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Stone World had the chance to talk with Aime Gilmore, show director, to find out some reasons for launching an East Coast exhibition and what some of the show highlights will be.
Stone World: Why do you think there is a need for a stone and tile show on the East Coast?
Gilmore: In discussions with our exhibitors, they’re used to having an East Coast show and a West Coast show to ensure they see all of their customers and prospects throughout the country as well as internationally. In 2014, there is no East Coast show. Additionally, we’ve heard for the past few years that many exhibitors want a U.S. show in the fall. So we answered them and chose Miami in October to meet their requests.
Stone World: What were some reasons for choosing Miami as the location for the launch of the show?
Gilmore: Miami is an area that is heavily focused on stone and tile, as well as other types of floor covering. Additionally, it is a getaway to Latin and South America. It’s definitely a draw for exhibitors and attendees to do business. Having an East Coast show allows our exhibitors to focus on a different market than they may want coming to Las Vegas.
Stone World: Will Miami be a permanent location or do you plan to hold the show in other East Coast cities in upcoming years?
Gilmore: Miami is the home for TISE East for the foreseeable future, and we have no plans to move elsewhere.
Stone World: Who is your target market for TISE in terms of attendees and exhibitors?
Gilmore: Obviously, all types of floor covering, stone and tile products you’ll see in Las Vegas. However, many exhibitors are planning to bring more of a commercial mix with their residential products to change it up. We don’t anticipate a carbon copy show of Las Vegas taking place in Miami, and our attendees definitely want to see additional companies and products as well. We have many exhibitors in the show that do not typically come to Las Vegas, which is fantastic. On the attendee side, we are heavily focusing on East Coast, as well as international markets, in addition to our traditional marketing scope. The designer and architect community is a big focus as well as we have been working closely with new partners on this initiative.
Stone World: Do you anticipate a different regional draw since Surfaces and StonExpo are held on the West Coast?
Gilmore Absolutely. When looking at the geographic breakdown of the U.S., there’s definitely a heavy concentration from the West Coast — it’s natural for a Las Vegas Event. When we launched StonExpo East 2007 in Atlanta, the audience that we saw was heavily concentrated from the East Coast and this group of attendees didn’t attend the Las Vegas events. Using this as a benchmark, we are certain that we’ll draw from this region as well as attendees that typically do not attend our West event.
Stone World: What special programs or events do you plan to have in Miami?
Gilmore: We are celebrating our show launch with an industry Party-By-The-Pool held at the iconic Delano Hotel. The party will take place on opening night at 6:30 p.m. and tickets are available through registration. Attendees and exhibitors will not want to miss this event.
In addition to the show floor with the hundreds of exhibiting companies, we also have several exciting features taking place such as the Product Marketplace, Artisan Avenue and The Cage.
Young professionals are an important audience as well. We’re holding a networking luncheon for them alongside titans of the floor covering, stone and tile industries. What better way for them to learn about their respective businesses then from those that are successful.
Stone World: What type of educational program do you have planned for TISE East?
Gilmore: For starters, the education program is top notch, with new speakers, topics and different learning environments. We have taken the traditional classroom setting and put a twist on it — such as “BYOD, Bring Your Own Device” and sessions that move from the classroom to the show floor for hands on applications. These demos will be a must see on the show floor. We are also planning a Hands-On Merchandising Workshop led by Trends Forecasters Victoria Redshaw and Phil Pond.
Architects and designers won’t want to miss our A&D Hospitality Tour, featuring the SLS South Beach and The James Royal Palm. They can go behind-the-design and tour these South Beach luxury boutique hotels.
Stone World: If someone asked you specifically why they should attend TISE East, what reason would you give them?
Gilmore: First off, if you’ve ever been to our Las Vegas event, it’s a show like no other. The energy, the products, the networking — there’s so much going on for exhibitors and attendees. Coming to Miami to see a different mix of attendees and exhibitors is one reason alone. Tie in the educational opportunities, certifications and events — you can’t do more in four days. Miami will be the event to be at.