Coverings: Seminars, Training and More at Coverings 2005
March 1st, 2005


March-April 2005

Coverings 2005 will feature a range of speakers, conferences and seminars designed to address key issues of interest to the wide range of exhibitors and attendees who participate in the show. Free seminars for members from all communities, including architects/designers, installers, dealers, distributors and fabricators will help raise awareness of current trends and uses for ceramic tile and natural stone, giving attendees an increased understanding of the tile and stone market and business opportunities in the U.S. In addition, many of the seminars will offer ASID, AIA, or Florida State Continuing Education Units.

“We learned with our highly successful conference program last year that attendees truly value educational sessions targeted to their business areas,” says Tamara Christian, Coverings show director and president of National Trade Productions. “As a result, for the 2005 show we’re offering even more customized sessions that will help each attendee group expand its opportunities to increase the use and sale of tile and stone. We have scheduled sessions on a broad range of topics including everything from doing business with homebuilders to increased profitability for tile contractors to green building and mosaic design. We’re confident our attendees will come away from Coverings 2005 with tools and training they need to drive their businesses,” Christian adds.

Immediately after the PRISM and Spectrum Awards are announced, keynote speaker Dave Barry will kick off the show on Tuesday, May 3, from 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. A humor columnist for the Miami Herald, his column appears in more than 500 newspapers in the United States and abroad. In 1988 he won the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary. Barry has also written a total of 25 books, and he plays lead guitar in a literary rock band called the Rock Bottom Remainders, whose other members include Stephen King, Amy Tan, Ridley Pearson and Mitch Albom.

Featured Sessions Provide Something For Everyone

“Like 2004, Coverings 2005 offers a forum, conference, exhibit or workshop for everyone involved in, or looking to enter, the ceramic tile and natural stone business,” notes Christian. “Attendees know that Coverings is the show for superior hard surface education to help them increase sales, perfect installations, and be more profitable.”

Leatrice Eiseman, principal of the Eiseman Center for Color Information and Training, and executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, returns to Coverings on Tuesday, May 3 at 12:30 p.m. to present “Color Trends: How Will They Change?” Once again, she will identify the newest trends in color and consumer buying habits. Eiseman is the author of four books about color and is regularly quoted in a wide range of fashion, interior design and graphics publications.

On Wednesday, May 4 at 8:00 a.m. Vince Marazita of Marazita & Associates will discuss the booming use of natural stone in the United States, from countertops to skyscrapers. This Seventh Annual “State of the Industry” presentation will give attendees a birds-eye view of the dimensional stone market in the USA, covering sourcing, marketing and application trends in the Stone Industry over the past year, including examples of award-winning projects that have been recognized for their use of natural stone.

Barry Wood, of “Trading Spaces,” one of the top-rated shows on The Learning Channel, will present at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 5. Best known for his work on the show, Wood is one part artist, one part architect, and one part rock and roll. His diverse professional experience and wide-open spirit allow him to create thoughtful, yet fun, environments. His Trading Spaces rooms are layered with a balance of precedent, theory, exploration and invention.

On Friday, May 6 at 8:00 a.m., Bruce Van der Linde of Virginia Tile, who has his own talk radio show in Virginia where he’s known as “The Tile Guy,” will discuss Media and Its Impact on the Floor Covering Industry.

Specialized Conferences

Coverings has developed many new conferences and sessions to appeal to each of its primary attendee audiences. Some of the 2005 Coverings conferences include (comprehensive list attached separately):

• What’s Available in Distribution/Retail Software and Why Should I Use It? For distributors and dealers, this session will make attendees aware of the products available on the marketplace and educate them on the importance of software systems for tracking inventory and customer relationship management.

• Embracing Change in the Building Industry: Targeted to installers and specifiers but useful to all attendees, this presentation will look at some of the trends in home building such as more open spaces, larger kitchens and bathrooms, changes in ceramic tile and stone and how the demand for wood building materials is creating conditions that installers, specifiers, salespeople and builder/remodelers need to consider before starting their next jobs.

• Five Key Productivity Measures That Will Increase Your Sales and Profits Now! For the stone fabricators, this presentation will identify the five most important productivity measures and how to use them to increase sales and profitability immediately. Five key measures to be discussed include: Turnover, Average Transaction, Items Per Ticket, Conversion Rate and Gross Margin Return on Inventory Investment.

• Designing For Our Future Selves: The Baby Boomer Generation: Now that the Baby Boomers have come of age and reached success, they are ready to purchase or renovate their last homes. They want luxury and adaptability so that they can age in peace. Use the concept of universal design and the knowledge of products originally made for the disabled but now beautifully designed for use by everyone, and learn how to make your client’s home “cutting edge custom.”

Contractors may participate in free workshops held in the exhibit hall show floor, some of which include:

• Tuesday, May 3rd: Installation of Electric Warm Floors

• Wednesday, May 4th: Installation of Crack Isolation Membrane on Floor

• Thursday, May 5th: Layout and Installation of Ceramic Tile Walls

• Friday, May 6th: Installation of Epoxy Floor Grout

“Just as we did last year, we plan to do a series of special hospitality events to thank the contractors, architects, designers, distributors and retailers who contribute considerably to the success of the show each year,” adds Christian. These hospitality events are scheduled for Wednesday, May 4th and Thursday, May 5th, at Universal Studios in Orlando. There will be three events scheduled, one for contractors, one for architects and designers, and one for distributors and retailers.

“We are confident that we have once again put together a program for Coverings 2005 that will have all attendees leaving knowing that they’ve just attended the show with the most to offer in terms of education and business building in the flooring industry,” Christian adds.

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