Coverings 2006 is slated for April 4 to 7 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL. Last year's edition of the event attracted more than 32,000 attendees.

With a 10% increase in attendance last year, show management anticipates a repeat hit for the upcoming international tile and stone exhibition.
Coverings 2006 is scheduled to take place from Tuesday, April 4 to Friday, April 7, 2006 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL. And building on last year's success, the international tile and stone exhibition is expected to once again exceed expectations.

Now in the third edition of management under National Trade Promotions (NTP) of Alexandria, VA, the event drew more than 32,000 industry professionals from all around the world last year. The show floor, which encompasses 505,000 net square feet, will include 1,200 exhibitors of stone and tile products, stoneworking machinery, tools and accessories, and stone and tile installation and maintenance supplies.

Last year's edition received a 10% increase in attendance, and NTP intends to continue on this road to success. “We are thrilled by the overwhelming response we've received and the increase in numbers across virtually all key industry segments,” stated Tamara Christian, Coverings' show director and president of NTP, when speaking about Coverings 2005. “These numbers prove that, once again, Coverings is the place where tile and stone professionals from around the world come to do business. We've certainly raised the bar, and our team is already looking ahead to make Coverings 2006 another year to remember.”

Statistics for the 2005 edition illustrate a 25% increase over the previous year among installers, followed by stone and tile specifiers, who were 17% above 2004 numbers. Dealers and retailers were close behind with a 15% jump, while representation of fabricators and contractors increased by 10% and 7%, respectively.

Additional numbers show that attendees to the 2005 event came from all 50 U.S. states as well as 90 additional countries. While 86% of the visitors came from within the U.S., another 9% traveled from elsewhere in the Americas. Moreover, representatives from Europe, Asia, Africa and Oceania comprised 5% of the entire show attendance.

Educational Sessions

While the extensive exhibit hall will be a large attraction, Coverings 2006 will also feature the largest educational conference program focusing on all aspects of the natural stone, flooring and ceramic tile industries - from distribution to market trends. The conference program has been designed specifically to benefit the diverse audience that the show attracts, increase knowledge, provide real world answers and enhance professional development.

Included will be many sessions specifically of interest to the stone industry (see “Coverings 2006 Seminar Program”). “Stone is an integral part of Coverings, and we are committed to being a valued resource for stone education as well as a showcase for new products and machinery,” stated Christian. “Our stone conference track, all free to Coverings attendees, is developed to discuss the latest trends and highlight issues and challenges most relevant to our attendees. We want attendees to leave Coverings with solutions to their challenges and new ideas to grow their businesses.”

The Marble Institute of America (MIA), one of the co-sponsors of Coverings, was instrumental in helping to develop the seminar programs. “We feel this year's conference has something for everyone, regardless of position or time in the industry,” said Gary Distelhorst, MIA executive vice president. “We looked for a broad variety of industry experts to provide sessions on timely and topical subjects to bring true value to those who attend. Things are changing so rapidly in our industry that everyone needs to be continuously learning, and the Coverings conference program is an excellent venue for that.”

The educational sessions - many of which offer ASID, AIA or State of Florida Continuing Education Units - are tailored to the interests of attendees. Topics of interest during the four-day exhibition include design and installation trends, industry issues such as safety as well as business and sales techniques.

Additionally, the show will include pavilions, representing stone companies from various countries around the world.

Keynote Speaker

Another show highlight will be keynote speaker Paco Underhill, retail anthropologist and author of the best-selling book, “Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping.” His presentation is scheduled for Tuesday, April 4 at 8:30 a.m. at the Opening Session of Coverings 2006.

“Paco's insight into the psyche of consumers and their buying habits promises to provide a compelling and provocative start to Coverings 2006,” stated Christian. “He will empower attendees with new tools and wisdom on how to improve business, no matter if they're fabricators, distributors, retailers, showroom dealers, installers or designers.”

For the past 20 years, Underhill has obsessively studied the science of shopping. A renowned speaker, he is the founding and managing director of Envirosell, a New York-based market research and consulting company, working with such clients as McDonald's, Starbucks, Well Fargo, Hewlett-Packard, Toro and Armstrong.

Organizations sponsoring Coverings 2006 include Spain's Ceramic Tile Manufacturers Association (ASCER), Assopiastrelle (Association of Italian Ceramic Tile and Refractories Manufacturers), Ceramic Tile Distributors Association (CTDA), National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA) and Tile Council of North America (TCNA).

In addition to MIA, co-sponsors of Coverings include American Institute of Architects (Orlando Chapter), The American Society of Interior Designers (Florida North, Florida South and Florida West Coast), 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.

In business for more than 25 years, NTP is a leader in the production, management and marketing of trade expositions, conferences and special events. NTP has expertise in a variety of industries, including security, transportation, government, communications, healthcare, public works, information technology, education, manufacturing and engineering. NTP also has the industry's longest history of launching and managing events for the Federal government, including GOVSEC, U.S. LAW and FOSE.

Coverings 2006 Seminar Program

The educational sessions taking place at Coverings 2006 in Orlando, FL, include many seminars on natural stone fabrication, specification design, maintenance and installation. The following is a look at some of the sessions of interest to stone users.

*Indicates AIA CES LUs will be offered for this session.
ASID CEUs and State of Florida CEUs are offered for all sessions.

Tuesday, April 4, 2006

8:30 a.m. - 10 a.m.
Paco Underhill

12:30 p.m. - 2 p.m.
Track: Architecture and Design
*Future Trends: Modernizing Color

Speaker: Leatrice Eiseman, Pantone Color Institute
In the ever-evolving world of trends, it's important to update and modernize your thinking; to look at color and styling influences through “modern-eyes.” Join trend expert, Leatrice Eiseman for a return engagement as she presents an engaging and informative visual presentation on the future schemes and themes that will appeal to and, mostly importantly, entice your targeted customer/client. Selected by Fortune magazine as one of America's eight top decision-makers, Eiseman is director of the Pantone Color Institute, author and color consultant to the industry. Her track record in identifying forecasted colors has helped to guide numerous professionals in the coverings industry around the world.

Track: Installation and Specification
*No Yelling: The Nine Secrets of Marine Leadership You Need to Know to Win in Business
Speaker: Wally Adamchik, Firestarter Speaking and Consulting
U.S. Marines are known and respected the world over for their leadership ability. How do they do it? What do they know that enables them to be such successful leaders on active duty and then in the civilian sector? This two-part series will unveil the nine essential behaviors that make up the foundation of leadership. Experiences shared in over 100 interviews with current and former Marines will illustrate the importance of balancing the elements of influence and control. This is a presentation based on the book authored by Adamchik that is currently hitting the streets.

3:15 p.m. - 5:15 p.m.

Track: Architecture and Design
*Dealing with Even the Toughest Behaviors and Situations
Speaker: Kelly McCormick, The McCormick Team, Inc.
Ever had to deal with the following? Those who consistently miss, cancel or are late for appointments. Clients who insist you promised additional services, lower rates, shorter deadlines, etc. Chronic complainers and/or negative people.
You'll receive terrific strategies to work effectively with even the toughest client. You'll also discover how to read and respond to unspoken client objections. The successful strategies provided will make it easier to stay objective, while resisting negative and confrontational bait. As an added bonus, there will be an opportunity to problem solve some of your current challenges. This session is designed specifically for the design industry, but the information can also be applied to other industries.

3:15 p.m. - 4:05 p.m.
Track: Distributor and Retailer
Trendscape: What You Don't Buy Is as Important as What You Do Buy
Speaker: Jonathan Trivers, Marketing Wit and Wisdom
Smart retailers buy to future customer demand. That decision for product selection is based on past sales and on new emerging trends. Trendscape unearths customer-buying trends.

4:30 p.m. - 5:20 p.m.
Track: Distributor and Retailer
*When Generations Collide in the Workplace
Speaker: Linda Talley, Leadership Coach
Are you a Baby Boomer trying to lead a staff/assistants who are Generation X? Or do you have Gen X clients? Or are you a Generation X trying to manage Boomer staff and customers? If you find yourself frequently frustrated with your 20 to 30-somthingish staff or 40 to 50 - somethingish staff/customers/vendors, that's not surprising. And by the way, Generation Y is now the biggest purchasers who will enter our lives and our businesses in the next five years. This is the first time in history that four generations have been in the workforce at the same time. Find out what makes one generation different from the previous generations. Discover what changes you can make to your relationships/management style in order to create generation-friendly work environments.
Learn what management styles won't work with Gen X. Understand how shifting from directing to empowering is the only language Gen X and Y comprehends - and much, much more. You will never look at your kids that same way!

Track: Installation and Specification
*Gypsum-based Underlayments: Panel Discussion
Moderator: Bart Bettiga, NTCA
There are many myths and misunderstandings on the applicability of installing ceramic tile or natural stone over gypsum-based underlayments. Now, with advancements in technology and systems, and the adoption of methods to install tile over them in the 2005 TCA Handbook, important discussion needs to take place on this controversial topic. NTCA will moderate a panel discussion that includes representation from the contracting, installation material and gypsum industry.

Track: Installation and Specification
How to Be a Successful $50 Million Tile, Marble and Terrazzo Company and Still Play Golf
Speaker: Vincent DeLazzero, President TCAA and CEO Port Morris Tile and Marble
An interesting practical approach to success; large or small, union or non-union, which applies to any “Coverings Contractor.” Forty years of tricks on how to save on labor and material costs. How to select projects to bid and means and methods to be efficient. TCAA's “Trowel of Excellence” program will be outlined; showing how certification qualifications will finally allow the consumer to make educated choices without necessarily choosing the low bidder. This program is a must for architects, general contractors and owners alike.

Track: Installation and Specification

*A Master Mosaicist's Slide and Lecture Presentation: The Process For the Creation of the 2003 Prism Award Winning Crane Dreams
Speaker: Eric Rattan, Santa Fe Design Studio
A slide presentation showing the step-by-step process and particular technical aspects for the Crane Dreams stone mosaic. Rattan lectures worldwide on the technical requirements for installing mosaic artwork in architectural settings. He is a former board member of the Society of American Mosaic Artists, where he chaired the Education Committee. His works have been purchased for private and public collections, and he is published regularly for his ceramic and stone mosaic works. He won Prism and Spectrum Awards for excellence in stone and tile design in 2003, 2004 and 2005. Includes special technical mosaic installation requirements.

Track: Stone
Selling Natural Stone in Your Showroom
Speakers: Fred Jackson, Jackson Estudio, and Kevin Murphy, KJ Murphy & Co.
Expand your ability to sell natural stone countertops, flooring and other applications from your showroom. Learn the vocabulary, the finishes, the edges, the displays and showroom basics that your retail and wholesale sales staff needs to know about natural stone. Today's approach to selling natural stone starts with your staff. Give them the resources to sell it with confidence.

Track: Stone

*Stone Repair Techniques - A Look to the Future
Speaker: Michael Reisinger, Invicon Chemical Solutions
Expand your knowledge of a variety of natural stone repair techniques available for natural stone countertops, flooring and other applications. Learn more about new cutting-edge repair techniques utilizing the power of light for the effective true-to-nature repair of stone surfaces in interior and exterior settings. Whether you utilize existing or new repair techniques, this seminar is a must attend.

Track: Stone
*What Effect Will Natural Stone Have on the Building Green Industry?
Speakers: Bill Eubank & Dan Ouellette, Luck Stone Corp.
Building “green” is gaining momentum and becoming more widespread in the architectural and construction industries. Inevitably, building green - and its concern of the environmental impact in building residential, institutional and commercial structures - will have an effect on the stone industry. Will the effect be a positive one or a negative one? It all depends on how the stone industry reacts to the issue. In this session, we will discuss the concept of green building, how stone can be incorporated into green projects, and how to become better educated in the growing sustainable building industry.

Wednesday, April 5, 2006

8 a.m. - 9:50 a.m.
Track: Stone
*Stone Trends 2006
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 eighth 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.

8 a.m. - 8:50 a.m.
Track: Distributor and Retailer
Improving Your Warehouse Safety
Speaker: Gary Ingle, ESGI
Do you employ safety as a corporate culture or do you have a safety team? This panel will explore the different ways to achieve consistency when it comes to safety in your warehouse. A consultant will talk about safety practices and working with OSHA.
Track: Distributor and Retailer
Improving the Dealer/Distributor Dynamic
This panel will address issues such as “What do I look for in a distributor?” and “How do I train my retail salespeople?” There are many benefits to a good distributor/dealer relationship, learn what distributors have to offer beyond just products and understand why a good rapport between dealer and distributor is just as important as the ones you have with consumers.

Track: Installation and Specification
*Mud Set Installations: An Old Fashioned Mud Job
Speaker: Tom Meehan, Cape Cod Tileworks
Presenter will demonstrate proper techniques and procedures necessary to properly install a mud bed. He will demonstrate how to properly mix and screed the bed, including reinforcing it with wire lath.

Track: Installation and Specification
*Understanding Care and Maintenance and Your Role
Speaker: Rod Sigman, Aqua Mix
This talk will focus primarily on the benefits of educating customers on proper care and maintenance and the key role we need to play in it. As both the tile and stone industry grow and advance with new technologies, staying on top of these advancements and being able to relate how customers should care for their tile and stone is critical to insuring continued growth for the industry and our businesses. Being a trained and knowledgeable expert in this area can lead to add on sales for you while creating satisfied customers.

Track: Installation and Specification
*The Reality of Complaints and Claims - Who Is to Blame?
Speaker: Tim Smith, President Flooring Inspection Training Services, Inc.
The current statistics on claims for hard surface products will be shared. The identity of a claim, who is to blame, the costs and liabilities, communication skills and how to handle claims and more. The areas of responsibility for claims will also be addressed. This is developed from inspections performed all over North America.

Track: Stone
*Shower Basics: What You Don't Know! - “A Water Management System”
Speaker: Don Halvorson, CTA, CTC, CMRS, CRMI, Forensic Tile Consultants
Some statistics estimate that approximately 40 million showers constructed in the U.S. leak because they were built incorrectly and may contain mold, while other experts estimate that over 95% of the showers are leaking. Even if you have built showers for 30 years and know everything, this seminar is for you. Learn the basics every tile or stone contractor needs to know so that your installations do not become part of this statistic. This course will cover the basic characteristics of water, the shower environment, typical shower installations and review some design errors commonly found in residential construction. Designing a shower as “A Water Management System” is the first step prior to adding the beauty of natural stone.
NOTE: Participants are encouraged to attend the “Stone-lined Shower Construction” seminar directly following this seminar.

9 a.m. - 9:50 a.m.
Track: Stone
*Proper Stone-lined Shower Construction
Speakers: Chuck Muehlbauer, MIA Technical Director, and Don Halvorson, Forensic Tile Consultants
Explore the proper construction of natural stone showers. This seminar will address stone mounting (adhesive and mechanical), waterproofing, mold and mildew. Learn best practice and how to avoid problems that arise with many shower installations.

Track: Architecture and Design
*Tile Couture: Discover Your Own Personal Style
Speaker: Anna Marie Fanelli, Floor & Décor, Editor, TileStyles
The tile and stone industry has become a fashion world with an endless variety of collections of materials featuring texture, movement and color. Kitchens, baths, backsplashes, libraries, solariums and even the outdoors - just to name a few - are locations that have become works of high fashion galleries. We now have the opportunity to express our own personal style utilizing the exciting world of tile and stone. The home fashion runways take center stage not to silk or sequins but by tile, stone, glass, slate, leather, cork, limestone, mosaics and much more. Creativity and passion for design is key to making any space unique when working with these exciting mediums. Working within budget contraints does not mean compromising style!

Track: Distributor and Retailer
*”In Pursuit of the Project” - Getting Specified Through Relationships
Speaker: Carole Schafmeister, D&B Tile Distributors
This session will benefit sales representatives, manufacturing representatives and architectural representatives endeavoring to present their product(s) to the owner, architect/design team community for use on their projects. The speaker will address what architect/design professionals expect, getting specified through relationships, tips on how to get your product specified, the specification process, the design/construction process, the benefits of CEU/LU and lunch-and-learns. Participants will learn that the establishment of relationships with design professionals is critical to successfully integrating systems into a building project. Learn sales call strategies and the resources that are available to help them.

Track: Distributor and Retailer
*The Future of U.S. Ceramic Tile Distribution: What Can We Predict
Speaker: Donato Grosser, D. Grosser and Associates, Ltd.
In the past five years, tile consumption has increased by 50%, from 212 million square meters in 2000 to approximately 310 million square meters in 2005. This enormous increase has effected many changes in the distribution of ceramic tile. Within this background, we will focus on two important phenomena: the effect of tile imports from the Far East and South America, and the behavior of U.S. tile manufacturers, some of whom are controlled by Italian and Spanish multinationals. Having armed themselves with the latest technology, they have become formidable competitors even to low-priced imports.

Track: Installation and Specification
*Challenges and Solutions for Grout and Caulk
Speaker: Robert Dickson, TEC Specialty Products
The ceramic tile and natural stone installations often present challenges for the installation and long-term performance of grouts and caulks. This session addresses the key considerations necessary for the successful installation of these joint filler materials. Both installation and service environment issues are identified and discussed. Key topics include: identification of market trends, review of installation challenges, grout and caulk material selection and performance, emerging technologies and potential service environment challenges, including staining and a discussion on mold and mildew.

Track: Installation and Specification
*Heated Floor Installations: Electric Systems
Moderator: National Tile Contractors Association
The presenters will discuss the characteristics of various types of electric radiant heat floor systems and how tile is to be installed successfully over them. Brief demonstrations on installing them to a wood substrate and how to apply the thinset over them will highlight the program.

Track: Stone
Diamonds in the Fabrication Process
Speakers: JC Collins, Diamant Boart, and Rich Booms, Boom Stone Co.
We buy them, we use them, but how much do we know about diamond technology? Are we utilizing this product appropriately in our shop environments? Do you know what causes diamonds to work faster, cut cleaner, how to dress a blade properly, how to select the correct blade for your saw? Join this panel of experts and get scientific fact on new technologies in the development of applications for industrial diamonds in the stone industry.

12:30 p.m. - 2 p.m.
Track: Installation and Specification
*No Yelling: The Nine Secrets of Marine Leadership You Need to Know to Win in Business Part II
Speaker: Wally Adamchik, Firestarter Speaking and Consulting
Join Wally Adamchik as he presents Part II of his session on leadership in business.

3:15 p.m. - 4:05 p.m.
Track: Architecture and Design
*Getting Published
Two of the most prestigious magazines for the Architectural & Design community will discuss what it takes to get products and projects published in their publications. Get the inside scoop on materials and methods for successful publicity pitches.

3:15 p.m. - 4:15 p.m.
Track: Architecture and Design/Distributor and Retailer
*Green Building: What You Want to Know
Speakers: Sara Gutterman and Ron Jones, Green Builder
Join Ron Jones and Sara Gutterman, Founders of Green Builder® Development and Green Builder® Magazine, for a two-hour interactive seminar on the essentials of green building, including material selection, installation techniques, energy efficiency, resource use and embodied energy. Jones and Gutterman will focus on how building and design professionals can practically and cost-effectively “green” their projects through the use of innovative materials, appropriate site planning, sustainable design and green technology. The session will include an open discussion during which attendees can ask specific questions about green concepts, techniques, products and systems. Emphasis will also be placed on how to market green projects to consumers as well as the current state of the green building market.

4:30 p.m. - 5:20 p.m.
Track: Architecture and Design
*Outdoor Living
Speakers: Drue Lawlor, education-works, inc. and Shawn Gilliam, Beautiful Homes
Join us as we delve into the current trend toward the increased importance of outdoor living spaces, including discussions of wellness and how outdoor living environments support well-being. We will discuss and view the emerging trends in pool houses and garden structures, outdoor rooms, and connections between indoors and out as presented in such Better Homes and Gardens magazines as Beautiful Homes, Renovation Style and Kitchen and Bath Ideas. Critical elements of planning for outdoor living environments will be addressed as well as appropriate products available, allowing the practitioner to design both beautiful and functional outdoor living spaces.

Track: Distributor and Retailer
Training Employees and Customers: The Easiest and Least Expensive Way to Increase Your Profits
Speakers: Donato Pompo and Steve Raish, University of Ceramic Tile and Stone (UofCTS)
This session will show how investing in training your employees and customers will give you huge returns on your investment. Learn how to reduce your training costs and increase the results. Learn hands-on training techniques and planning, which is needed now more than ever to generate more qualified installers. Learn about the latest technology in education and the best methods of training. Learn how to utilize online eLearning technology that is interactive with the student, allowing them to go at their own pace. The student can come and go at their own convenience; there is no lost productive time, travel time or expenses. Teachers can manage classes and grades, and students can print their own personalized diplomas. Monitoring reports are available for managers. Learn how blending online education with classroom training provides the best results, and is the easiest way to generate more sales at a very affordable cost.

Track: Installation and Specification
*How to Successfully Install Resin-backed Stones
Speaker: Art Mintie, Laticrete International
This session takes a look at the different types of materials sometimes used to keep natural stone tiles together and the challenges these products place on proper installation. Attendees will explore procedures that can assist in proper treatment and installation techniques.

Track: Stone
*Countertop Fabrication (Presented in Spanish)
Speakers: Jose Rodriguez, Total Design on Marble & Granite, and Rafael Bernal, Great Lakes Granite & Marble
To rod or not to rod? How do you make a seam invisible? Does my shop really need to make the CNC leap? What is the best way to polish an ogee edge? Join some top-industry experts to discuss these issues and more. This countertop fabrication seminar will cover fabrication methods, transport, installation techniques, maintenance procedures and follow-up.

Track: Stone
*Natural Stone Characteristics: Origin, Extraction, Installation Challenges, Protection, Maintenance and Restoration
Speakers: Joe Salvo, Miracle Sealants, and Tom McNall, Great Northern Stone
This seminar will illustrate techniques, theories and products used for quarrying, processing, protecting, maintaining and restoring natural stone. This seminar will supply useful knowledge to both those new to stone products as well as seasoned stone professional. Information will be included on impregnators/penetrating sealers, recrystalization, polishing powders and pastes, diamond abrasives and more.

Thursday, April 6, 2006

8 a.m - 8:50 a.m.
Track: Distributor and Retailer
Retargeting Your Market
Speaker: Dennis McLennand, D&B Tile Distributors
Think about your target market . . . what would you do if it disappeared? What happens when another vendor taps your market share? This session will answer these questions and offer ways to help you find the best new market.

Track: Installation and Specification
Are You Leaving Money on the Table?
Speaker: Al Bates, Profit Planning Group
Most contracting organizations are classic small businesses. That means the owner has to do almost everything. As a result, there is little time left for planning. As a result, most firms don't just make less profit than they should; they make a lot less. This session will help contractors identify how much profit they should be producing and how they can get there.

Track: Installation and Specification
*Crack Isolations and Proper Surface Preparation
Speaker: Joseph Still, Protecto Wrap
This session will look at the new language defining crack isolation systems and explanation of types of membranes and codes and regulations. Surface preparation of the substrate is also covered in detail.

8 a.m. - 9:50 a.m.
Track: Stone
*Introduction to Stone Design
Speaker: Chuck Muehlbauer, MIA Technical Director
This “Stone 101” course is especially designed for architects and members of the design community. Discussions will include: stone selection, engineering considerations, ASTM testing, aesthetic considerations, horizontal substrates, designing for wet areas, stair treads and vertical cladding. As is customary, this seminar will also cover useful “Tips and Techniques” in stone sourcing and design.
8 a.m. - 10:50 a.m.
Track: Stone
Fabricators and Installers Forum: Residential Projects
Speakers: Rich Booms, Booms Stone Co., Scott Lardner, Rocky Mountain Stone Co., and Jose Rodriguez, Total Design on Marble & Granite
Moderator: GK Naquin, Stone Interiors
Ask the experts - this open forum is designed for fabricators to get answers to questions or problems they may have with regard to residential fabrication and/or installation. It is a chance to discuss items that may not be covered by other seminars. A panel of MIA industry members will lead the discussion.

9 a.m. - 9:50 a.m.
Track: Distributor and Retailer
Up-selling Strategies and Approaches
Speaker: David Parker, ABG, Inc.
Where do you draw the line between up-selling and being a pushy salesperson? This session will help you to effectively improve on your original sale based on your customer's needs. Learn how to up-sell in a professional manner, while keeping your customer satisfied, coming back for more - and referring their friends!

Track: Installation and Specification
*The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Speaker: Chip O'Rear, Custom Building Products
This program features some of the most common failures and problem situations occurring in the field today as well as some truly magnificent masterpieces of tile work. Reasons for these failures and measures to prevent them will be discussed, but the emphasis will be on proper installation methods and use of today's materials for tile work that will last and of which you can be proud.

Track: Installation and Specification
*Top Reasons Why Installations Fail
Speaker: Donato Pompo, Ceramic Tile and Stone Consultants
The presenter, a leading consultant in the tile and stone industry, will share with the audience the most common reasons why he is called to the jobsite. He will look at the most common causes of tile installation failure in the U.S., and will use standards and methods to solidify his case for more careful attention to preventive measures.

10:15 a.m. - 11:05 a.m.
Track: Architecture and Design *Trends In Spa and Resort Design
Moderator: Stacey Shoemaker Rauen, Hospitality Design Magazine
Learn how some of the hottest design firms are adding a new meaning to the word luxury. Stacy Shoemaker Rauen, Senior Editor of Hospitality Design Magazine, will moderate a panel of some of the country's leading hospitality designers. They'll discuss innovative designs and materials that pamper and inspire - and keep customers and their guests coming back for more!
12:30 p.m. - 2 p.m.
Track: Architecture and Design
*Exploring the Concept of Communities
Speaker: Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, Duany Plater-Zyberk & Co.
Good form builds community, innovative space fosters hospitality, artful composition enriches identity. When grounded in values, design and architecture is a powerful force for more beautiful homes and livable communities.
Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk is a founding principal of Duany Plater-Zyberk & Co. She is Dean of the University of Miami's School of Architecture, where she has taught since 1979. Having initiated the graduate program in Suburb and Town Design in 1988, Plater-Zyberk continues to explore current issues in city growth and reconstruction with students and faculty. She has served as Director of the Center for Urban Community and Design, organizing and promoting numerous design exercises for the benefit of communities throughout South Florida.
Plater-Zyberk is a founder and emerita board member of the Congress for the New Urbanism, established in 1993. The New York Times has characterized the New Urbanism as “the most important phenomenon to emerge in American architecture in the post-Cold War era.” She has authored two books: Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream and The New Civic Art.

3:15 p.m. - 4:05 p.m.
Track: Architecture and Design
Guerrilla Techniques for Self Promotion
Speaker: Susan Harkavy
Join Susan Harkavy for an imaginative overview of guerrilla marketing tactics for designers: clever, provocative, intuitive and usually inexpensive methods to generate that buzz. The session will focus on pro-active tips you can use to raise your visibility among your prospective clients and your colleagues in the design community. Learn new techniques to enhance awareness of your name, design approach and expertise. Harkavy is a public relations consultant specializing in contemporary design, home furnishings and lifestyle, with 20 years experience in the industry. The former press officer of the Museum of Arts and Design, she went on to represent Dakota Jackson prior to founding her firm in 1994. Harkavy works with designers one-on-one to hone effective communication techniques and develop strategies for successful promotion. She publishes the lighthearted “Guerrilla Intelligence” newsletter and teaches guerrilla marketing at New York Designs, a resource center for business counseling and education.

4:30 p.m. - 5:20 p.m.
Track: Architecture and Design
*The Designer's Approach to Creative Tile Design
Moderator: Anna Marie Fanelli, Floor & Decor, Editor, TileStyles
Panelists: Lori Greenbaum, Greenbaum-Mann Inc.; Scott Salvator, Scott Salvator, Inc.; and Michael Weber, Cosas, Inc.
Discover the exclusive trade secrets of the industry experts who work with tile everyday and have lots to say about design. The endless possibilities are brought into focus by the pros.
You'll learn how green design is becoming more popular and how it is here to stay; the importance of mixing materials to create texture and movement; how to have the best for less; the importance of color and how it affects your space; contemporary vs. traditional design how to best suit your environment and much more!

Track: Installation and Specification
*Installing Large Tile Floors that Won't Crack
Speaker: Tom Meehan, Cape Cod Tile
This session will address procedures to ensure maximum coverage of the mortar, preventing lippage and hollowness in the tile. The presenter will also discuss the importance of proper substrate preparation to ensure a level surface. The presenter will pull from his articles that have appeared in both Fine Home Building Magazine and USA Today.

Track: Installation and Specification
*Romancing the Floor
Speaker: Kathleen Scranton, EasyHeat
Radiant floor warming can provide a positive effect on everyone's bottom line, whether you are the installer, builder or homeowner. By reducing fossil fuel requirements, providing uniform thermal comfort, low maintenance and low cost, radiant systems can help sell residential and commercial projects. Learn how easy radiant systems are to install, how you can sell more radiant projects, make more money and have your entire floor romance you with warmth and comfort.

Track: Stone
Safety Initiatives in Your Shop & Insurance Dos & Don'ts
Speakers: Marc Rosenkrantz, Schechner Lifson Corp., and Kevin Padden, Marble Institute of America
Employee and consumer safety is a full-time job. Take an inventory of the basic safety measures and resources available that can be incorporated into your safety program (including the new “Basics of OSHA Compliance” video). As a successful stone professional, you need to understand the pitfalls of property/casualty insurance and how to handle general liability, as well as what resources are available to help your company's safety program excel.

Track: Stone
*Managing Homeowners' Expectations
Speakers: Rafael Bernal, Great Lakes Granite & Marble, and Duane Naquin, Stone Interiors East
Having a satisfied homeowner means meeting their expectations before, during and after the completion of a project. Today's consumers gather information from various sources prior to entering your business. This seminar will offer guidelines on how to better meet your customers' expectations right from the start to ensure their happiness and your success.

Friday, April 7, 2006

8 - 8:50 a.m.
Track: Distributor and Retailer
The Dos and Don'ts of Selecting Computer Software
Speaker: Joseph Flannick, American Business Computers, Inc.
The session will address some of the things a company should do when going through the process of searching for a new computer system. Sometimes companies search for software without first defining the objectives of a new system. In many instances, the company doesn't get the individuals from the affected departments involved. In some cases, the objectives are not realistic.
Is the main objective to simply automate the company's bookkeeping? How much value is there in having more information, faster? What is the value of keeping track of the customers and what they bought? How important is it to keep track of which products have been selling on a month-by-month basis? Does the company stock inventory and what is the value of having a more automated reorder process? What are the company's growth objectives?
Some companies assume that a new computer will save money and reduce employees. Typically, installing a new computer system does not reduce the number of employees. Instead, it allows the company to grow without adding additional people.

Participants will learn:
  • Defining the objectives for the new software
  • Getting individuals from the affected departments involved
  • The value of having more information, faster
  • Does the company need industry specific software?

Track: Installation and Specification
*Lighten The Load: Advances in Tile and Stone Installation
Speaker: Tim Connelly, Custom Building Products
This seminar will explore tile and stone installation systems that incorporate new lightweight technologies, including underlayments, mortars, mastics and grouts. Topics include the additional product benefits and improvements derived from the lightweight feature, how these products work together to form an improved tile installation compared to conventional installation methods and products and how these systems accommodate modern construction methods.

Track: Installation and Specification
*Waterproofing Membranes
Speaker: Tim McDonald, Mer-Kete Systems
Case Studies of proper water-proofing technology will be shared. A look at preventive technology to attack the concerns regarding mold and mildew growth in tile installations will be included in this session.

Track: Stone
Expand Your Fabrication Business Beyond Countertops - The Possibilities Are Endless
Speaker: Jim Eckberg and Matt Zink, Park Industries Inc.
Consider diversifying your operations. Learn about the many diverse applications of stone as well as hot, new consumer trends in profiled, ornamental stone. There are virtually untapped markets within industry markets that could reap huge returns for your business. Find out about these markets and how you can diversify your business. Diversification could be your key to increased prosperity in the stone marketplace.

Session Take-Aways:
  • Review continued growth for the demand of stone, including industry statistics
  • Looking beyond granite countertops and understanding the potential for other stone products
  • How to position your business to take advantage of the booming popularity of natural stone

Track: Stone
Making an Investment in a CNC and/or Waterjet Machine - What to Know Before You Buy
Speaker: Jim Callaghan, Marmo Machinery USA
Buying machinery to improve your productivity is a major financial commitment. Before you make this commitment, make sure you are asking the right questions. Learn more about what you need to know before you buy. If you think you are ready to purchase a CNC and/or waterjet machine, then you'll want to attend this seminar.

9 a.m. - 9:50 a.m.
Track: Architecture and Design
*Entrance Flooring Systems
Speaker: Lori Neitz, C/S Group
Participants will learn the costs of short- and long-term maintenance and the importance of effectively trapping dirt at the door, while enhancing rather than detracting from the intended vestibule or lobby design. Indoor air-quality issues and entrance flooring's contribution as it relates to LEED and sustainable design objectives will be discussed. Slip/fall liability issues will also be addressed as they relate to wet/slippery floors.

Track: Distributor and Retailer
More Return with Less Choice: An Intriguing Possibility?
Speaker: Christy Stadelmaier, Motif Marketing
More than half a decade of tremendous growth in the industry has passed. Will the remainder of the 2000s continue to bring more growth with greater competition, more products, and more choices for the consumer? No doubt, it will! Today's consumer is already over-stimulated and stressed out trying to navigate all the choices that today's marketplace offers.
Create the perfect mix of products and presentation for your business. This session is designed to offer targeted product selection strategies based on industry, marketplace and design trends and developments. Learn how to end clutter, complexity and confusion by editing your product offering with both the consumers' wants and needs and your bottom-line in mind.

Track: Installation and Specification
*Installation Critical, “Tiles Have Buckled”
Speaker: Alan Kin, Bonded Materials
Tile and stone installations over post-tensioned slabs can have a costly oversight and pose new challenges to the industry and installers. Are you aware, or just lucky? Buckled tile, lifting stone installations can be a specifier's, architect's and contractor's nightmare. Learn cause, prevention and repairs that can be done successfully. Understand your exposure and needs for installing ceramic, porcelain and stone tile units over post-tensioned slabs. Spend your valuable time seeing real photos, clear discussion and learn to identify and repair these installations.

Track: Installation and Specification
Technology Advancements for Contractors
Moderator: Bob Brown of NTCA
This panel presentation and demonstration will address software management for contractors, job tracking software and job layout, estimation and bidding software.

Track: Stone
OSHA/EPA Compliance Review - Dry vs. Wet Dust Collectors
Speaker: Mike White, VIC International
Make sure you have the latest OSHA information about nuisance dust and the very strict Cyrstalline Silica standards. Learn about the different types of dust collectors (pros and cons) and how to properly install and operate them. We'll explore “OSHA Point Capture” requirements and other alternatives, as well as the new “CNC of dust collectors.”

Track: Stone
*Natural Stone vs. Manmade Countertops
Speakers: Jessica Rose, Visions Magazine, G&L Marble Inc., and Duane Naquin, Stone Interiors East
Consumers and people within the trade have been bombarded in recent years with information about manmade materials and “engineered” stone. While both natural and synthetic materials have their proper applications, natural stone has in many ways been misrepresented by the companies that market manmade materials. In this session, we will dispel the many myths associated with natural stone, including: natural stone's effect on the environment, bacteria and sanitary questions, sealing natural stone, stains and durability, variations within natural materials, cost and how different natural stone finishes can affect wear and tear.

9 a.m. - 10:50 a.m.
Track: Architecture and Design
*Accessibility Compliance: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly, or Why Did I Do That?
Speaker: Larry M. Schneider, AIA
This is an advanced two-hour training module as required by the Florida Building Commission dealing with the concerns of accessibility compliance. The specific topics for this class are: The Accessible Route, Accessible Parking, Florida's Specific Requirement for Vertical Accessibility and Toilet Rooms and Toilet Stalls. Learn about these specific requirements and the pitfalls that can become your project in dealing with these issues. Bring your questions!