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While the attendance was down at Coverings 2009, as is the norm for this year’s industry trade shows, the level of sales interest and activity on the show floor was up. “We came into the show unsure how the economy might affect our business here,” said Giovanni Zani, Gardenia Orchidea’s sales manager for the southern region of the U.S. “But it’s turned out to be an excellent week. We’ve met with many important customers and we’re leaving with orders.”
Zani’s experience was repeatedly echoed by other Coverings 2009 exhibitors, who admitted skepticism going into the show but left the event with valuable prospect leads and sales. “We theorize that the economic shift this year helped to filter out the serious shoppers from the uncommitteds,” said Glenn Feder, president of client events for National Trade Productions, which manages and produces Coverings.
This year marked a first-time appearance at Coverings for HighFire Designs, a recently established artisan tile company. “It’s been a great experience attending Coverings for the first time,” said Wendy Kleiner, president. “I’ve made numerous contacts in the industry. For a new business, this has been terrific exposure for our products and we’ve gained valuable feedback. In addition, we’ve signed on new showrooms this week and saw an increase in our Internet sales just from the flyers we distributed at the show. Being a small business among the giants at Coverings, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it’s truly turned out to be worthwhile.”
Raul Amat, direct sales manager for Levantina, said, “While it has been generally slow, the people who came this year came to do business and see new products. They’re telling us the economy is getting a little bit better. They were here to discuss their current projects and we’ve written business with them. We’ve found the show’s attendees need our support as much as we need theirs.”
Visit www.coverings.com for additional details.