Aside from serving as the launching pad for some of the newest and most innovative products in the flooring industry, Surfaces and StonExpo/Marmomacc Americas 2013 will be home to more than 70 education sessions ranging from flooring installation to design trends, sustainability, business best practices and more. Floor Trendsand Floor Covering Installercolumnists will be among the presenters sharing their expertise and insights with a crowd set to include retailers, designers, distributors and installers.

At press time, Floor Trends columnist and industry troubleshooter Lew Migliore was lining up speakers for the third annual Flooring Symposium, 8 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. Jan. 28-29. Previously an event geared toward flooring inspectors, this year’s symposium has broadened its focus and will look at the overall state of manufacturing, retail, installation and other key flooring industry topics.

“This is something very unique that partner Larry Cooper and I are putting together,” Migliore explained. “This is not just for inspectors anymore, as we found that to be a very specialized and limited audience. For 2013 we wanted to put together a program that could benefit anyone attending Surfaces.”

The first day of the symposium will include presentations on the state of the flooring industry; high-end and woven carpet; hard surface flooring; new carpet backings; the art of tufting; polyester carpet; flooring underlayment and LVT. Day two will cover the retail side of the business; sustainability; social media marketing; buying groups; product testing procedures; soft fibers; imports; legal issues and installation.

Migliore said he was in talks with companies including Base King, Bentley Prince Street, Carpet America Recovery Effort, CCA Global Partners, Centiva, Couristan, INSTALL, Mannington, Mohawk, Universal Textile Technologies and XL to find top-level presenters.

Migliore will also be giving two presentations during Surfaces 2013: “Avoiding Problems with Floor Covering – Getting the Right Product in the Right Place,” 3:30 to 5 p.m. Jan. 28; and “Carpet Fibers: New Technologies and Advancements You Should Know About to Keep You Out of Trouble,”noon to 1 p.m. Jan. 30.

Floor Trends columnists Sam Allman and Annette Callari are also set to present during the show. Allman will offer “The Selling Begins When the Customer Says No,” aimed at identifying the steps of working with a customer and helping to influence their purchasing decision, 8 to 9:30 a.m. Jan. 29; and “Don’t Compete on Price, Compete on Value,”about focusing with customers on a product’s benefits instead of its price tag, 10 to 10:45 a.m. the same day.

Callari will be one of the featured designers during the Trends Hub tours, running 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Jan. 29-30, and 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Jan. 31. Calling the presentations “fast, fun and informative,” Callari added that “I plan to hit the highlights of what the current trends and color drivers are for 2013 and 2014, and how those trends are influencing floor coverings and reflected in some new introductions at the show.”

Additionally, FCI columnists Jon Namba and Dave Gobis will present during Surfaces 2013. Namba will host “Proper Substrate Preparation for Hardwood, Bamboo and Laminate,” 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Jan. 28. Dave Gobis will present “Glass Tile: A Journey Through Design Trends, Colors and Applications,” with Crossville’s Mikeal Jensen, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Jan. 28, and “Selection and Specification of Installation Materials for Ceramic Tile and Stone,” with Mike Micalizzi of Custom Building Products, 3:30 to 5 p.m. the same day.

Associations Looking to Make Connections and More at Surfaces

With a show as significant to the industry as Surfaces, flooring industry trade groups are eager to make their mark. We asked several industry groups what their plans were for this year’s show.

Scott Carothers, Ceramic Tile Education Foundation:“CTEF will preview our next phase of Certified Tile Installer certifications. Included are Large Format Tile and Surface Prep, Shower Base (conventional), Membranes and Mortar Bed Wall and Floor. I will be joined by Michael Whistler and Gerald Sloan, NTCA Symposium presenters and trainers, in doing 10 20-minute demonstrations throughout the three-day show.”

Michelle Miller, North American Association of Floor Covering Distributors:“Our booth will be located close to the other associations that support the industry. It gives NAFCD the opportunity to visit with our current members, network and discuss the latest news with other industry association executives, and to meet with new distributors or manufacturers that may not be familiar with NAFCD.”

International Certified Flooring Installers Association:CFI will offer a two-day carpet installation training and certification program, Jan. 29-30. The event will mark the first time CFI has offered this type of certification at Surfaces. For more information, visit www.CFIinstallers.com

Anita Howard, National Wood Flooring Association:“For the first time, NWFA will have a wood flooring pavilion at Surfaces. There will be a demo stage near our pavilion as well where our exhibitors can demonstrate their products. We’ll also be presenting a CEU to designers and architects at the show: Beauty Is More Than Skin Deep – Maintaining and Refinishing Wood Floors.”

Bill Dearing, North American Laminate Flooring Association:“NALFA plans include our booth in the association area that will feature NALFA’s educational opportunities; installer certification, inspector certification and expert sales personal certification. On Tuesday evening our NALFA Lammy winners for 2012 will be revealed and recognized for their achievements. I will also present the 2012 Laminate State of the Industry report.”