As the dates for Surfaces -- the largest tradeshow in the floor covering business -- draw near, the annual anticipation that attendees feel is not based entirely on the prospect of enthusiastic wheeling and dealing across the more-than 470,000 square feet of exhibition space. Their excitement is also fanned by the prospect of sharing in the latest educational developments and technical innovations available to the industry.

Purchased in early 2000 by Hanley-Wood Exhibitions, Surfaces is entering a new phase of involvement in the floor covering world. This year's event features a lineup of seminars and workshops unequaled in diversity and depth. Nearly 40 events have been scheduled at various times throughout the show's duration, with topics ranging from Weaving Dollars from Woven Carpet and What is This Thing Called 'Brand'?, to Troubleshooting Installation Problems in an Era of New Technologies and everything in between.

Buy, save and connect. These are the ties that help bind together the Surfaces "Solutions" theme for 2001. Floor coverings are a $40 billion-plus industry, and increasing the time and resources allotted for the educational programs is a major step in helping its growth continue.

To help attendees choose the seminars that would best benefit them, the management team at Hanley-Wood has designed a multi-track program to help guide visitors through the selection process. The tracks focus on six different areas -- marketing, business, sales, design, installation, and new technology -- that are recognized as crucial to the success of professionals throughout the industry.

The Jan. 30 pre-show workshops, eight in all, are three-hour, interactive events constructed to hone skills, increase knowledge and help participants develop the answers to business challenges in a variety of areas.

The show seminars, scheduled from Jan. 31 through Feb. 2, focus on the obstacles that businesses may confront in today's economic environment. The program promises to open the door for industry specialists to address the questions popping up at the forefront of the millennial marketplace.

More than 35,000 attendees are expected to visit the 900-plus exhibitors who will temporarily take over the Sands Expo & Convention Center in Las Vegas during Surfaces 2001.