Well, the industry's largest show, Surfaces 2001, went over with a bang. And if you couldn't make it to Las Vegas for the event, I hope you visited - or will soon visit - NFT Online (www.ntlfloortrends.com) to browse our comprehensive virtual show coverage. No other industry publication covered Surfaces 2001 like National Floor Trends, and our multiple daily dispatches from the show floor prove it.
For those who did attend Surfaces, our daily Internet coverage provided another way to maximize time at the show and make it as productive as possible. I hope our reports from the Sands Expo & Convention Center provided a concise overview, and even a roadmap of sorts, to guide you to the best the show had to offer.
In the coming months, we'll be providing the same as-it-happens virtual coverage during other key industry events. This initiative was just one of the value-added features NFT brought to its coverage of Surfaces. Other enhancements included the Surfaces Show Locator that appeared in the January issue, and special show copies of the February edition complete with up-to-date floor plans, exhibitor names and booth numbers.
Hanley-Wood, the new owner of Surfaces, debuted a paid educational program during the event that produced strong results. Floor covering dealers demonstrated that they are willing to pay for educational programs of substance. Although attendance among individual sessions was mixed, the Effective Showroom Design & Management program presented by NFT columnist Janet Carter played to a packed audience. And Floor Covering Installer, our sister publication, presented NFT columnists Ray Thompson and Joe Grady, along with FCI columnist Ken Knudtzon, addressing installation problems and solutions for the benefit of a standing-room-only crowd.
Another show enhancement provided fresh evidence of the Internet's increasingly ubiquitous role in our industry. On the lower level of the exhibit hall, Internet service provider iFloor set up dozens of laptop computers in an Internet Lounge that gave show attendees unprecedented opportunities to maintain their cyberspace connections from the show floor. Truly, the future has arrived.
I'd very much like to hear your comments on any of the Surfaces-related innovations that were launched for this year's event, including our daily virtual show coverage, our Surfaces Show Locator, the value of the educational programs, and the Internet Lounge. I urge you to e-mail me with your words of praise and criticism about the Surfaces show. Or better yet, share your opinions with me and your industry colleagues by posting on the NFT Online bulletin board. You'll find the link for our board at www.ntlfloortrends.com. See you there!