Coverings (, the largest international tile & stone exhibition and conference in North America, opened its doors Tuesday to an enthusiastic crowd at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando. To kick off the start of the show’s 30th year, representatives from Ceramics of Italy, the Tile Council of North America, Tile of Spain, the Ceramic Tile Distributors Association, and the National Tile Contractors Association gathered for an official ribbon cutting ceremony. Open through Friday, April 12, Coverings will showcase the latest in tile and stone from over 1,100 exhibitors and more than 40 countries.

“The strong attendance on the first day of Coverings and thousands of inspiring displays from our global exhibitors truly showcases significant growth in the tile and stone industry,” said Jennifer Hoff, president of Taffy Events, the management company for Coverings. “With 2019 marking Coverings’ 30th Anniversary, we’re honored to continue fostering valuable connections and expanding industry knowledge.”

In celebration of Coverings’ anniversary, attendees were greeted by music from the show’s 1989 launch year as they entered the convention center. A timeline with highlights from Coverings’ heritage further showcased the show’s long-standing history and recognized exhibitors who’ve participated annually. To create new memories, attendees also were encouraged to take pictures in a 30th Anniversary-branded photo booth.

On the show floor, the newly expanded Installation & Design Experience (Booth 3538) was abuzz as attendees explored demonstrations, interactive learning features, and inspring vignettes showcasing the synergy between design and installation. The vignettes were designed by locally-based designers and architects: Reginald Dunlap Interior Design design and  Welch Tile & Marble installation, using  ESTIMA Ceramica products; Interstruct, Inc. design and C. C. Owen Tile Company, Inc. installation, using Crossville, Inc. products; and HHCP design and Nichols Tile & Terrazzo Co., Inc. installation, using Ceramics of Italy products. This year, Tile Council of North America (TCNA), offered a new feature— its highly respected Product Performance Testing Laboratory — which explains the tests that are commonly conducted within the TCNA Lab, exemplifying how vital this information can be for product suitability and performance.

Color expert Leatrice Eiseman was one of several prominent speakers that kicked off the robust conference program. Her popular session discussed how the culinary and auto industries will impact 2020 color trends and noted that copper and black-and-white patterns will remain popular this year.  Through its duration, attendees will have the opportunity to attend more than 50 conference sessions where leaders in the tile and stone industry will provide daily education and trend insights.

Additionally, tile and stone industry colleagues reconnected at a wide range of networking opportunities available on the show floor, including daily happy hours inside the Installation & Design Experience booth, the TCNA booth (Booth 3219), and the Coverings Connect lounge (Booth 5832). Also at the Coverings Connect lounge, “Byte Size” speaking sessions – which focus on maximizing social media and technology for business – kicked off with a session on tile’s sustainability.

To learn more and to register to attend visit

# # #

Coverings Social Media


Twitter: @Coverings, #Coverings2019







About Coverings

Coverings is the largest and most important ceramic tile and natural stone trade fair and expo in the United States. It features exhibitors from over 40 countries and is the stage for introducing some of the most innovative tile and stone products in the world.

The exposition serves as a valuable resource for continuing education for all segments of the industry, with more than 50 educational offerings throughout the show, all free of charge. Coverings attracts thousands of distributors, retailers, fabricators, contractors, specifiers, architectural and design professionals, builders and real estate developers, as well as journalists and bloggers who cover this vital and dynamic industry.


Marazzi Launches Three Stunning Collections for Summer

The latest offerings from Marazzi give customers timeless design, monochromatic style, and a hygge-inspired natural look that will create intrigue in any space. Leveraging innovative technology, the latest collections from Marazzi demonstrate high performance and align with today’s hottest design trends.

“The latest introductions from Marazzi bring timeless design options for bold room statements. Calling on popular styles – such as stone and marble accenting, monochromatic design palettes and outdoor living – the new collections deliver customers stunning, on-trend surfacing solutions,” said Micah Hand, senior marketing manager of Dal-Tile, parent company of Marazzi USA. “From high-fashion designs to contemporary color palettes, Marazzi collections always add beautiful statements to residential and commercial spaces, while maintaining the high performance customers expect.”

With a hint of the antique, Historia™ whispers of marbled halls in timeless estates. Designers and homeowners can select from this well-rounded offering of stone-look colors with dramatic veining, aged to perfection by generations of use. These glazed porcelain tiles are available in large-format sizes, 12×24, 24×24, and 24×48. The collection also includes a 4×8 half hex that offers multiple design options when mixing colors to create unique patterns. Anchor room designs in the solidarity of the past with Historia.

Inspired by dark-colored, fine-grained basalt, Basalto™ offers smooth monochromatic style. This new collection is available in four neutral colors in 12×24 or 24×24 large-format sizes. The collection also offers 2 CM thick outdoor pavers in 32×32 and 20×40. Crafted with Italian precision, Basalto is a Colorbody™ porcelain tile that will stand the test of the ages.

Welcome the hygge-inspired warmth of Merona™ into your designs. Smooth color in a light, natural grain invites relaxation. Proprietary Stepwise™ technology makes Merona 50 percent more slip resistant than regular tile when compared to tile meeting ANSI Standards, making it an ideal selection for indoor and outdoor installations. Long planks in 8×40 offer the look and feel of continuity throughout. Keep design simple yet stunning with Merona.

The latest products from Marazzi, join four additional 2019 Marazzi tile collections that were introduced at The International Surfaces Event in January 2019 – each a high-performing surface option that nods to the latest design trends.

D_Segni Terrazzo™ combines the vintage look of terrazzo with eye-catching patterns commonly associated with encaustic tile. This glazed porcelain tile is available in a retro 8×8 size; four solid colors and four patterns can be combined to fit any design aesthetic. Vibrant and bold, the D_Segni Color™ collection reimagines encaustic tile for an exotic element in spaces. This 8×8 collection of glazed porcelain features three vibrant solid colors and four coordinating encaustic-inspired patterns, which can be mixed and matched for a rug-like quality.

Marazzi’s best-selling wood look tile, American Estates™ expanded and now features three additional colors – white, natural and gray – adding modern options to this collection of artisanal, hand-scraped wood-look porcelain tile. Persuade™, a fresh take on a concrete-look, features a calming linear grain on a soft plaster aesthetic, making it a beautiful option for upscale designs. This glazed porcelain option is available in three neutral colors and three rectangular sizes applicable for floors and walls. The design can be elevated with a brickjoint mosaic for added visual texture.

All of the new Marazzi 2019 products will be on display at Coverings 2019 in Orlando, Fla., from April 9-12 in booth #2100. To learn more about the new collections, as well as the full line of Marazzi products, please visit


About Marazzi
With a bold vision for the future, Marazzi built the first Italian-owned ceramic manufacturing plant in the U.S. in 1982, assuring domestic access to world-renowned technology and style. Manufacturing a vast array of quality tile products, including porcelains, glazed ceramics, glass mosaics, natural stones and metallics, the brand continues to evolve for the savvy homeowner, designer and architect. Bold, daring and occasionally over the top, Marazzi provides captivating designs that integrate Italian style into exciting and imaginative environments. For more information, visit and follow Marazzi on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube.

Ragno Unveils Five Collections in Time for Summer

Drawing on inspiration from materials found in nature, Ragno launches five new collections for summer, letting homeowners and designers invite the outdoors inside with beautiful iterations of marble, stone, and travertine. The popular visuals of concrete and encaustic tile are also included.

“Inspiration is all around us and designers and homeowners now have five new tile collections that each call upon the beauty of natural materials, reimagined for indoor spaces,” said Micah Hand, senior marketing manager of Dal-Tile, parent company of Ragno. “The latest Ragno collections provide gorgeous, refined porcelain surfaces with a tailored look as well as the quality and durability we know designers and consumers demand.”

Rediscover a past era of refinement full of muted colors and geometric patterns blended with a contemporary reinterpretation of encaustic and granulated marble tile. The Abitare™ collection is available in six shades and eight patterns. The retro 8×8 size is perfect for floors or walls. Create an attractive addition to your design with this original porcelain tile.

Create designs with distinguished marble looks that are destined to turn heads. Replicating dreamy and sophisticated Italian marble, Romantic Marble™ offers large-format Colorbody™ porcelain tile and a unique rhombus mosaic. Choose from several finishes or a new soft, natural finish.

Showcasing variations in color that look like curing concrete, ConKreto™ Colorbody™ porcelain tile features monochromatic tones with a hint of a history. Three large sizes in four colors plus a coordinating triangular mosaic provide plenty of options for designing beautiful residential or commercial spaces.

Offering the look of travertine limestone in elegant, unexpected colors, Dinamico™ will inspire designers and homeowners to design outside the box. The large-format sizes expand a space using either 12×24 or 18×36 tiles with a coordinating 1×4 mosaic. Linear influences enhance the travertine stone look of this Colorbody™ porcelain tile whose details are enriched by a glossy application to create dynamic light reflections. Available in White, Grey, and Beige.

Inspired by Burlington stone, a British stone celebrated for its beauty and practicality, Liverpool™ has just enough movement to draw the eye and a uniform background for a calming influence. This porcelain tile is a top choice for builders in either commercial or residential applications.

The new Ragno collections will be on display at Coverings 2019 in Orlando, Fla., from April 9-12 in booth #2100. To learn more about the new summer 2019 collections, as well as the full line of Ragno products, visit


About Ragno
Created for tile aficionados, Ragno provides premium, innovative products that integrate true tile craftsmanship with a modern twist. Using state-of-the-art production capabilities and advanced technologies Ragno produces fully-rectified, digital and Colorbody porcelain tiles with micro-beveled edges for a precision finish with the highest design and quality.

American Olean Introduces Two Summer Collections

Continuing in the tradition of reinventing the classics, American Olean launches two new collections for summer that offer designers a fresh perspective on concrete and marble.

“Designers and homeowners seek inspiration in the materials found around us and in nature, which led us to create these contemporary styles that invite the outdoors inside with accents to refresh spaces,” said Micah Hand, senior marketing manager of Dal-Tile, American Olean’s parent company. “The latest collections from American Olean provide elegant, inspired solutions without sacrificing the trusted quality and durability that designers, architects, and consumers have come to expect from our porcelain products.”

NeoConcrete™ is the concrete-look tile that delivers both style and enhanced slip resistance, for spaces that demand higher performance. Five svelte colors in two finishes come in large sizes, as well as a contemporary 3-D cube mosaic. Designed to coordinate with one of our favorite collections, NeoSpeck, NeoConcrete completes the offering as a rectified Colorbody™ porcelain tile featuring Stepwise™ technology. Proprietary Stepwise technology makes NeoConcrete 50 percent more slip resistant than regular tile when compared to tile meeting ANSI Standards, making it an ideal selection for indoor and outdoor installations.

Beautiful, elegant, timeless — words that define white marble. Ideology™ brings the history of white marble and contemporary design together. Updated larger sizes and fascinating geometric mosaic and decorative tile options let designers and homeowners insert marble veining into today’s designs. These glazed porcelain products are available in three colors, including Vein-Cut Calacatta, Lasa, and Carrara.

The latest new summer launch collections from American Olean join three new spring launch tile collections that were introduced at The International Surfaces Event in January 2019 — each an elegant take on natural materials.

Rich graphics come to life through the Waterwood™ collection, which pulls inspiration from the bricola wood pillars that grace the waterways of Venice. Bricola is transformed by years of water exposure and the Waterwood glazed porcelain series emulates this unique wood found in only one place in the world and delivers a nontraditional oak look.

With a captivating mix of color movement, sleek lines and clean finishes, Presario™ marble is sure to create an elegant design. Three cosmopolitan colors of natural marble stone modernize this classic look, and a variety of mosaic shapes allow designers to make a lasting impression in their projects.

The calming effects of the sun setting over the water infuse the Sunset Falls™ collection. This travertine stone-look delivers classic style in several sizes, rectangular shapes and a herringbone mosaic. Offering design flexibility, these porcelain tiles lay a stunning foundation that will check all the boxes when it comes to beauty and performance.

All of the new 2019 American Olean products will be on display at Coverings 2019 in Orlando, Fla., from April 9-12 in booth #2100. To learn more about the new collections, as well as the full line of American Olean products, visit


About American Olean
Since 1923, American Olean has been offering an extensive array of quality tile products. Through an appealing selection and a trusted network of industry professionals, American Olean empowers the creative visions of residential and commercial design and construction. For more information, visit and follow American Olean on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Houzz and Pinterest.







(ARLINGTON, VA—March 28, 2019) Coverings (, the largest international tile & stone exhibition and conference in North America, will offer more than 50 educational opportunities to attendees of the 2019 show. Through this robust lineup, leaders in the tile and stone industry will provide daily education and trend insights during the April 9-12 show at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando.

Coverings’ in-depth educational offering is designed to keep tile and stone professionals current and provide a competitive edge in today’s fast-paced market. Open to all attendees and exhibitors and free of charge, the 2019 educational program includes 60- and 90- minute CEU-accredited sessions, 20-minute quickfire and “byte-size” presentations as well as live demonstrations dedicated to a wide range of professionals including architects and designers, fabricators, builders, installers, fabricators and more.

Coverings 2019 featured programming will include new content and bring back attendee favorites, with key industry leaders and the following topics:

Tuesday, April 9, 8:30-9:30 AM

“Color in the New Era: Trends, Twists and Tweaks” will forecast color and design trends for 2020. Presented by Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute and the Eiseman Center for Color Information and Training, programming will highlight the notion that muted and vibrant tones can co-exist and that a traditional style tweaked with futuristic touches can provide a sense of familiarity with a unique or contemporary perspective.

Tuesday, April 9, 8:30-9:30 AM

Wednesday, April 10, 9:30-10:30 AM

Bart Bettiga, Executive Director of the National Tile Contractors Association, and Jim Hieb, CEO of The Natural Stone Institute will moderate “Town Hall Meeting – Residential: What Homebuilders & Specifiers Are Saying About the Tile & Stone Industry” and “Town Hall Meeting – Commercial: What General Contractors & Specifiers are Saying About the Tile & Stone Industry.” Both meetings will explore industry insights, with the first session examining from a residential perspective and the second from a commercial  perspective. On Tuesday, April 9, tile installers and stone fabricators will gain perspective on what home builders and design professionals expect from their partners on residential projects. On Wednesday, April 10, general contractors and design professionals will share their insights for tile installers and stone fabricators for commercial project success. A roundtable discussion will follow both Town Hall sessions.

Tuesday, April 9, 8:30-9:30 AM

“Trump, Tariffs and Taxes: What’s Next for Your Business” will take a look at trade policies and explore how businesses will be affected over the next few years. Gene Marks, Columnist for The Washington Post and Owner of Marks Group, will take a deep dive into the issues attendees know and those they don’t, including on update on USMCA/NAFTA 2.0, EU negotiations and China tariff negotiations. The session will also highlight potential global trouble spots that may impact the tile & stone industry.

Wednesday, April 10, 8:00-9:00 AM

James Dion, President and Owner of Dionco Inc., will provide insights on how retail is evolving and how companies can continue to thrive amidst consumers’ changing shopping patterns. Dion will discuss new innovations and technology, as well as those that have the potential to become a part of the marketplace in a session titled, “E-Commerce, M-Commerce, Conversation Commerce, Brick & Mortar: Customers’ Many Ways to Get What They Want – How to Deliver On All.”

Wednesday, April 10, 1:30-2:30 PM

“Transparency Trilogy Part I: Transparency in Materials” will be a panel discussion between Bill Griese, Director of Standards Development & Sustainability Initiatives at The Tile Council or North America, and Luciano Galassini, Deputy Director of Confindustria Ceramica, moderated by Kadie Yale, Founder of Designology Co*Operative. The trio will discuss the ingredients from which tiles and related installation materials are most commonly made and their health attributes compared to other flooring materials, as well as why today’s consumers and specifiers are so passionate about material components and how they’re reported.

Wednesday, April 10, 8:30-10:00 AM

Alena Capra, Coverings Industry Ambassador and Owner of Alena Capra Designs, and Ryan Fasan, Design and Technical Consultant for Tile of Spain, join Scott Conwell, FAIA LEED-AP CSI CDT, Director of Industry Development at the International Masonry Institute for “Right Product, Right Usage, Any Place.” This hands-on session will feature discussion to bring attendees up to speed with the latest product offerings and how to utilize them to create the best effect in specifications. The session will explore the myriad of options available today through the lens of health, safety, ROI and ease of ownership for clients.

Thursday, April 11, 2:00-3:00 PM

“Global Tile Trends,” presented by Ryan Fasan; Cristina Faedi, Manager of Promotional Activities at Ceramics of Italy & Cersaie; and Lindsey Waldrep, Vice President of Marketing at Crossville Inc., facilitates a discussion of the latest trends. Taking a look at innovative designs, techniques and materials, the session will analyze how to transform installations. A new Global Tile Trends Tour, led by Alena Capra, will commence following the presentation.

To learn more about educational offerings and create a personalized schedule, visit


# # #

Coverings Social Media


Twitter: @Coverings, #Coverings2019






Coverings 2019 takes place April 9-12 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL. For more information, visit or contact Taffy Events, Coverings Show Management, 703-539-5504.

Download the Coverings Mobile App

Download the Coverings mobile app and never miss a session, booth visit or event!

If you have already planned your itinerary with the online planner, download and sync the app to your personalized planner by tapping the orange button on the app home screen and your login.

Coverings 2019 Mobile App Features

  • Sync your online planner seamlessly in the app
  • Build a personalized schedule by bookmarking exhibitors, sessions, and products to access via the My Schedule icon
  • Locate sessions and exhibitors on the venue maps
  • Map the best route to visit your bookmarked exhibitors with the My Route icon
  • Stay organized with up-to-the-minute exhibitor, speaker, and event information
  • Take notes and provide real-time session feedback
  • Sync the app with your planner and across your devices with multi-device sync
  • Receive important real-time alerts and event updates from the show organizer
  • Publish a profile to network with 26,000+ of your industry peers

Many Ways to Download the App

CLICK: Use this link while on your mobile device to access the app

SCAN: Use your device’s QR code scanner to quickly find the Coverings app

SEARCH: The App Store or Google Play for “Coverings Show”

If you already have the Coverings 2018 app on your device, tap “Exit to show list” from the dashboard. Choose Coverings 2019 then tap download.

Prepare Before You Arrive — Online Planner

Log in with your Coverings registration ID to create your personalized planner on your desktop now by adding your favorite booths, sessions and events.

Then before the show, download the Coverings mobile app and sync your personalized itinerary by tapping the orange button on the app home screen.


Coverings, the largest international tile & stone exhibition and conference in North America, will give back to the local community through a range of charitable initiatives at this year’s show in Orlando, Florida from April 9-12. Continuing its tradition of supporting the host city, Coverings will partner with both Clean the World and the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando.

“Coverings wouldn’t be possible without the support of our host cities, so it’s incredibly important that we give back to the communities that welcome us each year,” said Jennifer Hoff, president of Taffy Event Strategies, the management company for Coverings. “With so many industry professionals gathering in one place, we are honored to band together to benefit the area and build even deeper connections here.”

For a second year, Coverings will continue its partnership with Clean the World, assembling and providing hygiene kits for veterans’ associations in the Orlando area. Participants, including the National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA), Tile of Spain, Ceramics of Italy and Coverings exhibitors Mapei and Florida Tile, will meet on Monday, April 8 for Coverings’ official service event, assembling kits onsite with daily items like toothpaste, shampoo, toothbrushes, lotion, Chapstick and more. The group hopes to double the output of last year’s initiative, with the aim of creating 1,600 kits for distribution to local veterans and will include handwritten notes within each kit as a thank you to those who have served their country.

“We’re excited to bring the initiative to Orlando and build on the success of Clean the World’s 2018 partnership with Coverings in Atlanta,” said NTCA Executive Director Bart Bettiga. “This joint service event brings the industry together for a truly positive and energizing start to the show, while generating immediate impact for those who have served our country living in our host city.”

Coverings 2019 also marks a continuation of the show’s partnership with Habitat for Humanity. In collaboration with both Habitat for Humanity of Seminole County & Greater Apopka and Freeman – the general service contractor for the show – Coverings will donate tile and building materials to benefit Habitat for Humanity’s mission of building affordable homes for those in need. The three organizations will work together during show breakdown to identify and collect usable tile, stone and other products from exhibitor booths.

Additionally, the Tile Council of North America (TCNA) and 21 of its members will continue their generous support for Orlando-area pets through TCNA’s tiled doghouse program at Coverings 2019. Showcasing tile’s versatility and style, participating members will design and build custom tiled doghouses. During the show these one-of-a-kind, handmade creations will be on display at the TCNA Art Tile Courtyard (Booth #4209), where attendees can see the craftsmanship firsthand and meet furry friends from the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando. A donation ceremony will be held in the TCNA Art Tile Courtyard at 3:15 p.m. on Thursday, April 11th.

“We’re honored to bring the tiled doghouse program back to Coverings as a creative and charitable way to showcase the beauty and versatility of tile,” said Kathy Meyer, TCNA director of marketing. “We invite Coverings attendees to visit the TCNA Art Tile Courtyard to see these incredible works of art generously provided by our members, meet the dedicated volunteers from the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando, and learn more about how this program benefits pets in the local community.”

Coverings returns to the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando April 9-12, showing the latest and greatest from over 1,100 exhibitors. For more information, and to register to attend, visit

# # #

Coverings Social Media


Twitter: @Coverings, #Coverings2019





Google +:


About Coverings

Coverings is the largest and most important ceramic tile and natural stone trade fair and expo in the United States. It features exhibitors from over 40 countries and is the stage for introducing some of the most innovative tile and stone products in the world.


Coming to the 30th edition of Coverings

Coming soon to the Orange County Convention Center is the 30th edition of Coverings! That’s right, this year Coverings ’19 returns to Orlando bigger and better than ever. It’s your chance to prepare and take advantage of the astounding and abundant opportunities for education, inspiration and networking that make up the heart of the Coverings expo. 

To get ready and view an overview and floor plan of the show floor, schedule of events and Conference Session, awards and other aspects of the show, go to

This issue gives you a sampling of upcoming events planned by Coverings show owners – Ceramics of Italy, Tile of Spain, Tile Council of North America, the Ceramic Tile Distributors Association, and the National Tile Contractors Association. Take a look at highlighted educational sessions and demos pertinent to your visit as well as lists of exhibitors who have the products that you seek.

While you’re searching for products, read this issue’s Tech Talk section, which surveys tile contractors for the tools most important to their businesses. It might give you some ideas of items to search for at Coverings, to improve your comfort, production speed, precision or overall efficiency.

Installers weigh in again in our Business Tip, with information of how THEY navigate the Coverings show. If you’ve never attended – and even if you’re a regular – you can pick up some pointers about making the most of the experience and arranging your time to mine the show for inspiration gold! Becky Serbin’s NTCA University Update also gives you some tips for planning your conference strategy in Orlando.

Contractors, be sure to read the NTCA section and the list of demonstrations planned for the TCNA Installation Demonstration stage, including a visit to the new Installation & Design Experience. Every year NTCA works to develop a fuller, richer and more educational experience for its members and visiting contractors and installers at the show and this year is no exception, with education, demos, tours, installed vignettes illustrating the collaboration between designers and qualified labor, refreshments, networking opportunities and even the chance to win prizes all on the roster. Booth #3538 is your go-to location for all things installation, with a satellite NTCA desk in booth #3219 staffed with representatives to answer your questions about membership and the association.

I always enjoy feedback on the show and what you found valuable, so please drop me a line at [email protected] and share your thoughts! Looking forward to seeing you in Orlando!

God bless!

[email protected]

Creating a Coverings strategy to make the show work for you

By now, your Coverings planning should be in full swing. Do you have a strategy for navigating the thousands of square feet in the Orange County Convention Center, and seeing all the education sessions, demos, features and products you desire, while leaving time to attend parties and network with your peers? How do you do it? We asked several NTCA contractors about their approach to the show to help you go about creating a Coverings strategy of your own.

John Mourelatos of Mourelatos


John Mourelatos of Mourelatos Tile Pro in Tucson, Ariz., keeps it simple by making a beeline for classes and demos and other educational opportunities. “I like to talk to other contractors about technical and business topics, too,” he said. “I schedule my time around education.”

Josh Castelli of Christian Brothers Flooring


Josh Castelli of Christian Brothers Flooring in Lakeside, Calif., said he scours Coverings for “something that will make me or my company more efficient – a tool, software, or more information on fabrication, since I’m looking to grow into this. I’m considering the longevity of my career as my knees give out.”

Jason Jones of Jones Tile


Jason Jones of Jones Tile, Columbia, Ala., went to his first Coverings last year, with the intent of meeting “as many of the crazy characters I’ve met online in person.” He hopes that was only the first of many.

“Secondly, I enjoy soaking in the new tools and materials available to me,” Jones said. “It’s eye opening, especially to an installer such as myself, who lives in the boondocks.”  

His only strategy? Wearing comfortable shoes and wandering around meeting and talking with people. “Also, I enjoy getting free stuff,” he admitted. 

Jones, Brad Denny, Vice President/COO of Nichols Tile & Terrazzo Co. Inc


While meandering works well for Jones, Brad Denny, Vice President/COO of Nichols Tile & Terrazzo Co. Inc. in Joelton, Tenn., said, “having a plan is essential.” He recommended having an honest introspective look at your company while going through the list of sessions available to decide what to attend. 

But he admits that “having designated ‘wander’ time, usually later in the week, is strategic too and allows you to explore the fresh ideas you have had throughout the show.”

The Installation & Design Experience (last year it was the Installation Design Showcase), NTCA, and CTEF booths have always been draws for Denny. This year he’ll be even more keen on the showcase since his company will be installing a vignette in the Installation & Design Experience booth, paired with designer Glenda Wright of HHCP. 

He also likes to visit all of his tool vendors and their competitors to continue to cultivate relationships. “When time allows, I like to view the complexity of the vignettes and stay up on the latest trends in the manufacturers’ booths,” he said.

Bringing information to staff is a key part of the show experience. “We typically have a meeting before the show to plan out our show in advance,” he said. “Knowledge gained is relayed during regularly scheduled meetings after the show, as much of what we learn helps guide our direction.” 

Because the show is so huge, Denny makes use of the Coverings app. “But we also like to circle, note, and carry a paper copy of the schedule in our bags, he said. “The show floor IS enormous, so a roadmap and destination points are wise. Quick references and knowing where we are going in advance is a good time management tool.”

Strategies to see show features are essential, but one’s body can take a beating during the show. “Let’s face it, the nights can be as busy as the days, but getting as much sleep as possible, eating good meals, and taking rest stops as you need them helps make the show easy work!” he claimed. “It seems every day I need to stretch before getting out in the world, and days at the show are no different. I wear clothes and shoes I know will still feel good after all the miles logged during the day. In the past few years, I admit that a good massage has been helpful at the end of the show, and serves as a reward for the energy put in to better ourselves!”

1 2 3 4 17