003 Conference Program, sponsored by Mannington, proved to have a successful line-up of pre-show workshops and seminars in five tracks. Close to 3,000 tickets were sold to the 39 sessions. Many of the classes were approved for WFCA Continuing Education Units (CEUs), as well as ASID, AIBD and IIDA certification credits.
After the first day on the show floor and in classes, attendees relaxed at the first-ever Red Carpet Reception, sponsored by Mega Carpet, while socializing and networking with peers over drinks, food and the live music of Pyramid.
The first-ever Innovative Retailer contest also proved to be a success. As well, the Installation Competition, produced by WFCA and co-sponsored by National Floor Trends and Floor Covering Installer magazines, brought 20 regional winners of the annual contest (10 finalists in carpet installation and 10 in resilient) to Surfaces for the national competition. The winners were: Robert Varden, first place, carpet; Jim Rank, second place, carpet; Dave Rowden, first place, resilient; and Scott Sager, second place, resilient. Winners received cash prizes as well as a variety of tools and products from contest sponsors.
The new Laminate Showcase, which took place alongside the Installation Competition, introduced new ideas to attendees for laminate design work. It also gave them a chance to see the actual installation of laminate flooring.
Hanley-Wood took over running of the show from WFCA in 2001. Surfaces is owned by Hanley-Wood LLC.