All this talk of an economic slowdown appears to have fallen on deaf ears at Coverings 2001, where exhibitors are expressing a nearly universal agreement that business is up, casual browsing is down, and clients are buying.

The mood in New Orleans is decidedly upbeat, as exhibitors and attendees enjoy the New Orleans hospitality, the comfort and convenience of the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, and the all-around positive attitude surrounding Coverings 2001.

It's not just about floors, as these custom-crafted stone fountains will attest.

It's the attention to the little details that makes the difference between a good show and a great one.

Chess, anyone?

And if you think this is impressive, imagine what the toolbox must look like.

Proper care and maintenance is just as essential as the installation itself.

Coverings is truly an international exhibition; interpreters can be found at many of the seminars and press conferences.

The lines were long as attendees wait to enter the morning's educational seminars. As was the case Monday, today saw a number of offerings playing to SRO crowds.