Tile and Stone Expositions And Conferences

No sooner does Coverings put the wraps on one of its most successful tile and stone expositions and conferences to date, than it already is preparing for the 2008 edition, which returns to familiar turf in Orlando and the Orange County Convention Center, April 29 to May 2. Plans are well underway and organizers report exhibitor applications in excess of available space. The move back to Orlando will mark the 10th appearance of Coverings in that city.

What's more, at a June 12th meeting of the show's Board of Directors, it was confirmed that Coverings 2009 will be held at Chicago's McCormick Place Convention Center, April 21-24, as a result of increases in key measurable categories.

"The alternating schedule between Orlando and Chicago takes Coverings and the tile and stone industry to the best of all possible worlds, " said Tamara Christian, CEO of National Trade Productions (NTP), which manages the annual event. "Each venue has its own distinct advantage, both for exhibitors and attendees. And, keep in mind, there are only five cities in the U.S. that have the capacity to house the vast size of Coverings."

With more than 1,300 exhibitors, and registered attendance this year hitting a record of nearly 37,000, Coverings occupies more than 500,000 net square feet of exposition space both in Orlando and Chicago.

"We've been witnessing the progressive growth of Coverings attendance over the past several years, " said Christian. "One of our goals in moving the show to Chicago was to expand our reach into the architectural and design communities, and this strategy succeeded spectacularly, with attendance in that category soaring 87 percent above the previous year."

Tim Roby, president and CEO of the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau, commented, "By all measures Coverings 2007 was a successful event. Delivering results is what Chicago does best and I believe we achieved this through our customized marketing programs, ultimately surpassing Coverings' expectations to substantially increase the number of architectural and design attendees."

Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority chairman Ted Tetzlaff also weighed in on the partnership that's been forged between Chicago and Coverings. "Coverings is one of the world's premier trade show events, and it offers McCormick Place the opportunity to demonstrate why it has an international reputation for excellence and for offering the finest services and amenities to exhibitors and attendees. We are pleased to have an international event of this caliber showcase its innovative tile and stone products and conduct its important business on our show floors. We look forward to welcoming them back in 2009."

The challenge next year and following, according to Christian, is to build on the increases. "We know we have committed partners in the Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission and in the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau, respectively, and are confident they will help us in our continued ascent."

Coverings is sponsored by ASCER (Ceramic Tile Manufacturers Association of Spain), Confindustria Ceramica (Italian Association of Ceramics), Tile Council of North America (TCNA), Ceramic Tile Distributors Association (CTDA), and National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA).

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