Every industry showcases their product at a major show each year-electronics, automotive, kitchen and bath. At these spectacular events new technology is previewed and the most up-to-date information is offered through educational seminars.

Looking for a winner? The only way to truly appreciate the quality of new products is to see them, touch them and feel them. Here some Surfaces attendees sort through carpet samples at last year’s meeting.


The manufacturers on hand put their best foot forward, creating magnificent displays of awesome size and scope. Many exhibitors even bring well-known personalities of stage, screen and sports, giving you the opportunity to meet them. Valuable prizes and trips are awarded. As a retailer, I have won a sports car, cash and trips at various venues.

Nowhere else will you see such an array of ceramic, stone, carpet, vinyl, wood, laminates, computer programs, fibers and industry machinery displayed in such splendor as at Surfaces. Nowhere else can you see installers demonstrating their craft competing with the best the industry has to offer. Nowhere else can you visit nearly all of the major retail groups and directly compare their offerings. Nowhere else will you be exposed to as many flooring specific computer programs. Nowhere else will you be able to visit even a fraction of the supporting industries who show at Surfaces; carpet cleaning systems, flooring handling systems, vehicles, advertising agencies, merchandising specialists, custom flooring tools, public relations firms, insurance and benefits specialists and yes, you can meet all of the trade journalists and top executives of every exhibitor. This is only scratching the surface. Surfaces 2007 is held in Las Vegas from Wednesday, Feb. 7 through Friday, Feb 9.

The people who run the show have special deals on airfare and the best hotel rooms as well. It’s difficult for me to imagine anyone in this industry who would think of missing this show. It’s simply a must for anyone who is serious about their business. Attend on time and I promise you will never miss another one. Retailers who don’t attend have little idea of what even their best suppliers offer since much of it isn’t available through local reps. And consider the advantage of seeing what the 1,000 plus other suppliers and manufacturers have to offer.

The power of Surfaces was demonstrated a few years back when two huge manufacturers pulled out of the show in favor of hosting a series of smaller exhibitions across the nation featuring their products exclusively. These mini-shows have value for retailers, of course, but they can never take the place of the much larger and far more comprehensive show at Surfaces. In years past a number of smaller manufacturers followed the big guys by dropping out which effectively shut down every existing industry trade shows-New York, Chicago, Dallas, Atlanta and, San Francisco, to name a few. In contrast, Surfaces only got stronger and larger with many companies increasing their Surfaces presence and gobbling up vacated space. In 2006, suppliers occupied well over a half million square feet of exhibits. The flooring retailers of the world have shown their support by attending in ever-increasing numbers each year since. Last year the count was in excess of 40,000.

For me it is my favorite event by far. It’s my time to meet new clients, attend company meetings, greet and speak with my many readers and renew old friendships. The time to register is now. Call the show management at 972-536-6323.

SIDEBAR: Note from Warren: Meet in Las Vegas

Once again I will be participating in Surfaces and offering tips on how to maximize your performance in floor covering. All NFT subscribers are encouraged to register and attend my presentations: “Selling Value, not Price!’ at 4pm on Wednesday and “Advanced Selling Skills-The Next Level” at 8am Thursday. These are two sessions that should not be missed by anyone interested in sharpening their sales skills.

While at Surfaces, I also plan to spend as much time as possible at the National Floor Trends exhibit. Please make it a point to drop by and say, “Hey!”