Three themed pavilions showcasing new flooring and specialty products are expected to be among the key highlights at Surfaces 2008 in Las Vegas. In addition to a display area devoted entirely to new products from across all categories, the show will include a showcase for Hand-Crafted Tile and Decorative Concrete. The pavilions are sponsored byNational Floor Trendsalong with sister magazines,Floor Covering InstallerandTILE Magazine.
Surfaces’ show organizer Kelly Cooper said the pavilions are expected to help make the show “one of the biggest yet” in terms of attendance. She added that more than 1,000 exhibitors are expected to be on hand for the meeting.
“These new pavilions will be a huge draw not only for our exhibitors but our attendees,” she said. “The pavilions make it easy for attendees to find exactly what they’re looking for.” She went on to note that the New Product Pavilion especially would be “a hot spot on the show floor, with more than 40 companies in there right now and we’re still selling space for it. Everybody wants to be involved in it. It gives them even more exposure,” she added.
The publisher ofNFT,Jeff Golden, noted that the decision to sponsor the new display areas was in keeping with his publication’s mission. “We have always been committed to helping out readers stay on top of the trends shaping the industry. From the feedback we are already hearing, these new exhibit areas will be among the most popular distinations at the upcoming show.”
The New Product Pavilion, which will be prominently located near the entrance of Hall G in the Sands Expo & Convention Center, will differ from the two specialty products pavilions in several ways. For one, it is larger. The 2,500 to 3,000 sq. ft. Hand-Crafted Tile and Decorative Concrete areas are each expected to include about 20 exhibiting companies; the New Product Pavilion will include more than 40 exhibitors in a spacious 3,500 sq. ft. area.
Additionally, the focus of the pavilions will be different. While the specialty products pavilions will group exhibitors based on the products they are selling, there is no such restriction in the New Product Pavilion. Also, exhibitors have the option to showcase more than one new product at a time. “Some exhibitors are featuring one product, while others are purchasing multiple spaces within the pavilion,” Cooper said.
Another difference: The specialty products pavilions will feature the actual, fully staffed manufacturers’ exhibits. The New Product Pavilion will essentially be unmanned. because they are designed to serve as “more of a sneak peek” of product lines that can be seen in full elsewhere on the show floor, Cooper said.
Cooper noted that the show will distribute a brochure offering descriptions and photos of the products on display. There will also be supporting signage to help direct showgoers to the main exhibit of each participating manufacturer. She added that the showcase will help attendees at Surfaces manage their time more effectively.
“Attendees can make the determination of where they want to go based on the products being displayed in the New Product Pavilion,” she said. “They don’t have to go from booth to booth searching for new products – they can start out at the Pavilion” and perfect their game plan, she said.
Also New: Lunchtime ‘Mini-sessions’
Another expected highlight of the Surfaces show will be ‘mini-sessions’ covering the hottest topics and trends in the industry in a more concise manner. Six one-hour mini-sessions - three on Wednesday, Jan. 30, and three on Thursday, Jan. 31 - are scheduled during lunch hour. Topics are slated to include discussions of tile and stone trends, lighting, better branding, “color stories” and selling techniques.
Show organizers say the one-hour sessions are intented as “abbreviated versions of our usual 90-minute sessions, really hitting on the hot buttons in the industry.”
“These are planned as real quick ‘grab something to eat on the show floor and come in with your lunch and learn what’s going on in the industry’ events,” said Kelly Cooper, a show organizer. After about 50 minutes of class time they will be a 10-minute Q&A session. For more information, visit www.surfaces.com.