I just returned home from StonExpo -- part of The International Surface Event (TISE) West -- in Las Vegas, and I am happy to report that spirits were high among those in the stone industry. From the start of day one, there was a buzz on the show floor. Many exhibitors were pleasantly surprised with the traffic that came through -- especially on the first day. At times, there were some lulls, but overall, most people I spoke with were pleased with the results of the show.

The energy felt at StonExpo -- and TISE as a whole -- just reinforces what has been apparent over the last year. The economy is on the upswing again, and business is looking positive for many fabricators. When sitting in on the Fabricator Forum, or just talking with fabricators who stopped by the Stone World booth, I would hear about how busy they are. This is of course good news for machinery manufacturers because this likely means fabricators will be looking to invest in equipment to keep up with the demand.

This week, I will be headed to Brazil for the Vitória Stone Fair -- Marmomacc Latin America 2015. This will be my first time to Brazil and the show, but I have heard over the years the exhibition has grown into quite an international event. I look forward to checking it out to see if the momentum from Las Vegas continues at this fair.

While in Brazil, I will also have the opportunity to visit a factory or two. I always enjoy getting out to stone production facilities and quarries when given the opportunity. It is always a learning experience -- whether I see a new piece of equipment or learn about a new technology. I am then able to share what I have learned with all of our readers.

The April issue of Stone World will feature a Report from Brazil -- highlighting the newest stones introduced at the exhibition as well as stories on the factories I visited while over there.

As you can see, 2015 has started off busy for us at Stone World. Attending stone exhibitions like the two mentioned is a good gauge as to how the industry is doing. Continue to check in with us to learn about the latest product introductions and events taking place in the coming months.