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Coverings 2003, the international trade show and professional education conference for the tile, stone and floor covering industry, will take place at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla., March 24-27. More than 1300 exhibitors from 45 countries will showcase trend-setting products, designs, applications and services of interest to a worldwide audience of professional designers, distributors, merchandisers, architects, specifiers and contractors.
Additionally, “with more than 80 educational sessions being offered through Vision 2003 at no cost, and the lower expense of doing business in Orlando, floor covering professionals of every type will find that they simply can’t afford to miss this opportunity,” said Rick Church, chairman of the board of the international industry trade associations that organize the annual event.
A Wide PopularityOver its 16-year history, Coverings has grown to become the dominant event in its industry. Attendance was up 17% in 2002 compared to the previous year and set a new record at 30,695 trade and professional attendees. Thirty percent of the attendees came from over 100 countries outside the U.S., confirming the trade show’s global impact. With the event’s major product categories more popular than ever, organizers expect the show to set new attendance records in 2003.
Countries from North America, South America, the Middle East, Europe and Asia will be represented in a grouping of International Pavilions. Scheduled for inclusion are a 90,000-square-foot pavilion sponsored by Assopiastrelle of Italy, a 68,000-square-foot exhibit by the Trade Commission of Spain, and 25,900 square feet of space sponsored by the Tile Council of America. Other countries that will be represented include Brazil, China, India, Israel, Portugal, Mexico and Turkey.
A Wealth of InformationVision 2003, the educational and career development arm of Coverings, has scheduled over 80 complementary seminars, workshops and courses led by some of the most highly regarded industry leaders and technical experts. The program includes a number of separate categories—including merchandising and marketing, management, design, market trends, installation, stone fabrication and technology—to appeal to the varied interests of the attendees.
Attendees will also benefit from the show’s popular interactive forums, in which attendees participate at a group table. Each table is assigned a facilitator and a separate topic for discussion or problem solving. At the end of the session, each table presents its findings or recommendations to the entire gathering for further discussions. “The Fabricators Forum” will be led by Michael Reis, editor and associate publisher of Stone World magazine; “The Retailers Forum” will be led by Sandy Montero, publisher of Floor Covering Weekly; “The Distributors Forum: Showroom Policies” will be led by Rick Church, executive director of the Ceramic Tile Distributors Association (CTDA); and “The Contractors Forum,” will be led by Bart Bettiga, executive director of the National Tile Contractors Association (NCTA).