Show-goers attend an education seminar at this year’s Surfaces. Attendees who register for the 2011 show by Dec. 16 will be able to attend education sessions for free. Photo courtesy of Hanley Wood.

Change is coming to the annual Surfaces tradeshow. For the 2011 edition, set for Tuesday, Jan. 25, to Thursday, Jan. 27, Surfaces will be moving to Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. Additionally, the show will be held in conjunction with StonExpo/Marmomacc Americas, and both events offered free education sessions for the first time in either of the shows’ histories to attendees that registered by Dec. 16.

Dana Teague, Surfaces show director, said the new venue will offer a range of benefits to show-goers. “Similar to the Sands Convention Center, there are two levels of exhibit halls. However, the difference is that the levels [both feature] high ceilings, gorgeous lobby space and just an attractive, functional facility overall.”

She said the move was essential in order to have enough space to co-locate Surfaces and StonExpo. “We chose to move to a larger space that would not only be able to accommodate us for 2011, but also in the future as we continue to grow.”

Attendees wait to enter the showroom at the opening of Surfaces 2010. Photo courtesy of Hanley Wood.

Teague noted that the co-location of the two shows, an event billed as “S-squared,” is intended to give the audiences of both shows a one-stop shop for viewing the newest products and staying up-to-date with the latest education.

“We think this co-location will give attendees a wider variety of products and education,” she said. “Plus, with our growing number of architects and designers that attend both shows, we felt that combining the shows would not only save our attendees the extra travel costs but help get the most of their time and money.”

The economy was also a consideration in giving show-goers the chance to attend free education sessions for a limited time. These education sessions will be held throughout the Jan. 25-27 show dates, along with special pre-conference events on Jan. 24. “When we asked our attendees their opinions, we genuinely wanted to know what we can do to help them out, and the responses for economical, quality education were overwhelming,” Teague noted.

She added that Surfaces is again partnering with Las Vegas Market during its January dates. “This will allow our [Surfaces/StonExpo] attendees and the Las Vegas Market attendees to move freely between both shows. It’s like getting three shows for the price of one.”

New and Returning Events
New to Surfaces 2011 will be the Trends Hub. Teague describes it as “a chic area on the show floor where attendees can meet, relax, and get an overall view of what’s going to be hot in the design world for 2011.”

Returning in 2011 is the Opening General Session, 8:30 to 10 a.m. Jan. 25. Aron Ralston, author of Between a Rock and a Hard Place, will share his story of survival when he was trapped in a canyon in Utah and forced to make a life-altering decision. The event will be held 8:30 to 10 a.m. Jan. 25.

“General Session attendees will receive an inspirational message focusing on perseverance, goal-attaining and overcoming adversity, which we feel is beneficial not only in our professional lives during these difficult times, but also our personal ones,” Teague stated.

Also returning this year is the New Product Showcase in a new format. “Instead of a New Product Pavilion on the show floor with tabletop displays, we will highlight our exhibitors’ new products in beautiful glass cases in the lobby of our show,” Teague explained. “We will also include a carpet logo outside of the [participating] exhibitors’ booths, designating them as having a new product.”

As part of the New Product Showcase, Surfaces will again hold a Best New Product contest. The winner will be awarded during the show and judged by a panel selected byNational Floor Trends, Floor Covering InstallerandTILE Magazine.

NFT Columnists to Educate Show-Goers
National Floor Trendscolumnists will once again be on hand to present the latest industry information to attendees. Seminars include:

“Everything You’ve Always Wanted to Know About the Commercial Flooring Business,”3 to 4:30 p.m. Jan. 24, presented byNFTcolumnist Dave Stafford, Re:Source Floors owner and president Alan Beswick, and Starnet Worldwide president and ceo Jeanne Matson.

“Marketing Your Business on a Beer Budget,”noon to 1 p.m. Jan. 25, presented byNFTcolumnist Sam Allman.

“Heart and Mind Leadership,”4 to 5:30 p.m. Jan. 25, presented by Sam Allman.

“Increasing Sales through the Psychology of Color,”8 to 9:30 a.m. Jan. 26, presented byNFTcolumnist Annette Callari.

“Color Visions 2011, PLUS Hot Marketing Trends You Need to Know,”8 to 9:30 a.m. Jan. 27, presented by Annette Callari.