Stone World

Changes for Coverings 2004

February 2, 2004


Now in its 17th year, Coverings 2004 will be held from March 23 to 26 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL. Not only is the exhibition under the new management of National Trade Productions (NTP), but it will also be moving to a different hall that was recently built at the Orlando complex. Visitors will have the opportunity to tour the exhibition floor - observing the latest developments in stone, machinery, and installation and maintenance products. Additionally, the show will offer attendees numerous speakers, conferences and other sessions, which will be tailored to the specific individual interests of architects, designers, installers, distributors, dealers and fabricators.

“When we took over the management of Coverings, we knew the show was widely respected for displaying some of the most exquisite tile and stone the world has to offer,” stated Tamara Christian, Coverings' show director and president of National Trade Productions. “We now want to take Coverings to the next level and provide a series of forums to promote the business of stone and ceramic tile. We have scheduled sessions on everything from mosaic design to green building to supply chain management to showroom marketing and the finer points of generating media exposure for products. We think the new hall, new sessions and new management will provide a fresh perspective to this beautiful show.”

Last year's exhibition drew a total of 18,892 attendees, despite the turbulent world events, which prevented some from traveling. That number is expected to significantly increase in 2004. Of last year's visitors, 76% were from the U.S., while 24% hailed from foreign countries. Additionally, there were 7,824 people at the show from a total of 1,450 exhibiting companies. Exhibitors came from 45 different countries and occupied more than half a million square feet of floor space.

The event also demonstrated that participation remained high from those countries that traditionally participated in large numbers at Coverings. Italy was represented with a 91,000-square-foot pavilion; Spain had a 70,000-square-foot pavilion; and other countries such as Brazil, Canada, India, Israel, Mexico and Portugal also displayed large pavilions. In addition, 76 companies from China - the largest gathering of Chinese exhibitors - and 53 firms from Turkey had signed up to exhibit.

New co-sponsor

The sponsoring organizations of Coverings are ASCER (Spain's Ceramic Tile Manufacturers Association), Assopiastrelle (Association of Italian Ceramic Tile and Refractories Manufacturers), CTDA (Ceramic Tile Distributors Association), NTCA (National Tile Contractors Association) and TCA (Tile Council of America).

This year, the Marble Institute of America (MIA) announced that it will serve as a co-sponsor of Coverings 2004. As co-sponsor, MIA is responsible for developing education sessions related to the stone industry that will be part of the Coverings conference program. MIA also will assist in the administration of the Prism 2004 Stone in Architecture awards - Coverings' annual competition that honors originality and creative excellence in the use of natural stone products in residential and commercial projects.

In addition to MIA's co-sponsorship of the 2004 show, Coverings will sponsor a series of instructional CD-ROMs developed by MIA. These CD-ROMs are designed to expand and increase the level of competency in the fabrication and installation of natural stone. “We are very pleased to have been asked to be a co-sponsor of Coverings,” said Garis F. Distelhorst, executive vice president of MIA. “We look forward to providing a high level of education programming for the show and to strengthening the awards competition by opening it up to architects who use natural stone to enhance the beauty and value of their projects.”

In addition to MIA, the co-sponsors of Coverings include the American Institute of Architects (Orlando Chapter), the Associazione Italiana Marmomacchine, The American Society of Interior Designers (North Florida Chapter and Florida South Chapter), the Construction Specifications Institute (Greater Orlando Chapter), International Interior Design Association (Florida Chapter), the Terrazzo Tile and Marble Association of Canada, the Tile Contractors' Association of America and the Tile Heritage Foundation.

Award competition

Each year Coverings holds the Prism Stone in Architecture Awards, which honor outstanding examples of architectural achievement in the use of natural stone. This year, the $10,000 grand prize will be awarded at the opening General Session of Coverings 2004 on Tuesday, March 23.

The 2004 Prism Stone in Architecture Awards competition is open to architects and other design professionals whose projects demonstrate creativity and achievement in the use of natural stone, with particular interest in original or unusual uses. The projects must have been completed within the last three years to be considered. The entries will be evaluated by MIA and an independent panel of judges assembled by Architectural Record. Creativity in design and excellence of implementation are two factors that will be taken into consideration.

“The Prism Awards recognize the most novel and stunning applications of natural stone in commercial and residential projects by contemporary architects and designers,” stated Distelhorst.

Seminar program

Coverings will also feature an extensive conference program, which targets a variety of fields and specialties. “There is a forum or conference or workshop or exhibit for everyone at Coverings 2004,” stated Christian.
“We want the participants to leave the show with strategies and tactics for improving their businesses and their skills in working with tile and stone's wide diversity of styles, textures, designs and applications.”

Below is the schedule of conferences, seminars and workshops that will be offered at Coverings 2004:

Tuesday, March 23
8:30 to 10 a.m.
Keynote: Steve Forbes, President and Chief Executive Officer of Forbes, Inc., and Editor-in-Chief of Forbes magazine
Steve Forbes is an influential pro-growth advocate and a write and speaker on domestic and foreign policy issues. A widely esteemed economic prognosticator, Forbes has won the prestigious Crystal Owl award four times as the financial journalist whose economic forecasts for the coming year have proven to be the most accurate. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees of Princeton University as well as the boards of The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation, The American Enterprise Institute and the National Taxpayers Union.
Tuesday, March 23
12:30 to 2 p.m.
Architect/designer luncheon
Redesigning Real Estate: Building for a Sustainable Prosperity
Speaker: William McDonough, FAIA, William McDonough + Partners
William McDonough is acclaimed for his creative and effective building designs; he is also recognized as the leader in the field of ecologically intelligent architecture. McDonough believes firmly in minimizing human impact on the environment by modeling design on the elegance and efficiency of natural systems. Through this approach, he has produced numerous environmentally friendly, economically responsible buildings for corporate, commercial, institutional and residential clients.
Tuesday, March 23
12:30 to 2 p.m.
Contractors luncheon
Update on all new methods
to the TCA Handbook
Speaker: Eric Astrachan, Tile Council of America
Installers and contractors who live “by the book” flock to this session each year to learn about new updates on methods, standards and practices as recommended by the voice of the industry, the Tile Council of America.

Tuesday, March 23
3:30 to 4:20 p.m.
Architecture/Design
Getting Published - What Are
Magazines Looking For?
Speaker: Jen Renzi, Interior Design
Effective public relations is a win-win proposition. Give editors the interesting features and stories they want and odds are they'll give you the free publicity you want. One of the most prestigious magazines for the A&D community will discuss what it takes to get products and projects published. Jen Renzi, senior editor at Interior Design magazine, will give attendees the inside scoop on materials and methods for successful publicity pitches.

Tuesday, March 23
4:30 to 5:20 p.m.
Distributor/Dealer
Understanding the Ins and Outs of Working with Distributors
Panelists: To Be Named
This panel will help dealer/retailer attendees understand the “ins and outs” of working with distributors. Panelists will address issues such as how to select a distributor and how to train your retail sales people.

Tuesday, March 23
4:30 to 5:20 p.m.
Sell More of What You Have to Customers You Already Have
Speaker: Jim Dion, Dionco, Inc.
Retailers often complain about the lack of traffic and sales. This workshop identifies the ways that you can increase your business by over 20 percent with the customers who are already in your store. Come participate in this fun, challenging and proven workshop.

Tuesday, March 23
4:30 to 5:20 p.m.
Installation/Specification
Marketing is Mandatory for Specialty Contractors
Speaker: Wally Adamchik, Fails Management Institute
Specialty contracting firms have traditionally been smaller, closely held companies. Because of their size and specialization, the owner is usually the chief salesperson and there is seldom a company emphasis on marketing. In years past, that traditional perspective may have been pretty successful, but a number of market factors are now at work, necessitating a shift. Some of these factors include consolidation, the owner's desire to retire, and a change in how the competition is marketing. This session will give the key elements to consider in developing a marketing plan and using it to make others in the firm aware of the important role they play in getting work for the firm.
Tuesday, March 23
4:30 to 5:20 p.m.
Floor Heating Systems
Speaker: John Fantauzzi, Radiant Panel Association
This session will explore the explosion of heat floor systems including the explanation of hydronic and electric heat systems, how they are sold and how they are installed. Fantauzzi will examine opportunities for those interested in improving their bottom lines by becoming proficient in installing tile and stone over heat floor systems.

Tuesday, March 23
4:30 to 5:20 p.m.
Stone
Choosing the Right Equipment and Fabrication Techniques
Panelists: Keith Graves, Marva Marble & Granite Inc.; Kevin Padden, KM Padden; and Fred Hueston, The National Center For Stone & Masonry Trades
What features should I look for with my new saw? Should I buy a CNC or an edge machine next? Which companies stand behind their equipment the best? Should my seams (joints) be caulked or epoxied? Should I seal the countertops or let the homeowner worry about it? I would prefer to make my own template for my undermount sinks, is this a problem? I have trouble with resined slabs, should I avoid them? . . . all of this and more. This will be a guided open discussion to help determine where the industry stands on these issues. The presenters will offer guidance and advice based on their experience.

Tuesday, March 23
4:30 to 5:20 p.m.
Marketing to Design Professionals
Speaker: Vince Marazita, Marazita and Associates
From cold calls to Learning Unit Seminars, communicating effectively with architects and other design professionals can be the decisive factor in making the sale. This session will concentrate on the importance of research, marketing and relationship management that can lead to a successful sales strategy. The session will cover the “How Tos” of becoming a CES Provider of educational seminars for the AIA, the CSI, the ASID and the NKBA.

Tuesday, March 23
5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
NTCA Reception

Tuesday, March 23
5:30 to 7 p.m.
CTDA Reception
Tuesday, March 23
6:30 p.m.
Contractor Night Event

Wednesday, March 24
8 to 8:50 a.m.
Distributor/Dealer
Business Succession Planning
Speakers: Amelia Renkert-Thomas and Von E. Sanborn, Withers Bergman LLP
Planning for the future of your business typically falls near the bottom of a busy business owner's schedule. However, a well thought out plan for the transfer of the business - either to the next generation, to colleagues or both - can help you avoid substantial financial loss as well as familial discord. This presentation will focus on why you need to plan now for the succession of your business before it's too late.

Wednesday, March 24
8 to 8:50 a.m.
Specification/Installation
Like to Double Your Profits and Lower Your Investment by One-Third? How About at the Same Time?
Speaker: Dr. Albert Bates, Profit Planning Group
This seminar will focus on contractors, and will demonstrate how to improve your financial results - not just a little, but a lot. The program will walk you through every financial aspect of your business, including sales, gross margin, expenses, inventory and accounts receivable. In each area you will be given specific targets and a road map for reaching those targets. At the end of the session, you will know exactly where you need to be during each of the next five years. You will also know how you are going to get there. It could be the most valuable session you will ever attend.

Wednesday, March 24
8 to 8:50 a.m.
Construction Claims
Speaker: Chris Morkan, Construction Man-agement International
This session will address requirements for documentation in support of the claim process and techniques and technology for documenting project conditions. Notification procedures, claims processing techniques and resources and how to implement a proactive claims team, cost recovery/how to establish value of a claim, and claim prosecution and settlement will be discussed.

Wednesday, March 24
8 to 8:50 a.m.
Stone
Understanding the Charisma of Stone: Why Natural Stone is the Intelligent Choice
Speaker: Claude Rust, Ph.D, Geologist, University of Fresno
Listen to clients and customers in a stone show room or booth. Typical comments are: Wow! Fantastic! Will you look at this one! It speaks to me! And more. Just what is it that fosters such statements? They are true! Stone is all the things you hear people say and more, and a professional geologist explains why it is so and more about stone. Stone has charisma. It has a message. Improve your knowledge at this stone appreciation seminar.

Wednesday, March 24
8 to 8:50 a.m.
Be Ready When OSHA Comes Knocking At Your Door
Speaker: Kevin Padden, KM Padden
This seminar is based on the concept of “being prepared” - how to make sure that your shop is compliant with EPA and OSHA regulations before you get inspected. Areas discussed will include evaluating your operation for EPA and OSHA compliance, the importance of taking OSHA seriously and making sure you will pass a potential inspection, and methods of preparing for and maintaining compliance. A “must attend” if you are a natural stone fabricator.

Wednesday, March 24
9 to 9:50 a.m.
Tile Partners for Humanity: Getting the Entire Industry Involved
Speakers: Rey Ramsey, One Economy Corporation; Chairman of the Board, Tile Partners for Humanity
Tile Partners for Humanity is a non-profit organization incorporated to provide ceramic tile and installation services to Habitat for Humanity projects across the country. This partnership of tile trade associations and Habitat for Humanity will ensure that simple, decent homes can be built with lasting quality. Come join your colleagues and learn how you and your company can support Habitat for Humanity.

Wednesday, March 24
9 to 9:50 a.m.
Architecture/Design
The Sustainable Value Proposition
Green Building - LEEDS Requirements
Speaker: Paul Bertram, PRB Design
This session will walk through “sustainable” value propositions as related to sustainable, green and LEED industry initiatives. In addition to the “sustainable” value proposition, there are additional opportunities to position with owners on “cost before geometry” or “cost before drawing” consultative design expertise. This is validated by a trend in fee reductions of design professionals for project documentation as the construction industry is pressured for “lowest cost delivery” demands. There is an open opportunity for manufacturers to assist in pre-design specification development and alternative assembly design/performance solutions. Project specification require-ments are discussed in relationship to project delivery methods such as design/build, construction management, and others.

Wednesday, March 24
10 to 10:50 a.m.
Architecture/Design
Future Trends in Hospitality & Contract Design
Speakers: Kelly Beamon, Hospitality Design, and Jennifer Busch, Contract
Kelly Beamon and Jennifer Busch, of Hospitality Design and Contract magazines respectively, will discuss recent trends in commercial and hospitality design with a special look at surfaces. Attendees will get to know the work of the most successful professionals in these areas and learn what's to come.

Wednesday, March 24
12:30 to 2 p.m.
Designer Luncheon
Speaker: Michael Payne, “Designing for the Sexes”
As he does each week on the show he hosts, “Designing for the Sexes,” Michael Payne will offer suggestions on how to resolve inevitable conflicts that occur when tackling a home- or room-renovation project. This session will offer some creative approaches that interior designers, design/build professionals and architects can use (including artful compromise) to bring their fabulous projects to completion with the client's blessing.

Wednesday, March 24
12:30 to 2 p.m.
Contractor Luncheon
Speakers: Scott Fleming, Oceanside Glasstile; Greg Andrews, CTC, Ceramic Tile Institute of America
This panel will discuss issues regarding glass tile installations. Methods will be discussed and video of actual installations shown.

Wednesday, March 24
3:30 to 4:20 p.m.
Architecture/Design
Designing with Mosaic and Glass
Speakers: David Ling, David Ling Architect, and others
Mosaics continue to grow in popularity for both the home and contract installation. Meet David Ling of New York and hear how he creates innovative and distinctive designs using the latest mosaic products. Ling will present case studies and walk through some of the technical and design elements necessary for a successful mosaic installation.

Wednesday, March 24
4:30 to 5:20 p.m.
Architecture/Design
Residential Design - Country and City Look Ahead
Speakers: Elana Frankel, Metropolitan Home, and Charlotte Barnard, Country Living
This session will address what's hot in residential design as two leading shelter magazines from both sides of the design spectrum offer their insight. Elana Frankel, senior architectural editor at Metropolitan Home, and Charlotte Barnard, deputy editor at Country Living, will chart what's in, what's passé, and what will be next. These taste-makers will cover kitchen and bath trends as well as trends in color and materials.

Wednesday, March 24
4:30 to 5:20 p.m.
Distributor/Dealer
Understanding the Ins and Outs of Working with Retailers
Panelists: To Be Named
This panel will help distributors better understand the “ins and outs” of working with retailers. Panelists will address issues such as: “How to train your salespeople to effectively communicate with retailers? “How do I identify the retailers serious about selling ceramic tile and stone?” and “What do retailers really need from their distributors?”

Wednesday, March 24
4:30 to 5:20 p.m.
Improving the Bottom Line
Speaker: Dr. Albert Bates, Profit Planning Group
This session focuses on helping distributors better understand their profit and potential, and will demonstrate how to improve your financial results - not just a little, but a lot. The program will walk you through every financial aspect of your business, including sales, gross margin, expenses, inventory and accounts receivable. In each area you will be given specific targets and a road map for reaching those targets. At the end of the session you will know exactly where you need to be during each of the next five years. You will also know how you are going to get there. It could be the most valuable session you will ever attend.

Wednesday, March 24
4:30 to 5:20 p.m.
Specification/Installation
Leadership vs. Management: Do You Know the Difference?
Speaker: Wally Adamchik, Fails Management Institute
A former advertising campaign for a beer company established the slogan, “Tastes Great, Less Filling.” The light beer was not only tasty, but it also didn't fill you up, combining two good qualities into one product. Like the beer, you also need to demonstrate multiple abilities. To be successful in today's industry, a combination of both leadership and management skills is required. Just like the beer that claimed to be both tasty and less filling, you need to be able to be both a leader and a manager in your organization. That sounds easy, but there is one problem; leadership and management are two separate skills. To understand the difference, we first need to define leadership and management. Leadership and management seem to contradict each other, yet they are intimately related. The best of class companies are expert at balancing these two distinct areas of expertise, after this session, you will be too.

Wednesday, March 24
4:30 to 5:20 p.m.
The Latest News on Membrane Technology
Speakers: Dave Gobis, Ceramic Tile Education Foundation; Noah Chitty, Tile Council of America
This session will discuss new developments in membrane technology. Recent developments in both ANSI and ISO standards will be presented as well as the expected impact of these standards on tile installation specifications. Correct and incorrect membrane applications will be discussed with special emphasis on elevated slab installations, crack isolation, control joints and movement joints. Additionally, the effects of moisture, alkalinity and other substrate issues will be discussed.

Wednesday, March 24
4:30 to 5:20 p.m.
Stone
Stone Countertop Repairs and Polishing
Speaker: Fred Hueston, The National Center For Stone & Masonry Trades
Stone countertop installations are growing at a rapid rate, yet many fabricators and restoration professionals are not familiar with the techniques for repairing and polishing these surfaces. This session will cover some of these techniques, as well as provide useful tips for removing scratches and making repairs. Learn the answer to “are repairs acceptable” along with a variety of other questions.

Wednesday, March 24
4:30 to 5:20 p.m.
Stone Trends 2004
Speaker: Vince Marazita, Marazita & Associates
From countertops to skyscrapers, the use of natural stone is booming in the U.S. Get an overall view of the market and market trends by attending this sixth annual “State of the Industry” presentation on the dimensional stone market in the U.S. This session will cover information, sourcing, marketing and application trends in the stone industry over the last year, including examples of award-winning projects that have been recognized for their use of natural stone.
Wednesday, March 24
6 p.m.
Specifier Evening Event

Thursday, March 25
8 to 8:50 a.m.
Distributor/Dealer
What's Available in Distribution/Retail Software and Why Should I Use It?
Panelists: Scott Evans, Prophet 21 and Mitch Dancik, Dancik on Disk
This panel will make attendees (distributors and dealers) aware of the products available in the marketplace; it will educate attendees on the importance of software systems for tracking inventory and customer relationship management.

Thursday, March 25
8 to 8:50 a.m.
Understanding and Selling Porcelain Tile
Speaker: Patti Fasan, Professional Attention to Tile Installation
This session will present key information on porcelain tile and the mechanical benefits of this advanced technology allowing you to: identify the key values and features of each type of porcelain tile, identify the appropriate environments for every porcelain tile, and specify the correct installation system. You'll discover the key differences regarding the performance of various porcelain types. From unglazed to glazed and the newly evolving third generation porcelain tile, understanding the properties of high-performance products and their installation requirements is crucial to problem-free specifications. Identifying and selling the unique value of each product type is mandatory in order to ensure customer satisfaction and retention.

Thursday, March 25
8 to 8:50 a.m.
Specification/Installation
Embracing Change in the Building Industry
Speaker: Tom Vaughn, Construction Technology
The way homes are being built and the materials being used are greatly different from only five or 10 years ago. These changes have a great impact on how ceramic tile and stone installers need to evaluate which materials and methods they use to ensure successful jobs. This discussion will look at some of the trends in home building such as more open spaces, larger kitchens and bathrooms, changes in ceramic tile and stone, and how the demand for wood building materials is creating conditions every installer needs to consider before starting their next job. This is a timely topic you will not want to miss.

Thursday, March 25
8 to 8:50 a.m.
Retainage: Rights and Remedies
Speakers: Chris Morkan, Construction Management International; Richard Goldberg, Forcon International
One of the most controversial topics in commercial construction is the age-old concept of retainage. Common obstacles to payment of retainage will be examined. General fundamentals of retainage will be explained, including prompt payment requirements and allowable caps.
Most importantly, effective strategies will be demonstrated to the audience to attack this potentially costly dilemma.

Thursday, March 25
8 to 8:50 a.m.
Stone
Introduction to Stone Design
Speakers: Scott Lardner, Rocky Mountain Stone; Rich Booms, Booms Stone Co.
“Stone 101” is for architects and members of the design community. This is a general survey course which will provide an overall view of the production and supply in the dimensional stone industry. Discussions will include stone selection, engineering considerations, ASTM testing, aesthetic considerations, horizontal substrates, designing for wet areas, stair treads and vertical cladding. This seminar will also cover useful “tips and techniques” in stone sourcing and design.

Thursday, March 25
8 to 8:50 a.m.
Advanced Historic Stone Restoration
Speaker: Fred Hueston, The National Center For Stone & Masonry Trades
This advanced session outlines how the restoration of historic stone is handled differently than any other form of stone restoration. Terms such as honing and grinding should be avoided. In many cases, stone that is discolored and deteriorated needs to be left alone. This session will highlight these differences, as well as some of the more advanced problems with historic stone restoration. Topics covered will be: Introduction to Historic Restoration Standards, Identification and Diagnosis of Common Stone Problems and Cleaning Methods for Exterior and Interior Stone Surfaces.

Thursday, March 25
9 to 9:50 a.m.
When Will Ceramic Tile Outsell Carpet?
Speaker: Jonathan Trivers, Marketing Wit & Wisdom
The astonishing sales and market share increase of ceramic tile is just starting. Learn about the consumer's want of “the new luxury” and how it impacts your business and what the retailer must do to capture high-profit ceramic tile, stone and marble sales.

Thursday, March 25
9 to 9:50 a.m.
Architecture/Design
Sustainable Building Practices for Achieving Healthy Indoor Environments
Speaker: Marilyn S. Black, Ph.D., Air Quality Sciences, Inc.
Current building data indicated that over 60 million people suffer from debilitating asthma, allergies, respiratory disease, headaches, eye irritation and other flu-like symptoms, attributable to indoor pollution. As a result, current sustainable building and interior design practices mandate goals of enhancing indoor air quality and improving building occupant health and productivity. Indoor air pollution results from hundreds of chemicals such as formaldehyde and toluene, which emit from construction materials and indoor furnishings, including various types of flooring. Many of these chemicals, also identified as volatile organic compounds, are known carcinogens and human irritants. Recent technological advances in design, construction, and procurement practices allow for healthier indoor environments. These practices include the development of low emitting interior products and selection and use of low emitting, non-toxic construction materials. This talk will instruct participants on available techniques for designing interior products and furnishing commercial buildings to maximize good indoor air quality while reducing indoor air pollution. This will include: an introduction to the importance of good indoor air quality; presentation of how to develop low emitting, non toxic materials, including various types of flooring; and definition of building acceptance criteria for minimal indoor air pollution. A case study of a state office building will illustrate the success of these practices.

Thursday, March 25
10 to 10:50 a.m.
Architecture/Design
Tile and Stone for Retail Design and Construction
Panelists: David Doucette, Retail Construction Magazine (moderator); Steve DeLisle, Moe's Southwestern Grill; Don Johnson, Scott Partnership; Peter Mileo, Precision H20; and, David Leal, SpecCeramics
This session will cover current design and technology trends in the use of tile and stone in retail applications. The panel will discuss the execution of retailer designs through to finished products, particularly as it applies to retail chain store multiple applications.

Thursday, March 25
12:30 to 2 p.m.
Designer Luncheon
Color Trends: How Will They Change?
Speaker: Leatrice Eiseman, Eiseman Center for Color Information and Training
Influenced by beautiful books and decorating magazines and a plethora of home decorating shows on TV, consumers are more reactive to color than ever before, so it behooves anyone who is servicing or selling to these color-savvy customers to be right on target with the latest trends and buying habits. Join the international color guru and forecaster, Leatrice Eiseman, as she identifies the newest color directions and how they fit into consumer comfort levels.

Thursday, March 25
12:30 to 2 p.m.
Contractor Luncheon
Mold Panel
Representatives from the membranes, thinsets, and backerboard industry will explore this controversial issue.

Thursday, March 25
12:30 to 2 p.m.
3:30 to 4:20 p.m.
Architecture/Design
Feng Shui Principles for Building and Remodeling: Creating a Space That Meets Your Needs and Promotes Well-Being
Speaker: Nancilee Wydra
Incorporate Feng Shui into your building and remodeling projects to create balance and happiness in your life. Following the principles of Feng Shui, the ancient Chinese art of designing spaces to improve quality of life, you can transform any place to accommodate the way you live and to fulfill your deepest personal needs. This session will teach you how to use this ancient art to minimize environmental stress, optimize comfort, and promote healthy relationships without adding a penny to building or remodeling costs. You will come away from this session with knowledge of Feng Shui principles that apply to any style of architecture of decorating; expert guidance in how to use material, aroma and sound to enhance your environment; money-saving tips on how to optimize your use of space; and focused advice for families, singles empty- nesters and group living.
Thursday, March 25
3:30 to 5:20 p.m. (special 2-hour session)
Stone
Advanced Countertop Fabrication
Speakers: Scott Lardner, Rocky Mountain Stone; Rich Booms, Booms Stone Co.
This seminar will cover all aspects of high production stone fabrication systems including:
• Safest versus fastest methods to template a project.
• Shop drawings and their value in custom fabrication.
• How to maximize saw productivity in a granite shop.
• When is the right time to buy an automatic edging machine?
• Will a CNC really fix all your problems? When should I buy one?
• How to train, reward and retain quality shop fabricators.
• Installation tricks from the field - who, what when, where, why and how?
• Scheduling - aka: how to juggle 10 balls while sprinting the 100-yard dash.

Attendees will be challenged to raise the bar for their own company's performance standards.

Thursday, March 25
4:30 to 5:20 p.m.
Architectuer/Design
Specifying and Designing with Ceramic Tile
Speaker: Patti Fasan, Professional Attention to Tile Installations
Do you have confidence matching a ceramic tile to your customers' performance expectations? How does the water absorption level of a tile affect the function? Do you know which PEI, or abrasion resistance rating is appropriate to withstand different traffic situations? How does the color of clay affect a tiles' quality? Can I use this tile on any exterior application? How long can I expect this tile to perform? Expand your expertise and explore the answers to these questions when you attend this seminar. With the diversity of tile on the market learn the key; “there is a tile for every use, and a use for every tile.” On completion of this session you will be able to evaluate the technical properties of any tile. Know when and where to use each type correctly. Selling with confidence will lead to increased revenues, profits and customer loyalty. You will come away from this session with a clear understanding of tile's technical properties and how to apply them, the ability to match customers' intended use and expectations to the right tile, and an understanding of how the manufacturing process builds a tile to specific performance requirements.

Thursday, March 25
4:30 to 5:20 p.m.
Distributor/Dealer
What Are Architects Looking for When Considering Tile and Stone?
Panelists: Jim Luckey, SmithGroup, and others to be named
This panel will provide insight to distributors/dealers into what architects are looking for when considering tile and stone for their projects. How does an architect first consider tile or stone for the project? How do they select a “brand” to specify? What are the most effective ways for distributors/dealers to stay in “the mind” of specifiers?

Thursday, March 25
4:30 to 5:20 p.m.
American, European,and Proposed ISO Tile and Setting Material Standards
Panelists: Bob Daniels, Eric Astrachan, and Noah Chitty, Tile Council of America
Panelists will discuss ANSI (American National Standards Institute), CEN (Comité Européen de Normalisation) and proposed ISO (International Standards Organization) standards for ceramic tile and tile installation materials. This discussion will be of interest to anyone involved in specifying materials (architects, designers, etc.) as well as people involved in tile import or export. Important differences between the standards and the relevance to the U.S. market will be discussed.

Thursday, March 25
4:30 to 5:20 p.m.
Specification/Installation
Ceramic Tile and Engineered Wood Floors: Dispelling the Myths
Panelists: Ted Osterberger, PE and Steve Mayhew, EIT, Trus Joist, A Weyerhauser Business; Steve Fine, Laticrete International, Inc.
The use of engineered wood products such as I-Joists and oriented strand board (OSB) has become increasingly popular. We all agree that these products utilize our natural resources more effectively, but how do they perform compared to more traditional products such as dimensional lumber and plywood, the original engineered panel product? Do these products require special installation considerations? Along with answering these questions, this session will review testing that was completed by Trus Joist, the leading producer of engineered wood I-Joists, and Laticrete, a well respected manufacturer of tile installation products. This testing involved a unique head to head comparison of I-joists and dimensional lumber using a modified Robinson testing schedule on eight full-scale tile floors. Not only will you get a better understanding of wood products, but you will also gain important insight into tile failures that are due to deflection in the floor system. You won't want to miss this one.

Thursday, March 25
4:30 to 5:20 p.m.
Contractors Best Practices
Speakers: Bart Bettiga, National Tile Contractors Association
This session will bring together a panel of contractors focusing on best practices in:
• Marketing - contractors will present a showcase of marketing practices that work for them
• Training - learn how contractors are using training to retain employees, ensure safety, guarantee quality installations and boost employee morale
• Networking - hear from some contractors who have found value in the sharing of ideas and gaining new insights into such areas as finances, human resources, marketing and training.

Friday, March 26
8 to 8:50 a.m.
Distributor/Dealer
Channels of Distribution in the U.S. Market: 2004 Update
Speaker: Donato Grosser, D. Grosser & Associates, Ltd.
This seminar will analyze tile distribution flows from manufacturers to final users. During the session, a flow chart will be put together, piece by piece, showing the main categories of business manufacturers, tile distributors, tile retailers, home centers, etc. in tile distribution in the U.S. and the percentage of market share they represent.

Friday, March 26
8 to 8:50 a.m.
Specification/Installation
What Makes a Great Contractor?
Speaker: Wally Adamchik, Fails Man-agement Institute
The business climate is changing, and it doesn't allow for business as usual. Contractors are rethinking their fun-damental approach to organization, finance, project management, and planning. Will your company be a casualty of outdated management practices, or a leader in shaping the new marketplace? This program focuses on the characteristics of a good contractor in today's environment.

Friday, March 26
8 to 8:50 a.m.
Innovative Tools of the Trade
Speakers: Justin Woelfel, Jr., and Joe Tarver, National Tile Contractors Association
Join NTCA to view several new tools that make installation easier. An overview showing our industries evolution in tools will be covered. Several manufacturer representatives will assist NTCA by providing live demonstrations of the tools and how they work in the field.

Friday, March 26
8 to 8:50 a.m.
Stone
Know Your Stone and Its Maintenance Needs
Speakers: Fred Jackson and Rod Sigman, Aqua Mix
What's the key to successful installations? Understanding the classification of stone and its characterist