Coverings 2007 will take place from April 17 to 20 at the McCormick Place Convention Center in Chicago, IL, and organizers are expecting more than 35,000 attendees.

After years of taking place at locales around the country - most recently Orlando, FL, where it was held for nine out of the last 10 years - Coverings is headed north to Chicago, IL, and the McCormick Place Convention Center from April 17 to 20, 2007. And whether in spite of or because of the upcoming venue change from Orlando, organizers report that the event is showing signs that it is going to be another record-breaking year.

According to the show organizers, exhibitor space is nearly booked to capacity, and the “Call for Papers” for seminar session speakers and presenters triggered a wealth of responses, including from many high-powered names in design and business. Additionally, they report that the Web site,, has been fielding a record number of inquiries about pre-registration and attendance that usually don’t reach such volume this far in advance of the show.

“It’s clear that Coverings 2007 is going to be historic,” said Tamara Christian, show director and president of National Trade Productions, which manages the show. “What we’re hearing from so many of the exhibitors is that no matter where Coverings is held, they want in, because nothing compares; it’s the ultimate for tile and stone. The choice of Chicago will likely draw more attendees than ever before, many being fresh faces from the Midwest representing the design world and the distribution and retail end of the business.”

The show has 500,000 net square feet at Chicago’s McCormick Place Convention Center, occupying the South and North Halls. At press time, organizers report that pre-registration is 28% ahead of 2006, with double-digit increases among core segments - including architects and designers, retailers and distributors as well as contractors.

“At this rate, we’re expecting more than 35,000 total attendees, which is a 15% increase from last year and historic,” Christian said. “The level of buzz about the show is unbelievable, fueled by the participation of influential industry organizations, such as AIA Chicago, IIDA Illinois, ASID Illinois, Chicago Floorcovering Association (CFA), U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and National Association of the Remodeling Industry Greater Chicago, which have rallied to support Coverings and are encouraging their membership to attend.”

Christian also noted that this early and strong response in both exhibit space and in registration is especially significant because it means that the show’s shift this year to Chicago from Orlando has not been a deterrent. “Coverings’ return to Chicago, after 15 years away, is clearly adding to the draw,” she said. “In staging the ultimate tile experience in one of the ultimate cultural reservoirs on the map, both exhibitors and attendees will find an unparalleled opportunity to mix business with pleasure and are assured of finding a wealth of new products, new contacts, new strategies and new business-building resources.”

Regardless of where Coverings is held, the real magnet is the four-day lineup of exhibition and conference. The exhibit halls will feature more than 1,200 exhibitors, showcasing the newest and most innovative tile and stone products from around the world. In addition to tile and stone products, exhibitors will be offering a range of stoneworking machinery and accessories, stone care and maintenance products, stone handling equipment, digital templating systems and more. In addition to individual companies, many countries are represented in national pavilions of stone products. Past national pavilions have included Italy, Brazil, Spain, Turkey, China and Israel, among others.

Moving beyond the show floor, Coverings 2007 offers more than 75 educational seminar programs. All seminars are free and most provide CEU credits (a full list of seminars and descriptions can be found at the end of this article).

In terms of networking opportunities and special events - both on the show floor and off - they are a continuous part of Coverings. The two official Coverings’ sponsored events this year include “Un-Coverings: The After-Hours Party for A+D,” being co-hosted by Interior Design Magazine on Wednesday, April 18; and Appreciation Night at House of Blues will take place on Thursday, April 19.

Christian also noted that, in heading to Chicago, it actually marks a return for Coverings to the Windy City. The show was last staged there in 1992. To be sure, though, it has evolved then into a world-class event. According to a recent online survey conducted among Coverings attendees who’ve attended any of the past three years, nearly 80% said they’re planning to go to the Chicago show in 2007.

It is no surprise that seminar speakers are clamoring for a spot on this year’s roster at Coverings. The educational and instructional programming offered at the show consistently ranks as one of its primary attractions. Though still in the planning stages, given the caliber of presenters who are being considered, the 2007 lineup promises to be stellar. As in past years, there will be separate seminar tracks to satisfy a variety of interests: distribution and retail; architecture and design; building and remodeling; fabrication and installation. The increasing importance of green building and sustainability is being addressed this year, with an entire track dedicated to the topic. Another plus is that CEU credits from AIA, ASID, IIDA and NKBA are available.

Major headliners to speak

A veritable who’s who of experts has been tapped to speak at Coverings 2007. Heading the roster is Bernard M. Markstein, III, director of forecasting and assistant staff vice president of the National Association of Home Builders, who will deliver the keynote address that officially gets the stone show underway. Others in the lineup include acclaimed architect Richard Meier, color maven Leatrice Eiseman, marketing and trends authority Maxine Lauer and interior design author Heather E. Adams, to name a few.

“Coverings is fabled for bringing top name speakers and high caliber conference programming to the show each year,” said Christian. “We’re upholding that commitment this year and, in fact, increasing the number of headliners to make sure that all of the varying interests of attendees are properly satisfied.”

To that end, Markstein, from his vantage at NAHB, will help shed light on what lies ahead in the new housing market and how that will potentially impact sale of ceramic tile and stone. Scheduled to appear at 8:30 a.m. on opening day, Markstein promises to cut to the heart of what’s influencing the current slowdown and what the prospects are for its reversal. With more than 25 years of experience in consulting, financial services and academia - where he was responsible for analyzing, interpreting and forecasting economic and housing data - he will provide insights on local, regional and national trends.

Markstein joined NAHB in 2004, having had his own economic consulting firm. Previously he was chief economist for Meridian Bancorp, Inc. and was manager of Financial Forecasting Service for Chase Econometrics (now Global Insight, Inc.). He has a bachelor’s degree in economics from Brown University, and a doctorate from Yale University.

Richard Meier comes to Coverings on Thursday, April 19, speaking from 12:30 to 2:00 p.m. With a portfolio of commissioned work - residential as well as commercial - dotting the landscape on nearly every continent, Meier is one of America’s most prolific architectural talents. Among his most well-known projects are The Getty Center in Los Angeles, CA; the Jubilee Church in Rome, Italy; the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, GA; the Museum for the Decorative Arts in Frankfurt, Germany; the Canal + Television Headquarters in Paris, France; and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Barcelona, Spain. In 1984, Meier was awarded the Pritzker Prize for Architecture, considered the highest honor in the profession.

Leatrice Eiseman frequently appears at Coverings to respond to the insatiable interest in color usage and trends. The director of the Eiseman Center for Color Information and Training, Pantone Color Institute, she is returning again this year. She is slated to speak on Tuesday, April 17 at 12:30 p.m. and will share the same expertise that has helped companies of all sizes make the most educated color choices for, among other things, product development, logos and identifications, brand imaging, Web sites, packaging, point of purchase and interior and exterior design. She also will discuss which colors are hot for 2007 and beyond.

Maxine Lauer promises to put the spotlight on what trends are influencing and driving consumer decisions. Lauer, who heads her own marketing consulting firm, Sphere Trending, examines macro and micro trends and is tapped by companies such as Target, Staples, Mohawk Industries, Delta Faucet, Levelor and KraftMaid Cabinetry to help advise them on development of future marketing strategies. Annually, Lauer and staff clock thousands of miles as they travel globally to just about every major trade show in the lifestyle category, collecting information and synthesizing it to pronounce what’s next for clients. Her presentation is set for Wednesday, April 18 at 8:30 a.m.

“Designing with Stone - An Interior Design Perspective” is the title of an hour-long seminar session being conducted by Heather E. Adams on Wednesday, April 18 at 8:00 a.m. The author of three design books - one about tile, one about stone and the third about wood - Adams also is a frequent contributor to numerous home and interior design publications, advocating the use of natural materials. Based in Pensacola, FL, she is founder and co-owner of Natural Stone Design, a boutique-style showroom.

Meier, Eiseman, Lauer and Adams are among 100 other exceptional experts scheduled to speak as part of the Coverings Seminar Series. Many of these sessions earn attendees CEU credits from professional organizations such as AIA, ASID, IIDA, NKBA and the State of Illinois. And, while they are organized according to various business interests, they are open to all Coverings attendees.

A+D pros invited

to bring clients

Coverings 2007 has also offered a special opportunity to architects and designers. For the first time in the show’s history, A+D professionals are invited to bring their VIP clients with them, free of charge. They can host up to two guests during the four-day event.

“Architects and designers play an integral role in the Coverings experience, and we wanted to find a meaningful way to acknowledge our support for them,” said Christian. “What’s more, our move to the Midwest this year puts us in the heart of one of the densest populations of design professionals, so it occurred to us to do something extra special for this segment. By opening the doors of our trade show to their clients, we’re supporting them in their work and business. We are delighted to be able to add this new initiative to Coverings and believe it will provide a unique opportunity for architects and designers to interact with their clients in an exciting new context.”

To take advantage of the “bring a client” offer, architects or designer can enter the name of the guest when registering online at Clients’ badges will then be mailed to them, along with their own. The only restriction, other than the limit of two guests per professional, is that hosts must accompany their VIP guests on the floor at all times. Naturally, any travel or lodging are at the attendees’ own expense.

Spectrum and Prism Awards

Following the annual tradition, the design awards competitions - Spectrum for tile and Prism for stone - culminate with a presentation ceremony during the event. More than 15,000 entry forms have been mailed, plus downloadable versions are available at

The search is on for architectural and design projects representing the most innovative and visionary use of ceramic tile and natural stone, and $36,000 in prize money is at stake. Grand Prize honorees for both Spectrum and Prism will receive $10,000 each. Additionally, a $2,500 First Prize and $1,500 Award of Merit will be conferred in both residential and commercial categories for each competition. Mastery of the materials, overall creativity and imagination, plus installation competency will be among the judges’ top criteria for both.

To qualify, projects must have been completed between January 2003 and December 2006. Each submission must be accompanied by an electronic file, a pocket folder with an official entry form, a typed project description and identification information and high-resolution photography. The entry fee is $100 for a single project, but multiple entries are accepted, and the subsequent entry fee is only $60 for each additional one.

Past winners report that they have leveraged the awards for their business value. “We feel very honored to be the recipient of the Prism Grand Prize,” said William Pues, Vice President of Conventional Stone and Marble, a 2006 Prism Grand Prize winner. “The recognition we have received within the industry has given our company new opportunities. It was truly a team effort, and we look forward to this year’s competition and to the show in Chicago.”

“The prestige of these awards is lasting and far-reaching,” said Christian. “The news of the winners and their projects appears not only in nearly all the key North American design and architectural publications, but also in major industry journals based overseas. What’s more, Coverings publishes a handsome keepsake booklet that profiles the winning projects. It’s a valuable sales tool for the winners to obtain and use.

The 2007 Spectrum and Prism Awards are sponsored by Coverings and coordinated by the five sponsoring organizations of the show including ASCER (Spain’s Ceramic Tile Manufacturers Association), Confindusrtria Ceramica (Italian Association of Ceramics), CTDA (Ceramic Tile Distributors Association), NTCA (National Tile Contractors Association) and TCNA (Tile Council of North America). Additionally, Architectural Record is returning as a sponsor of the Prism Awards.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

8:30-10:00 a.m.

Opening Keynote: NAHB Economic Forecast

Where will the economy go in 2007? What can you expect in your region of the country? What are the issues and trends driving the building industry? How will it affect the tile and stone industry? Join a nationally known economist from NAHB as he focuses on the state of the nation’s economy and its impact on housing. What will happen now that the housing market has taken a downturn? Is the bottom in sight? Discuss the outlook for employment, prices and financing for both the long and short-term. Get answers for your business future.

Speaker: Bernard M. Markstein, III, National Association of Home Builders

12:30-2:00 p.m.

The 2007 TCNA Handbook

Known as the guidebook of the tile industry, the 2007 edition of the TCNA Handbook has numerous additions and changes, including the adoption of important new methods for tile installation. Eric Astrachan, Executive Director of the Tile Council of North America, will discuss the highlights of the new edition, and describe the process involved behind the scenes leading to its publication.

Speaker: Eric Astrachan, Tile Council of North America

Future Color/Design Trends: Fulfilling Client and Customer Needs

A major challenge in today’s marketplace is satisfying your customers’ and clients’ demands and desires in regard to style and color. Join Coverings popular trend expert, Leatrice Eiseman, as she describes the most important developments in design and color trends, which will entice your customer/client and drive sales.

Speaker: Leatrice Eiseman, Eiseman Center for Color Information and Training

3:15-4:05 p.m.

The Language of Materials

In design, materials set the mood. “The Language of Materials” will explore the relationship between materials and brand identity, and it will demonstrate how innovative interior finishes, specifically flooring, are customized and integrated into commercial environments to create a signature look. Inspirational project case studies - featuring the award-winning work of leading design firms - will be used to illustrate flooring and surface applications, and they will highlight fresh product trends for the architecture and design community to specify. Projects featured will include: The Metropolitan Museum of Art Stores, Barney’s, Salus Surgical Centers, Herald Towers, Deutsche Bank, Peerless Restaurant and Eli Zabar’s Restaurants.

Speakers: Nancy Jackson and Ronald Jackson, Architectural Systems, Inc.

Exelon Chicago Headquarters: A Case Study

This multimedia panel discussion, detailing Exelon’s search for a new corporate headquarters, will include the owner (Exelon), the real estate broker (Studley) and the designer (ISI). In 2004, Exelon was in search of a new location in Chicago; the company will be ready to move into its new offices in 2007. Learn the process of the real estate search - including the analysis of renewal, leasing new spaces/new locations and potential build to suit scenarios over a span of approximately 18 months - and how Exelon arrived at its decisions. Hear the goals and objectives set forth by Exelon, including its desire to be at the forefront of sustainable (green) design and how these parameters impacted the hunt. The session will conclude with images of the build-out, description of the design concepts and discussion of lessons learned.

Moderator: Angie Lee, FAIA, IIDA, IIDA Illinois 2006 President-Elect; Panelists: Deborah Kuo, Exelon; Joe Learner, Studley; Dennis Kluge, ISI

3:15-5:20 p.m.

Internet - It Must Be in Your Future

While there is very little ceramic tile presently sold online, customers now turn to the Internet to find stores and products, learn about product features and benefits, and to make decisions about where to go for advice and to purchase materials. This session will detail the Internet’s crucial role in the 21st century and will detail how distributors, retailers, contractors and designers should use the Internet to build their businesses.

Speakers: Jonathan Trivers, Marketing Wit and Wisdom, and John Simonson, Webstream Dynamics

4:30-5:20 p.m.

Luxury Multi-Housing Design Trends

What do the most successful condo and luxury rental developments have in common? The answer is the ability to seamlessly meld form with function. In this session, moderated by Diana Mosher, editor-in-chief of Multi-Housing News magazine, three leading architects and interior designers will present examples of the most sought-after layouts, finishes and amenities in common areas and units. Attendees will discover a wealth of new design ideas for corridors, kitchens, bathrooms, loft plans, lobbies/common areas, marketing/leasing centers and other important areas of attached residential developments.

Moderator: Diana Mosher, Multi-Housing News; Hiro Isogai, WDG Interiors, Other speakers TBD


The presentation will describe the types of backerboards currently on the market, and it will explain the relationship between the International Residential Codes and the tile industry. 2007 TCNA Handbook Methods will also be discussed.

Panelists: TBD

Sound Control for Hard Surface Flooring Systems

The explosion of condominium and upper-level ceramic tile installations over a wide array of substrates has led to an increased demand for proactive sound control. The panel will detail the numerous methods of sound control and the corresponding requirements. The panel will be moderated by NTCA.

Panelists: TBD

Stone - The Global Supply Chain

Today’s active stone markets are sorely behind with regard to integrating available technology into the 21st-century supply chain. In a global marketplace, information needs to flow in an almost instantaneous fashion - from producer, to processor, to distributor, to market. Integrating available technology can and will bring the industry supply chain into a real-time and dynamic environment. Find out what elements constitute the supply chain; what information is needed at various points in the chain; how the information is used and by whom; facts about supply-chain security; and how technology is integrated into the supply chain.

Speakers: Lloyd Henry, Hudson Economics Group; other speakers TBD

Maintenance and Problem Solving 101 - What to Use, What to Know and Why

With the tremendous growth and popularity of tile and stone today, using a sealer to protect these surfaces is virtually a given. Knowing what to recommend and use for proper maintenance is not. Once a problem occurs during or after installation, what can you use to remove grout haze, strip a sealer, remove efflorescence, restore heavily soiled and neglected installations, and other common issues? Contractors, distributors, designers and anyone interested in learning more about maintenance and problem solving shouldn’t miss this seminar.

Speaker: Rod Sigman, Aqua Mix

Protecting Your Assets - To Insure or Not to Insure?

When do you submit a claim to an insurance company? Many business owners are not aware that they may be personally liable for lawsuits that are a result of an employee’s negligence or their own failure to act in accordance to law. The session will educate the business owner on the various policies and ways to insulate their assets from catastrophic loss. Some of the handouts will be sample risk transfer and loss control programs that are specific to the marble/tile industry.

Speaker: Marc Rosenkrantz, Schechner Lifson Corp.

Surface Tension and the Green Aisle

According to Keith Pandolfi, author of “Beating Rising Building Costs,” a new trend is developing with consumers: recycling items they originally intended to replace - such as cabinets, windows and bathroom fixtures - in other parts of the home. Learn about the changing consumer trends. What is sustainable design? Why should the tile and stone industry take notice? Is this a lasting trend or a passing fad? Green materials can offer the solution - and luxury - your client is searching for. How do you display these green materials in your showroom? How do you target the architectural and design communities that are focused on green and get them to work with you?

Speakers: Michael J. Weber, Cosas, Inc., and Anna Marie Fanelli, Floor & Décor

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

8:00-8:50 a.m.

Delivering Education Online - The Way Gen X and Y Learn

This session will explain the importance of providing online education as a vehicle to train employees and reach customers. The future workforce has grown up using computers in every facet of their lives. Their desire and ability to learn and retain information - and to communicate with each other - is directly linked to the computer. Attend this session to understand what options are available in the stone and tile business to educate your employees and customers online.

Speaker: Donato Pompo, Ceramic Tile and Stone Consultants

Merchandise Your Showroom for the Ideal Customer Experience, and You Will Sell More Tile

In this session, Jim Dion will take you through basic visual merchandising techniques. Learn how and why customers shop a store. What items should be front and center in your store? How do lighting, color and music impact the customer experience? Customers make the final decision whether to buy or not to buy in the “last three feet” in a store. Understanding what affects their decision can stack the cards in your favor. Learn how to optimize your store layout and presentation to maximize profits and create a lasting impression.

Speaker: James Dion, Dionco, Inc.

Construction and Installation Trends

This presentation will provide a clear understanding of the requirements for a successful tile-setting job on wood and concrete underlayments, and renovation jobs (tile on tile, tile on metal, tile on vinyl). Each underlayment or substrate has its own list of requirements for the type of installation that is needed - from special primers, to grinding the floor, to changing the surface to an appropriate setting surface.

Speaker: Robert Dickson, TEC Specialty Products

The Euro/Handicapped Bath

Tom Meehan, a successful contractor and author of tile installation books and articles, will demonstrate proper installation techniques for this growing trend in bath design. The Euro/Handicapped bathroom has both practical and design benefits. Once demonstrated, the trade can embrace this trend and provide value to the tile industry.

Speaker: Tom Meehan, Cape Code Tileworks

Water Treatment and Recycling

Today it is vitally important to comply with EPA guidelines, OSHA requirements and the Clean Water Act with respect to wastewater, stone grindings and quartz surfacing. There are many ingredients in today’s marble, granite and quartz materials - such as resins, dies, and other heavy metals - which should not be introduced to the municipalities or ground water. It is likely that your municipality requires, or will soon require, a 100% closed loop system with no discharge and without the use of chemicals. Learn more about a variety of approaches that will be good for both the environment and for your machinery.

Speaker: John Fallon, Water Treatment Technology; representatives from VIC International and GranQuartz

Designing with Stone - An Interior Design Perspective

Co-author of “Stone: Designing kitchens, baths & interiors with natural stone” and “Tile Style,” Heather Adams will offer a variety of design ideas. Watch her showcase many of the stunning designs featured in her books as she offers tips to ensure your design is elevated from commonplace to a stunning one of a kind. Adams also writes for a variety of publications devoted to the home interior, and she is a frequent contributor to both national newspapers and radio programs related to designing interiors with natural materials. She will be signing copies of her books in the Coverings Store at the close of this session.

Speaker: Heather Adams, Author, Florida Natural Stone Designs

Safe Flooring Systems for Good Indoor Air Quality

Poor indoor air quality remains one of the top health concerns for commercial, residential and educational environments. Americans spend about 90% of their day indoors and can be exposed to elevated levels of potential carcinogens, reproductive toxins and human irritants and odorants in newly constructed and renovated buildings. Flooring systems are a common source of VOCs; certain emission standards programs have been developed to define their level of acceptability, including the state of California’s 1350 environmental specification, Greenguard’s flooring and adhesive low-emission standards and the carpet industry’s Green Label Programs.

Speaker: Marilyn Black, Air Quality Sciences, Inc.

8:00-9:50 a.m.

Stone Trends 2007

How has the stone industry been affected by the slowdown in the overall construction industry? Get an overview of the market and stone design trends at the ninth annual “State of the Industry” presentation on the dimensional stone market in the U.S. The session will cover supply, sourcing, marketing and application trends in the international stone industry over the last year, including examples of award-winning projects around the world that have been recognized for their use of natural stone.

Speaker: Vince Marazita, Marazita & Associates

9:00-9:50 a.m.

Tile Trends: On the Edge and Ahead of the Curve

The ongoing global cultural convergence of art, design and couture continues to dictate trends in ceramic tile and stone. Clients are increasingly demanding customization and high-end looks for their projects. This session addresses the future trends of ceramic tile and natural stone, as both increasingly become a high-end, fashion-driven business. The latest market trends, colors, styles, looks and installation techniques will be identified.

Speaker: Maxine Lauer, Sphere Marketing

Challenges of the Future: The Rebirth of Independent Retail in America

Over 95% of all retailers in the U.S. have only one store, yet this segment is under tremendous pressure from larger competitors. This groundbreaking workshop draws upon a study of successful independent retailers who are beating the odds - and their larger competitors. Learn how they are doing it with practical, low-cost tactics to not just survive, but to thrive in the face of unprecedented competition. This workshop is filled with proven ideas that will boost the business of any flooring, stone or tile store.

Speaker: James Dion, Dionco, Inc.

Mold: What Is it Good For? Absolutely Something

Learn the myths and truths of mold - what it’s good for and why you need to be prepared to educate your customers about it.

Speaker: Paul Shipp, PhD, PE, Responsible Solutions to Mold Coalition (RSMC)

Contractors Forum

Several important panelists will lead a lively discussion on carefully selected topics that affect both residential and commercial tile installation. The audience will be encouraged to participate, similar to the Fabricators Forum format that has been successful at other Coverings events.

Speakers: TBD

Managing an Efficient Shop - The Biggest Return on Your Investment

Where are you focusing your time and energy in your business? Are you purchasing slabs by the container, saving 50 cents to a dollar per square foot? Rather than locking up your capital on slab inventory, consider evaluating your shop efficiency. Estimate the amount of production your shop is currently capable of producing. Determine where your bottlenecks are in your operation. Learn how to conduct a shop efficiency time study. By enhancing your shop’s efficiency, you could reap literally hundreds of additional dollars per job, all while increasing your volume and reducing your fixed costs.

Speakers: Dale Schleppenbach and Chris Gohmann, Park Industries

How to Estimate a Job . . .

With 30 years experience in custom, residential and commercial work, Dennis Drosky will lead a discussion of all phases of estimating jobs, beginning with take-offs on residential and commercial jobs, job costing/expenses and licenses and bonds. Finish schedules, reading elevations properly for take-offs and compiling a proper proposal will also be addressed.

Speaker: Dennis Drosky, Drosky Tile and DMD Stone and Tile Consultants

Natural Stone and Quartz Surfaces for the Countertop Market

Many stone professionals fabricate both natural and quartz surfaces. Both materials have a place in the marketplace, especially with the boom in the countertop market. This session will cover many of the most frequently-asked questions about both products including: differences, benefits, applications, fabrication techniques and much more. Come prepared to expand your knowledge and understanding of the growing countertop industry.

Speakers: Duane Naquin, Stone Interiors East, and Roberto Contreras, Cosentino USA

10:15-11:05 a.m.

Specification Expertise with Ceramic Tile

Are you confident in your ability to match a ceramic tile to your customer’s 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 tile’s quality? Can this tile be used on any exterior application? How long will this tile perform? Expand your expertise and explore the answers to these questions in this seminar.

Speaker: Patti Fasan, Professional Attention to Tile Installation

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Creating Luxury for Your Clients with “Green” Products

This session will focus on what is “green” and what is “sustainable design.” Speakers will discuss the three “R’s” and the materials that you may already be selling that are considered “green.” They will also explain how you can encourage clients to follow the three “R’s” and still make a profit? Materials will be featured, with installation shots showcasing how a luxurious environment can be created using green products. Discussion will highlight additional products like sealers, adhesives, etc. that have been reformulated due to environmental legislation, and how to incorporate these products into a green project.

Speaker: Michael J. Weber, Cosas, Inc.

12:30-2:00 p.m.

Seven Things Contractors Always Ask Me

Charles Vander Kooi is one of the most popular speakers in the construction industry, and he has been a fixture at shows like World of Concrete for years. He knows firsthand what keeps contractors up at night, and he has devoted his life to providing solutions to these problems. In this program, he will address problems such as organizing the company properly, dealing with lowballers, how much growth is good and a range of other questions.

Speaker: Charles Vander Kooi, Charles Vander Kooi and Associates, Inc.

The Evolution of the Luxury Tile Market

With new products entering the marketplace faster and more consistently than ever before, Nancy Epstein will shed light on the challenge of selecting surfaces that will satisfy the luxury customer’s desire for a fresh, custom look that will nonetheless stand the test of time.

Speaker: Nancy Epstein, Artistic Tile

3:15-4:05 p.m.

Storytelling: Tilework in Public-Art and Architecture

David Dahlquist is a nationally recognized public artist and teacher. He is now a partner with RDG Planning and Design, Des Moines, IA, and leads the RDG Dahlquist Art Studio, formerly Dahlquist Clayworks. In this session, David will share his experiences working in the realm of “Public Art” and his over 30 major public-art installations across the country. Dahlquist will discuss how he works collaboratively with many different artists and design professionals and how he is regularly called up to be the artist/design consultant to multi-disciplinary teams of architects, landscape architects and engineers.

Speaker: David Dahlquist, RDG Planning and Design

Getting Published

Join leading editors and designers/architects for a discussion on what it takes to get published. Find out what editors are looking for when selecting projects for publication. Learn from published architects and designers what it takes to get your projects in front of editors and into the trades.

Speakers: Marian McEvoy, Domino; Katie Weeks, Contract; other speakers TBD

Green Materials for Green Architecture

Learn how products whose manufacturing process meet environmental sustainability standards may meet the LEED rating requirements and add points to the project. The session will address recycled material, new products and new design. Discussion will follow on some of the industry offerings under the LEED definitions of recycled material. New products that have beneficial effects on the environment will also be discussed.

Speaker: Arturo Mastelli, AM&A Marketing

4:30-5:20 p.m.

Aging in Place/Design Solutions for Independency

As the 76 million members of the “baby boomer” population enter their golden years, the need to address how they will live in their homes is fast approaching. This course addresses the trends, the tricks and the elements to adapt homes to make them last a lifetime.

Speaker: Michael A. Thomas, FASID, CAPS, The DESIGN Collective Group, Inc.

Top Five Installation Failures and How to Prevent Them

The tile industry has more than doubled in the last seven years - as it has for the last five seven-year cycles. With that growth, there has been an increased rate of installation failure due to lack of knowledge and understanding of both tile product and installation systems. This session will identify causes of and solutions to the most common complaints.

Speaker: David Gobis, Ceramic Tile Education Foundation

Lightweight Mortars

Join this session to learn about the latest trends in lightweight mortars. The presentation will address new lightweight mortar technology and explain its benefits and applications.

Speaker: Mike Micalizzi, Mapei Corp.

Floorscape - What She Knows When She Walks in Your Store

Join Jonathan Trivers as he shares research completed exclusively for Coverings 2007, which tells dealers what 2,500 female flooring customers know - or think they know - when they enter a store and what they expect. Learn what type of retailers women go to first, who they view as major influencers and how you can cater to this increasingly important customer segment.

Speaker: Jonathan Trivers, Marketing Wit and Wisdom

Women in the Stone Business

This panel of experienced professionals will share both opportunities and obstacles they have faced in their careers within the natural stone industry. After sharing their stories, the panel will take questions, so come prepared to share common interests and network with other women in the natural stone industry. By attending this seminar, employers, regardless of gender, will gain new insight into the challenges faced by women in our industry.

Moderator: Christine Jenkins, Estudio Marketing; Panelists: Susan Tuller, Cassa Stone; Rejeana Ellis, The Stone Resource; and Deanna Brandt, Eugene Tile & Marble

Is Your Fabrication Shop Ready for an OSHA Inspection?

Are you OSHA compliant in all aspects of your fabrication shop’s operation? Would you pass or fail an OSHA compliance inspection if it were to take place today? Do you know what is involved in getting your shop up to speed and becoming OSHA compliant? Find out just how many thousands of dollars in OSHA fines may be sitting in your shop, and how to start making your fabrication shop a safer and more cost-effective place to work.

Speaker: Kevin Padden, KM Padden

How to Contribute to Green Building with Recycled Flooring

According to Environmental Design + Construction (ED+C) Magazine, flooring is the number one green product specified in a building. Recycled content in a hard-surface flooring product provides a huge benefit to achieving points toward a green building project. Learn how to contribute to a healthier environment through the use of recycled flooring.

Moderator: Diana Brown, ED+C Magazine; Speakers: Tim Whaley, EnviroGLAS, Tim Bolby, Crossville, Inc.; architect TBD

Thursday, April 19, 2007

8:00-8:50 a.m.

Did You Hear Everything Your Customer/Staff Didn’t Say?

Learn to read your customers and staff like a pro. People say more in what they don’t say than in what they do say. Verbal communication accounts for 7% of all communication, while non-verbal language constitutes 93%. This program will give you 24 tips on facial and body language that will allow you to know when and how best to approach customers/staff, and how to communicate with them based on their individual learning style.

Speaker: Linda Talley, Leadership Coach

Specifier Product Search Methods

As a specifying influence, architects represent a critical target for any sales organization. This program will help manufacturers to better understand the informational needs of architects, designers and specifiers, as well as provide insight into the attitudes and perceptions of the design community toward tile and stone as both a vertical and horizontal surfacing option in commercial and institutional settings. The role of continuing education will also be addressed. The presentation will be followed by an architect/designer/specifier panel discussion.

Speakers: Tim Shea and Gary Redmond, Architectural Products, Inc.

Is Substrate Preparation Still Important?

This session will address the importance of substrate preparation. Wood and concrete preparation will be discussed at length. Equipment used in demolition, renovation and preparation will be described.

Speaker: Art Mintie, Laticrete International

Are You Leaving Money on the Table?

In an encore presentation, Al Bates will return with the latest information he has compiled on profitability for tile contracting companies. Most contracting organizations are classic small businesses, which means the owner has to do almost everything. As a result, there is little time left for planning. The result is that most firms make a lot less profit than they should. This session will help contractors identify how much profit they should be generating, and how they can get there.

Speaker: Al Bates, PhD, Profit Planning Group

The Role of Tile Installation Products in Green Building

Donald House, Manager of Regulatory Affairs at Mapei Corp., will address the nuts and bolts of what to look for when researching and determining how to specify green floor-setting materials. He will discuss the basic descriptions - providing advice on how to determine if a product is sustainable or green - and advise on the trends and focuses nationwide regarding green and sustainable products. House will also describe what to look for in volatile organic compound (VOC) products, their importance and how they impact green building projects and industry standards.

Speaker: Donald House, Mapei Corp.

8:00-9:50 a.m.

Introduction to Stone Design

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.

Speaker: Chuck Muehlbauer, Marble Institute of America

Residential Fabricators Forum (1-5 years experience)

If you have less than five years experience in the stone industry, this is your opportunity to learn from the experts. This open forum is designed for fabricators to get answers to questions or problems they have in regard to residential fabrication and/or installation. It’s your chance to discuss specific issues that may not be covered by other seminars. If you have more than five years experience, plan on attending the forum on Friday.

Moderator: Scott Lardner, Rocky Mountain Stone Co.; Panelists: Rafael Bernal, Great Lakes Granite & Marble; Rejeana Ellis, The Stone Resource; and Duane Naquin, Stone Interiors East

9:00-9:50 a.m.

A Day in the Life of a Tile Industry Consultant

Professional tile consultants will explain what it takes to be a quality non-proprietary consultant, and share their experiences regarding what causes tile-installation failures, both on the building side and the installation and material side.

Speakers: Rich Goldberg and Jim Acri, Acri Stone and Tile Consulting

Ventilated Wall Systems, Elevated Floor Systems and the Use of Large-Format Porcelain Tiles in Architecture

This session will provide a visual presentation of constructed buildings, projects under construction, projects in the design phase and technical information for application of these systems and products. Physical samples of systems will be on display to articulate and further explain methods. The presentation will provide information on the economic and aesthetic benefits available to architects while opening doors to the dealer/distributors to present to their clients.

Speaker: Michael P. Johnson, Michael P. Johnson Design Studio Ltd.

Navigating the Porcelain Maze

Is that really porcelain? Attend this session to understand what makes a porcelain tile truly porcelain, and why you should care. Learn about the applications that require porcelain tile, and why porcelain tile may be best suited to other applications.

Speaker: Mike Ward, EPC

Ceramic Tile Chicago Style

This program will take a close look at three outstanding tile projects located in Chicago: a high school with 21 distinct exterior mosaic tile murals; a downtown high-rise condominium building; and a mud-set tile swimming pool. The mosaic presentation will take a close look at the special design and installation conditions, and the interaction between architect, artist and craftsman. The condominium presentation documents a variety of typical floor and wall conditions using thinset and mud-set applications. The swimming pool case study is a beautiful example of an expertly constructed installation that can withstand constant moisture. All three installations were completed by skilled tilesetters and finishers, each of whom participated in a comprehensive training program. As each of the case studies is presented, the corresponding ANSI standards and TCNA details will be discussed.

Speaker: Scott Conwell, International Masonry Institute

Improving Your Bottom Line

This session focuses on helping distributors to better understand their profit and potential, and will demonstrate how to measurably improve your financial results. The program will walk you through every financial aspect of your business, including sales, gross margin, expenses, inventory and accounts receivable. You will receive specific targets, and a road map for hitting them, over a five-year period.

Speaker: Al Bates, PhD, Profit Planning Group

Making $$$ with Natural Stone in Your Showroom

Expand your ability to sell natural stone countertops, flooring and other applications from your showroom. A great showroom presence and knowledgeable sales associates don’t just happen overnight. Learn more about best practice for showrooms, and what training your sales team needs to help you grow your bottom line.

Speaker: Linda Steele,

Environmental Ceramic Tile - Gray Area or Green?

Ceramic tile is one of the most sustainable building materials. However, the embodied energy associated with overseas transportation and a lack of post-consumer recycled content keeps ceramic tile from making most green materials lists. However, common sense sustainable benefits of tile are decidedly green. Environmental issues will include indoor air quality; occupant health and safety; product durability and replacement frequency; affordability; maintenance/cleaning products; and the ecosystem, as well as the burden on landfill sites.

Speaker: Patti Fasan, Professional Attention to Tile Installation

10:15-11:05 a.m.

Mosaics: Rich History and Current Trends

Mosaics in stone, glass and tile have been created throughout the ages. The present day renaissance in the use of mosaic is built upon a rich history dating back to ancient times. The presentation will begin with Roy Knight’s review of mosaic’s rich history, followed by Sonia King’s discussion of the practical and artistic considerations in the architectural use of mosaic (floors, wall treatments, murals, etc), featuring images of recent mosaic projects from a variety of mosaicists. David Ling will then describe his modernist use of the ancient art of mosaics.

Moderator: Karen Ami, The Chicago Mosaic School; Speakers: David Ling, David Ling Architect; Sonia King, Mosaic Works; Roy Knight, FAIA, Architect

Eco Décor: Ecological Design and Decoration

This session addresses the many aspects of a Green Interior Design Standard. The ways in which manufacturing is changing and encouraging environmental stewardship will be discussed. Also, an engaging philosophy as to why the design/build field wants to encourage all participants to partner and share the responsibilities of actively creating global change will be articulated. Green certifications from LEED to state and local standards will be covered.

Speaker: Bernadette V. Upton, EcoDecor, Inc.

12:30-2:00 p.m.

The Architecture of Richard Meier

Join internationally renowned architect Richard Meier as he discusses the importance of tile and stone in architectural projects and use of the materials in his own repertoire. With a portfolio of commissioned work - residential as well as commercial - dotting the landscape on nearly every continent, Meier is one of America’s most prolific talents. Among his most well-known projects are The Getty Center in Los Angeles; the Jubilee Church in Rome, Italy; the High Museum of Art in Atlanta; the Museum for the Decorative Arts in Frankfurt; the Canal + Television Headquarters in Paris; and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Barcelona. In 1984, Meier was awarded the Pritzker Prize for Architecture, considered the highest honor in the profession.

Speaker: Richard Meier, Richard Meier & Partners Architects LLP

Newly Adopted Methods for Glass Tile Installation and Case Studies of Award Winning Projects

This visually stunning and interactive program is a must for the entire industry. The glass tile industry has exploded in the last several years. This program will address the new language that has been approved to assist in the proper installation and specification of glass tile. Contractor Bill Klaser will walk you through the challenges he faced when completing a commercial glass tile installation on a church dome.

Speakers: Scott Fleming, Oceanside Glass; Bill Klaser, Klaser Tile Co.; Greg Andrews, Ceramic Tile Institute of America, Inc.

3:15-4:05 p.m.

Food for Thought: How to Achieve Menu-Driven Restaurant Design

Why do most restaurants close today in the U.S.? This is the question that is asked by thousands of restaurateurs every year. According to Turnkey Concepts, Inc., South Florida’s premier Restaurant Architectural and Design firm, there’s one key question you should be asking: “Is your restaurant design driven by your menu?” Take an in-depth look at creating your restaurant concept using the menu as your guiding vision. See the process of a successful project from start to finish.

Speakers: Pamela Manhas and Marc Geftman, TurnKey Concepts

Going Green Is Easier than You Think

The current interest in green building and design has been emerging for several years, and shows no signs of stopping. Global warming threats, high costs of petroleum-based building products, hurricane scares and the like are creating a movement toward better and safer building practices for homes. Homeowners want to use sustainable, renewable and healthy materials in the interior design of their home. This session will explain how showcasing new and beautiful ways to design with “eco-products” can prove to be very cost-effective for builders and designers of green homes.

Speaker: Patricia Gaylor, Patricia Gaylor Interior Design


Case Study: Porcelain Tile Encapsulating Nine Educational Buildings

The Cleveland Community, with the help of the federal government, has addressed itself to the primary objective to provide the ideal learning environment for young individuals at the Department of Labor. This environment will complement the teaching of knowledge so that our youth will have all available opportunities open to them. All nine buildings are encapsulated in colorful porcelain tile measuring 12 x 24 inches, and the material is critical to the learning experience. Just as educators design the mind, architects create an environment to learn. Selection of materials is critical for this success.

Speaker: Richard Fleischman, Richard Fleischman + Partner Architects, Inc.

Everything Moves, Plan for It

Want to eliminate one of the major causes of damage to tiles? Looking for a way to reduce callbacks? You need look no further than expansion joints. Join CTEF’s Executive Director as he discusses the role of expansion and contraction in the tile industry and how proper planning can prevent serious and costly problems.

Speaker: David Gobis, Ceramic Tile Education Foundation

Installation of Hydronic Heat over GypCrete and Cementitious Floors

Hydronic heat is an economical and popular way to build homes in the Midwest. Tom Vaughn of Akona Corp. will describe the methods used to install tile successfully over cementitious and gypsum self-leveling underlayments applied over hydronic tubing.

Speaker: Tom Vaughn, Akona Corp.

Bring Your Work Problems to the Natural Stone Industry’s “Idea’s Roundtable”

Attendees are invited to identify their most pressing dilemma and share it during a roundtable discussion, which designed to offer ideas and solutions you can take home. Moderators will be stationed at tables to help discuss issues such as: equipment purchasing, employee training, bottlenecks, material acquisition, buying containers vs. distributors, OSHA, shop set-up, marketing and much more.

Moderators: Various industry experts

Countertop Production & Shop Set-Up (presented in Spanish)

Back by popular demand, Coverings will again be offering a countertop production seminar in Spanish. Join the speakers as they offer tips to help you increase your weekly countertop output. Explore shop set-up, material flow and how to reduce bottlenecks in your fabrication facility. Whether you are just starting out or have been in the business for several years, you’ll benefit from the expertise offered by the speakers and attendees alike.

Speakers: Rafael Bernal, Great Lakes Granite & Marble, and Brandon Maldonado, Maldonado Tile & Marble, Inc.

Navigating the Softening New Home Market

Drawing upon a study to be completed in January 2007 by the National Association of Home Builders Research Center, Ed Hudson will reveal the changing tactics and strategies being implemented by home builders - specifically changes that impact building products purchases - in the face of the market decline.

Speaker: Ed Hudson, NAHB Research Center

Number One Workplace Rule: Safety First

Providing a safe environment for your employees and your customers should be your top priority. A panel of distributors will present the elements that work - and those that don’t - when developing and implementing a distributor safety program.

Speaker: TBD

Tile and Stone: A Healthy Alternative

Since the 1960s, researchers have documented many adverse health effects related to wall-to-wall carpeting. These effects range from increased exposure to various allergens to chemical off-gassing. While stone, tile and wood have been heralded as healthy alternatives, hardwood is not a renewable resource (with the exception of bamboo), and wood floors require glues and finishes that produce chemical off-gassing. Learn how, when used correctly, tile and stone are among the healthiest finish materials available to designers.

Speaker: DAK Kopec, PhD, IDEC, CHES, New School of Architecture and Design

Friday, April 20, 2007

9:00-9:50 a.m.

Demand Based Marketing

This exciting session discusses the approach to a demand-based marketing system. After defining demand-based marketing and contrasting it with traditional sales tactics, the drivers of the demand-based marketing system - customers, products and services, location, channels and prices - will be addressed. You’ll view your business in a whole new way by using this proven and often lower-cost approach to marketing to achieve an immediate increase in sales and margins.

Speaker: Paul Bumblaukas, PFC Services, Inc.

Specifications: How to Protect Your Design Intent

This program looks at specifications from the point of view of project leaders and designers. Specifications can be a very powerful tool to document and protect the design intent of the project. This program is designed to teach designers and project architects the powerful design applications inherent in specifications, and how to use them to ensure that design intent is protected in terms of products, assemblies, and systems. This seminar reviews project manual specification procedures and techniques with the goal of improving the way design intent is specified. Various types and formats of CSI 3-part specifications will be presented, and their relevance discussed.

Speaker: Michael Chambers, FAIA, FCSI, MCA Specifications and SB Architects

Unlocking the Power of Your Business Image

When planning their marketing and promotional activities, many companies overlook the most important first step of defining their image and target market. This seminar teaches you how to build a consistent framework on which to “hang” your marketing and advertising campaigns for maximum sales and profit growth, so you can attract the customers you want and not attract the customers you don’t want. “Real World” examples will be discussed.

Speaker: Kay Pegram, Kaymar Communications

Moisture Management in Shower Assemblies

This session will address the importance of a proactive approach to ensuring that a shower installation performs as it was designed. Greg Mowat and Don Halverson of Forensic Tile Consultants will discuss the rise of mold litigation and its negative impact on the entire construction industry, including tile and natural stone, if the job is not done right the first time.

Speakers: Greg Mowat and Don Halverson, Forensic Tile Consultants

Electric Radiant Heat Installations - Live Demonstrations

Representatives from the electric radiant heat industry will explain the types of systems available to the trade, and show you how the product is installed over wood and concrete.

Speakers: Representatives from Warmly Yours, Nuheat, EGS Easy Heat, and Sun Touch

9:00-10:50 a.m.

Residential Fabricators Forum (5+ years experience)

If you have five or more years experience in the stone industry, this is your opportunity to expand your knowledge base. This open forum is designed for fabricators to get answers to help streamline your operations. Cap off your Coverings 2007 experience with this forum, which will focus on maximizing efficiency and elevating your established business model to the next level.

Moderator: GK Naquin, Stone Interiors; Panelists: Brandon Maldonado, Maldonado Tile & Marble Inc.; Mark Blanda, Stone Interiors; and other speakers TBD

From the Earth to Your Showroom - Applying Geology for Increased Sales

Explore a common sense approach to geology and how to take that knowledge and apply it to sales in your showroom. Learn practical tips to questions raised daily by consumers regarding the right application for various types of dimension stone. Gain insight that will help you be better equipped to answer consumer questions and impact your bottom line. Plan on being one of the first 75 attendees.

Speaker: Fred Jackson, Estudio Marketing Group