Record Attendance Expected at Surfaces 2005
Show organizers say a steady increase in the range of floor covering products and installation materials is generating a surge of interest in the Jan. 26-28 event. While the exhibit space will showcase the latest trends in carpets and rugs, hardwood, stone, tile, marble, mixed media and sundries, attendees will also have an opportunity to build their business skills and gain a better understanding of the general business climate.
The show, which is expected to draw about 40,000 attendees, is sponsored again this year by the World Floor Covering Association (WFCA) and hosted by Hanley Wood LLC.
Michelle Troop, senior show director for Surfaces, says more than 1,000 companies will showcase their products on nearly 500,000 square feet of exhibit space. She notes that Surfaces 2005 will see an increased profile for international companies offering product from China, Italy, Mexico, Spain, Brazil, Turkey and other countries.
In addition to serving as a platform for new product introductions, the show is positioned as educational forum. Highlighting the agenda will be an Installation Showcase that will feature experts in the field installing various types of floor coverings while offering step-by-step instructions. The showcase, which is free with admission to the exhibits area, is sponsored by National Floor Trends, its sister publication, Floor Covering Installer, the World Floor Covering Association (WFCA) and Certified Floorcovering Installers Association (CFI).
Attendees will also be encouraged to take advantage of 41-courses included in the Conference Program which will include several pre-show workshops.
Included in the program will be a Town Hall meeting titled "Who's moving in next door and what are they doing to take your business?" The session will offer retailers a chance to weigh in on the effect of big box retailers and concerns about large stores drawing business from local merchants. Included will be tips on ways a retailer can differentiate itself in an increasingly competitive environment. Scheduled to participate are industry analyst Jonathan Trivers; Terry Pomerleau Gray, senior vice president of NRF Distributors; and Doug Chadderdon, president of Flooring Sales Group.
Also, in the new Window/Wall Coverings Pavilion, there will be presentations relating to new business opportunities.
"It all adds up to an incredible experience that allows attendees to plan their business strategies for the coming year, meet with new and existing suppliers, and learn how to be the most successful they can be." explains Troop. "Anyone who wants to grow their business and stay ahead of the competition has to see all the new styles and trends that the ever-changing consumer demand will require."
The Conference Program, sponsored by Mannington Mills, will be broken into six targeted tracks: Marketing, Business, Sales, Design, Installation and the all-new Window Coverings track. This new track, brought to Surfaces by Draperies & Window Coverings magazine, will include two courses - "Windows of Opportunity" and "The Art of Window Coverings ... Profit For Your Existing Business"- that cover how to market and sell these add-on services.
BNP Media plans to have a major presence in the educational area offering a number of presentations including "Live By Price, Die By Price; Live By Fashion, Thrive By Fashion," which will be presented by National Floor Trends senior editor Howard Olansky, along with Dan Hussey, president of B&L Flooring America and Sam O'Krent, president of O'Krent's Abbey Flooring Center.
Also a seminar titled "Tips in Avoiding Floor Installation Failures/Problems," will be presented by John Moore, editor of Floor Covering Installer and TILE. He will be joined by Tim Cole, director of support services for Forbo Linoleum, Christopher Capobianco, NFT/FCI columnist and Jon Namba, FCI columnist.
In addition, "Tileology," and "Euro-Influence on Fusion Design," will be presented by Patti Fasan, TILE Magazine columnist. Other targeted presentations available at Surfaces include "Applied Design in Ceramic Tile," "Basic Financial Understanding," "Turning Stone into Profit," "Subcontract or Employee Labor: Which is Best for Me?" and "Domestic & Exotic: The Different Kinds of Wood Species."
The educational opportunities combined with the presence of many of the major players in the floor covering business are expected to bring a surge in attendance this year.
"The success of Surfaces 2004 and the solid number of attendees that participated are among the reasons manufacturers from around the world are signing up at a record pace for Surfaces 2005," says Troop. "We expect Surfaces 2005 to have the largest number of exhibiting companies of all time."