Surfaces 2005 was held January 26 to 28 at the Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas, NV, and saw an increasing number of companies from the stone sector - including suppliers of stone as well as related products such as installation and maintenance products and even stone tooling and machinery.

A total of 38,209 retailers, manufacturers, distributors, architects, designers, builders and installers from around the world attended the event, making a 6% increase over 2004. The event had almost 500,000 net square feet of exhibit space, and a record-breaking 1,054 exhibiting companies participated in the show, which is a 14% jump from last year.

“Everyone I talked to, exhibitor and attendee alike, said they were experiencing a terrific show,” said Chris Davis, CEO, World Floor Covering Association (WFCA), the show's official sponsor. “Traffic was steady and strong. Exhibitors were busy and the 'buzz' on the show floor was this was the best Surfaces yet. We were ecstatic about the reaction.”

The conference program drew attendees who were serious about education and improving their businesses. A total of 2,456 sessions were attended, a 52% increase over 2004. This year's conference program included 41 pre-show workshops and seminars covering marketing, sales, business, installation and design.

The “Installation Showcase” was also successful, with seven sessions sponsored by the International Certified Floorcovering Installers Association (CFI), Floor Covering Installer and National Floor Trends magazines and the WFCA. Speakers focused on some of the more challenging types of installation, including mixed media.

Surfaces 2006 will take place from February 1 to 3, once again at the Sands Expo & Convention Center in Las Vegas.

Distributor wins $25,000 at Surfaces 2005

Butler-Johnson Corp., a floor covering distributor in Sacramento, CA, won $25,000 for bringing the largest number of verified attendees to Surfaces 2005. The cash award is part of an all-new Distributor Program implemented for this year's event. Distributors participating in the program promoted the show to their retailer customers and helped them register to attend Surfaces.

“We are very pleased to have won the distributor cash award,” said Clay Covington, general sales manager for Butler-Johnson. “What a great incentive for distributors. This truly was a bonus for us.”

Participating companies in the Surfaces 2005 Distributor Program actively assisted in promoting attendance to their clients/members via mailings, newsletters and Web sites. Then, retailers signed up using codes that were assigned to each distributor. At the close of Surfaces, the number of verified attendees registered using each code were confirmed, and Butler-Johnson was named the Grand Prize winner.