Alexandria, VA – Coverings 2014, the largest tile and stone exposition and conference in North America, saw attendance numbers rise when the show returned to Las Vegas earlier this month to celebrate its 25th Anniversary. Key audience segments that saw an increase include distributors, retailers and contractors/installers and reflects the resurgence of tile and stone consumption across the United States. More than 22,500 industry professionals came to Coverings 2014, a bump of 3% from last year and 22% from 2011, the last year Coverings was located in Las Vegas. Overall, several key segments saw double-digit increases compared to 2011, particularly for retailers, distributors and fabricators, which were up 12-, 16- and 36-percent, respectively.
In addition to a robust turnout, Coverings 2014 experienced an increase in the number of exhibitors. Coverings extended is footprint to 387,600 square-feet of space, utilizing an outdoor pavilion called The Plaza, located adjacent to the South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center. In total, Coverings hosted more than 975 exhibitors.
“Our attendance and exhibitor numbers truly indicate an improvement to the health and vitality of the tile and stone industry in North America,” said Karin Fendrich, Coverings show director. “With new home sales continuing to rise, and the U.S. tile and stone consumption experiencing a fourth consecutive growth year, attending Coverings was more critical than ever this year.”
Coverings kept attendees engaged with a number of programs including the conference program, with more than 80 sessions and CEU courses; Ceramic Tile Education Foundation’s on-site installation certification courses, the Live Demonstration stage, the Coverings Installation and Design Awards, the Installation Design Showcase, Interior Design magazine’s Editorial Portfolio Review and the popular Contractor Tours.
A perennial favorite, the Installation Design Showcase tapped area A+D associations to design four unique vignettes including an indoor courtyard, bar, retail space and a sustainable, accessible bathroom. Each design team was paired with an installer with Five Star Recognition from the National Tile Contractors Association and certification from the CTEF to execute the vision and highlight the importance of qualified installers to create stunning spaces.
Las Vegas-based designer Stephen Leon, who designed a chic bar vignette, saw his experience with the Installation Design Showcase as an opportunity to get hands-on education with installer Lambert Tile & Stone.
First-time Installation Design Showcase installer Martin Brookes of Heritage Marble & Tile worked with UNLV professor Jonathon Anderson to create an indoor courtyard. He said the project was a valuable way to showcase the skills they’ve acquired through the certification programs.
“Working to bring the vision of a talented designer to life in a live environment was such a gratifying experience for our installation team,” Brookes said. “It gave the team the occasion to truly test what we are able to execute. This was no competition, but a time to collaborate with industry peers.”
In collaboration with the National Tile Contractors Association, the Contractor Day Tours returned again this year offering more than 125 attendees curated tours of top resources for installers, helping maximize their time at the show and hear first-hand from company executives about new products and innovation.
While the show floor stayed a buzz with activities, Coverings’ celebration of its 25th Anniversary took center stage. From commemorative tiles to vintage-style Coverings T-shirts and the interactive photo booth, the show reverberated with celebration, commencing with the sold-out 25th Anniversary Party at Hyde at the Bellagio. More than 500 attendees reminisced and celebrated while having premium viewing of the hotel’s famous dancing fountain show.
Coverings also offered a sneak peek into the 2015 show with its announcement of a new creative campaign and logo. Attendees received a preview of the campaign thanks to Creative Edge, a Coverings exhibitor that interpreted the new creative, using a beautiful marble slab and inlaid tile to replicate a series of brightly colored, stacked frames. The new campaign and logo are slated to appear this summer on the Coverings website and throughout all of the marketing and promotional materials. Coverings 2015 will be held April 14-17 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL.