Coverings 2007’s move to the Windy City April 17-20 was deemed a success by both attendees and exhibitors. With more than 33,000 international and domestic showgoers on hand, Chicago’s McCormick Place Convention Center delivered what Coverings had promised - the largest U.S.-based assemblage of ceramic and stone tile products and accessories.
“This is my first time at a Coverings show, and I can’t believe what I have been missing,” said Kay Whitemore, a high-end commercial architect from Chicago. “This time I had no excuse because it’s in my hometown,” she continued.
With more than 75 free educational seminars and demonstrations lined-up over the four-day event, the show’s appeal extended to many - especially the architecture, design and specifying communities.
Attending as a VIP guest was Jessica Lagrange, a residential interior designer, who accompanied a friend who visited the show out of curiosity. “Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect. But since it was being held here [Chicago] and this is where I work and live, I thought ‘what could I lose?’ Just sitting in on Richard Meier’s presentation would have been enough for me. The connections I made here today will definitely be useful to me,” she added.
Response from manufacturers was equally enthusiastic, with most companies reporting heavier traffic and increased sales versus previous years.
“With our home base in Chicago, we were thrilled that Coverings was here this year,” said Graziano Verdi, CEO of StonePeak Ceramics. “We were better positioned to serve the architecture and design community that is vast in Chicago, and we felt the foot traffic overall was extremely strong.”
In addition to its extensive educational line-up of hands-on demonstrations, educational opportunities, and new product unveilings, several countries showcased their products within dedicated pavilions. Argentina, Brazil, China, India, Israel, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, Portugal, Spain, and Turkey all featured pavilions, and this year’s show featured a German pavilion for the first time.
Top ceramic tile manufacturers from around the world unveiled the ceramic tile designs that they hope will set the trends for the industry during the coming year. This year’s trends included a proliferation of designs inspired by the fashion world, including textiles, leather, metal and wood; a continuation of the retro looks and designs of recent years, including the ubiquitous back and white look; and a return to warmer, earthier tones, especially shades of reddish brown and cocoa. Larger formats and modular designs continue to gain popularity, as well as glass tiles and mosaics.
The Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla., will host Coverings in 2008, April 29 to May 2. For more information, visit www.coverings.com or call (703) 683-8500.