Coverings 2013 will be held for the first time in Atlanta this year, April 29 to May 2 at the Georgia World Congress Center. The show will offer more than 70 free educational sessions and 900 exhibitors displaying their latest products to an audience that will include commercial contractors, residential retailers and designers.


Rounding out the offerings is a series of live demonstrations and an Installation Design Showcase, which will follow the construction of a mock bar/lounge, hotel lobby, in-patient room and master bathroom by National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA) Five-Star Contractors, right on the show floor.

“The Design Showcase is one of the most engaging and interactive parts of Coverings,” according to Coverings Show Director Karin Fendrich. “Leading installers and designers are paired together to collaborate to showcase the synergy between great design and installation. Each space will highlight a different design aesthetic and feature tile and stone in a live installation.”


Classes and events for retailers and designers

The educational sessions are targeted to a wide range of tile and stone professionals, including architects, builders/remodelers, green building professionals, interior designers and retailers, as well as installers, fabricators and distributors. “The sessions cover everything from business development, green issues and installation best practices to product and design trends and industry news, over the course of four days,” Fendrich noted.

Coverings 2013 will offer six featured sessions designed to touch on all areas of the tile and stone business. They are: “Style, Substance and Color: Major Trends and Directions,” with Leatrice Eiseman, Pantone Color Institute; “Healthcare Reform is Reality: How Smart Businesses are Preparing for the Affordable Care Act,” with Gene Marks of The Marks Group; “Trends in Tile: Boundary-Breaking New Looks, New Innovations and New Materials for Indoors and Out,” with The Art of Tileauthor Jen Renzi; “Leadership and Ethics,” with Lt. Gen. John F. Sattler (USMC ret.); David Rockwell, Rockwell Group founder and CEO, with Cindy Allen, editor-in-chief of Interior Design magazine; and “The Marketing Diet: How to Improve Your Marketing and Lose Weight!” with Marty Gould of Focalize Now.

Other topics geared toward retailers and designers, including a mix of marketing, social media and best practices, are: “What Every Retailer Can Learn from Apple,” “Understanding Merchandising Real Estate,” “How Video Marketing Can Help Improve Your Branding and Online Marketing Efforts,” “Selling & Marketing Green the Easy Way,” “How to Market Your Showroom Online,” “How to Build Profitable Customers Through Experience Marketing,” “The 10 Essentials to Selling Interior Designers and the Decorative Trade,” “Six Essential Strategies to Creating Passionate Customers,” “Best Practices for a Business-to-Business Content Marketing Strategy” and “Social Media and Business: Creating Content to Engage, Build and Grow Customer Relationships.”

General business enrichment topics, which are aimed at anyone who runs or wants to run a business, include tools for developing your team; the psychology of price; the effect of the housing recovery on ceramic tile sales; handling litigation; managing a successful family business; and selling tile from the standpoint of the Internet, the industry and the consumer.

Also during the show, organizers will offer Contractor Tours, April 30 and May 1. The hour-long events will give contractors a sneak peek of new products and exclusive visits with key exhibitors. The tours, which are limited to 25 people a day, also include a lunch and 3 to 5:30 p.m. happy hour in the Contractor Lounge. Any attendee with a contractor badge can relax and network in the Contractor Lounge during the show, and grab a beer and participate in raffles during happy hour.


Awards and recognition

Coverings will also host the 2013 Coverings Installation and Design (CID) Awards. Open to architects, designers, builders, contractors, distributors, retailers, installers and other construction professionals, the CID Awards aim to recognize projects that demonstrate design and installation excellence in their use of tile and stone, in both residential and commercial projects. Award winners will be announced during a special ceremony, 5:30 p.m. April 29.

Project: Green will also return to Coverings. The program highlights projects, both within the U.S. and internationally, that create a positive environmental impact and exemplify innovation, aesthetics and the use of sustainable tile and stone products. Selected projects will be housed on the show floor at Coverings and be the focus of a conference session during the show.

Fendrich expects a high turnout for Coverings 2013. “In 2012, 22,000 people registered, representing a 19 percent increase over 2011. For 2013, the first time the show has been in Atlanta, registration is already strong. The expectation is that the numbers will surpass 2012.”

For more information and to register, visit