Coverings, the International Tile and Stone Exposition, has announced that "The Solution Source," the largest professional education conference for the tile and stone industry, has been approved as a registered provider by the American Institute of Architects, Continuing Education System (AIA/CES).

Starting in 2001, many of the conference's seminars will be eligible for AIA member learning units through its CES program, which emphasizes learning and enables architects to keep up with current trends, and master new knowledge and skills.

"Being accredited by the American Institute of Architects is a validation of the highest form," said William J. "Skip" Mason, president of TSI, Inc., which organizes Coverings. "With interest and demand in the United States for ceramic tile and natural stone products at an all-time high, it is vital for architects in general to remain at the cutting-edge of these dynamic industries."

The Solution Source, comprised of over 60 sessions designed to enhance personal development and growth in the floor and wall covering industry, is considered by many industry professionals to be one of Coverings' many useful assets. Focusing on products and strategies, the conference attracted a record number of 5,655 participants during Coverings 2000.

Coverings 2001 will take place May 21-23 in New Orleans, LA, where more than 1,100 companies from over 40 countries will display their products. The show has grown to become the world's largest trade show and conference of its kind, and a truly international affair.

In addition to the new stamp of approval by the AIA, the entire Solution Source has once again received accreditation from the Interior Design Continuing Education Council (IDCEC). The IDCEC is made up of members from interior design and decorating trade professional organizations. It is IDCEC's role to review and evaluate all proposals submitted for continuing education credits and award accreditation based on it's set standard of guidelines. With this accreditation, all members of ASID, IDC, IDEC, IFMA, IIDA and NKBA will receive continuing education credits for any of the Solution Source seminars and presentations they attend.

As part of The Solution Source's new schedule, Coverings 2001 organizers are also announcing the "Super Sunday In-Depth Master Sessions," a series of educational tracks offering special seminars targeted to specific industry segments. Taking place simultaneously on Sunday, May 20 from 2 to 5 p.m., the day before the show opens its doors, these special sessions will be divided into three topics: "Ceramic Tile University 101," "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff" and "The Workshop Program" by the Session 3, sponsored by the National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA). For more information, log onto the show Web site at