The International Surface Event (TISE) West, scheduled from January 20 to 23, 2015 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV, is expected to draw a record attendance.

The exhibition, which now includes StonExpo/Marmomacc Americas, Surfaces and TileExpo all under one roof, will be open from January 21 to 23, and the education program will run from January 20 through January 23.

Hanley Wood Exhibitions has been ramping up efforts to ensure exhibitors participating in TISE will benefit from cross-over attendance. By the time TISE opens registration on the first day of the show, it plans to take advantage of Design and Construction Week and will have been in the works for over 24 months. “It’s clear that the floorcovering, stone and tile industries recognize this unique opportunity to connect with a brand new audience,” said Amie Gilmore, show director for TISE. “A significant number of companies are expanding their booths and space on level two is almost sold out. Our team is currently in discussions with a number of other major industry players who are close to coming on board. We continue to have new exhibitors added to the show daily.”

Exhibitor pavilions featured at the January event will showcase a large number of companies brand new to the show. “With a 7% increase in attendance over the previous year, a renewed optimism across all product categories was evident on the show floor this past January,” said Dana Teague, vice president of Hanley Wood Exhibitions.

The show floor will feature many attractions, including “The Cage,” presented by the Stone Fabricators Alliance (SFA), and the Product Marketplace, which will once again be sponsored by Stone World and four of its sister publications within BNP Media. Additionally, there will be five different special events that include a Canada Night, a Hoover Dam Excursion and an Emerging Professionals Happy Hour. The Natural Stone Council (NSC) and several supporting stone associations will be hosting a “Stone Pavilion Block Party” on Thursday, January 22 from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Stone World will also be presenting its annual “Fabricator of the Year” as part of this event.

Over the four days of TISE 2015, there will be more than 50 different sessions. The following are among the stone-specific seminars that will be offered:

Tuesday, January 20
3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

What You Need to Know about Health and Safety in the Stone Industry

Speakers: Jonathan Mitnick, Jim Nikolopoulos

Description: This session will explore everything you need to know about health and safety in the stone yard, tile and stone warehouse, and fabrication shop. We will identify the most common hazards and provide you with the resources you need to create a safer working environment. Our discussion will include the latest safety techniques, training tips, accountability, certification and the Job Safety Analysis process. We will also discuss the basics of OSHA Compliance, how an inspection is triggered and how to avoid costly penalties. Finally, we will explain what the Marble Institute of America is doing to promote safety in the industry and how you can get involved.

Wednesday, January 21
8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

Fabricating Large-format Materials

Speakers: Paul Menniger, Gasper (GK) Naquin

Description: Beyond natural stone and quartz materials, what other large-format materials are coming onto the market? How are fabricators adapting their tooling and material handling practices? Are these materials a threat or opportunity? What products are next? Explore these and other questions. Discussion will include various large-format materials, including the new ultra-compact surfaces.

Wednesday, January 21
12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.

The “Other” Shop – the Customer’s Home: How Installers Can Make or Break Future and Referral Business

Speakers: Brandon Maldonado, Buddy Ontra

Description: Installers are usually the last people to have contact with a customer on any project. Therefore, often times what customers think of the installation crew is the impression they are left with for the entire operation. Installers are invited into people’s homes and with that invitation comes an expectation of social respect and behavioral responsibility. From bad language to a misunderstanding with the customer, it can all affect the bottom line. Attend this engaging session where both the panel and participants will share their experiences, challenges, failures and innovative new ideas. You’ll leave with a better understanding of how installers can make or break future and referral business.

Wednesday, January 21
3:45 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.

Develop a Compelling Customer Experience in Your Showroom

Speakers: Phil Pond

Description: Look at your business BUT through the eyes of a consumer. Be honest about what you see and decide if it’s the best it can be. We’ll analyze a retail business in four areas: Product Offerings, Marketing, Staff, and Showroom Design. You will learn about the current and future wants, needs and desires of consumers. During this interactive session, you will put your new knowledge into practice by working with a small group of your peers to develop a “perfect showroom” shopping experience that you can begin putting into practice immediately.

Thursday, January 22
8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

Residential Countertop Fabricators Forum

Speakers: Tony Neylon and panel

Description: This open forum for residential countertop fabricators is an excellent opportunity to discuss with your fabricator colleagues many of the challenges involved in the residential countertop market. The forum will change with the audience, but you can expect to cover everything from fabrication methods, equipment and materials to customer service, staffing and sales strategies. Come prepared with your toughest questions for this panel of seasoned fabricators.

Thursday, January 22
12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Understanding the Operational Metrics of Your Stone Fabrication Facility

Speakers: Tony Malisani, Duane Naquin

Description:You must understand your metrics so that you can price your work for profitability. Defining and understanding the key cost drivers is the foundation to segmenting costs appropriately and utilizing percentage-based cost information to make calculated financial decisions. Attend this session and learn how to segment and track costs by work center, identify fixed and variable costs, and utilize percentage-based costs to make profitable decisions. You will leave this session with an increased understanding of cost components leading to increased productivity, efficiency and a healthier bottom line.