The Art Tile Village at last year’s Coverings showcased handcrafted ceramic and porcelain tiles.

Organizers of Coverings 2009, the four-day annual show set for April 21-24 at McCormick Place in Chicago, IL, say they are preparing to offer the estimated more than 37,000 people from over 50 countries an educational line-up that addresses the current economic environment.

The sessions, with many offering continuing education credits, include the newly developed series, “Surviving 2009.” In addition to seminars dedicated to strategies and tactics for riding out the current economic storm, several live product demonstrations and workshops will also be available free of charge, organizers added.

MAPEI Corp. holds one of several live product demonstrations, during last year’s show.

“While the conference component at Coverings has always been one of the highlights of the show, this year’s Surviving 2009 track elevates it to a new level by tackling the most relevant and top-of-mind issues facing the industry,” said Glenn Feder, president of client events for National Trade Productions, which manages and produces Coverings.

He added, “By creating dedicated programming that squarely addresses crucial business survival issues, we’re giving show attendees the advice they need now more than ever before-at no cost, as always, and with no cutbacks to the rest of the conference schedule. We believe that the investment made in traveling to Coverings is a small one relative to the bounty of real, ready-to-implement advice and insight awaiting show-goers this year.”

The Italian pavilion, along with the Ceramic Tiles of Italy stand, attracted hundreds of retailers, distributors, architects and designers and will return this year.

In addition to seeing the latest products available for the ceramic and porcelain tile markets, Coverings attendees will also be able to see the latest from around the globe by way of country-specific product areas, such as the Italian, Spanish and Turkish pavilions. The Artisan Tile Village will also make a comeback showcasing handcrafted specialized porcelain and ceramic tile products.

Additionally, on April 22, the best, most creative installations using ceramic tile and stone will be recognized during the annual Spectrum and Prism Awards.

For more information, please visit or contact NTP at (703) 683-8500.