Coverings – The Ultimate Tile & Stone Experience
January 1st, 2006

April 4-7, 2006
Orlando, Florida USA

From April 4-7, 2006, more than 32,000 attendees will gather at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL and view a wide array of tile and stone products representing 1,200 exhibitors from around the globe.

Winners of the SPECTRUM and PRISM Stone in Architecture Awards, celebrating the most creative and amazing uses in tile and stone design, will be presented with prize money totaling $37,000.

Retail anthropologist and noted author Paco Underhill’s keynote is “Why We Shop,” examining consumer behavior in today’s marketplace.

Over 70 accredited educational sessions will be available on a myriad of topics including consumer buying trends, innovative installation techniques, the latest tile and stone materials, adding to existing product lines, inspiration for upcoming projects, managing your showroom, strategies for running a successful business and much more.

Retail Anthropologist Paco Underhill

How does consumer purchasing behavior influence the tile and stone industry? How has online retailing affected your business? These are just a few questions which Coverings 2006 attendees will have answered by keynote speaker Paco Underhill, retail anthropologist and author of the best-selling book, “Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping.” His presentation is scheduled for Tuesday, April 4, 8:30 a.m., at the Opening Session of Coverings 2006, the premier international trade show dedicated to tile and natural stone which will take place at the Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Florida, USA.

“Paco’s insight into the psyche of consumers and their buying habits promises to provide a compelling and provocative start to Coverings 2006,” said Tamara Christian, president, National Trade Productions and Coverings show director. “He will empower attendees with new tools and wisdom on how to improve business, no matter if they’re fabricators, distributors, retailers, showroom dealers, installers or designers.”

For the past 20 years, Underhill has obsessively studied the science of shopping. A renowned speaker, he is the founding and managing director of Envirosell, a New York-based market research and consulting company, working with such clients as McDonald’s, Starbucks, Wells Fargo, Hewlett-Packard, Toro and Armstrong.

His keynote is part of Coverings’ commitment to offer a comprehensive educational program for the 32,000 tile and stone professionals who attend annually. In fact, over the course of the four-day show, more than 70 free accredited continuing education and live demonstration sessions are conducted for all of the various tile and stone industry constituencies.

Organizations sponsoring Coverings 2006 include ASCER ( Spain’s Ceramic Tile Manufacturers Association), Assopiastrelle (Association of Italian Ceramic Tile and Refractories Manufacturers), CTDA (Ceramic Tile Distributors Association), NTCA (National Tile Contractors Association) and TCNA (Tile Council of North America).

Coverings is also co-sponsored by the Marble Institute of America, American Institute of Architects (Orlando Chapter), The American Society of Interior Designers (Florida North, Florida South and Florida West Coast), International Interior Design Association (Florida Chapter), the Terrazzo Tile and Marble Association of Canada, the Tile Contractors’ Association of America and the Tile Heritage Foundation.

Coverings, the premier international trade fair and expo dedicated exclusively to showcasing the newest in tile and natural stone, has grown to be the largest and most important show of its kind. Coverings features 1,200 exhibitors from more than 50 countries and attracts more than 32,000 distributors, retailers, fabricators, contractors and specifiers, architectural and design professionals, builders and real estate developers, plus the press and journalists who cover this vital and growing industry. Coverings is the stage for introducing some of the most innovative products in the world related to tile and stone. The exposition also serves as a valuable resource for continuing education for all categories of attendees, with informative, accredited seminars and live demonstration sessions conducted throughout the four days.


Two dozen seminar programs tailored exclusively to tile and stone contractors and installers will be presented at Coverings 2006. Sessions are designed to help these professionals gain the insight and leadership necessary to grow their businesses and will include topics such as techniques for installing a mud floor; how to prevent mold, cracking, buckling and other controversial construction issues; and, how to conquer common challenges with everyday installation materials.

“Coverings’ educational sessions are valued by installers for the quality of content and caliber of expert presenters,” said Tamara Christian, president, National Trade Productions and show director for Coverings, the premier international trade show dedicated to tile and natural stone.

The National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA) is a sponsor of Coverings and was instrumental in the development of the seminar program. “We have tried to expose the attendees to a wide variety of topics, incorporating updated standards and methods and new technology,” stated Bart Bettiga, executive director, NTCA.

In addition to the free educational sessions, many of which offer ASID, AIA, or State of Florida Continuing Education Credits, other value-added instructional programming will be conducted directly on the show floor. On the schedule are a live contractors’ workshop, plus demonstrations such as the layout and installation of a ceramic tile floor, installation of a heated floor, and waterproofing steam room walls.

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