With more than 25,000 industry professionals attending Coverings, which was held from April 14 to 17, 2015, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL, the show was packed with energy and products for attendees to see. Compared to the 2014 show in Las Vegas, NV, attendance grew 10%, and had a 12% increase since the last time it was held in Orlando, back in 2012.
From April 13th through the 17th, the show featured over 70 sessions, including a Fabricators Forum, a State of the Stone Industry, Women in Stone meeting and panel discussion, and social media in the stone industry forum. Additionally, the Stone Fabricator Alliance presented ongoing demonstrations and educational how-to topics in their booth specifically designed for installers and fabricators.
To kick off the event, Coverings hosted a newly created “Opening Night Celebration,” where the traditional Coverings Installation & Design (CID) Awards were paired with a special reception the first night of the show, allowing attendees to meet the winners in a relaxed setting, while also enjoying an interactive showcase of the winning projects. The annual CID Awards, sponsored by TileLetter and Contemporary Stone & Tile Design, Stone World’s sister publication, is a program in its fourth year that honors outstanding design and installation of stone and tile in residential, commercial, sustainable and international projects. A total of 15 stone and tile projects were recognized.
“The projects submitted in the 2015 Coverings Installation & Design Awards program once again represent some of the highest levels of skill and creativity in the tile and stone industry,” said Karin Fendrich, Coverings show director. “Coverings congratulates and commends all the designers and installers from these winning projects for truly illustrating visionary designs and exacting installation techniques.”
Two projects earned Grand Prize honors, one for exceptional use of stone materials and one for exceptional use of tile materials. The stone Grand Prize was awarded to BAR Architects and Carnevale & Lohr for their work on The Film Archive and Preservation Center in Santa Clarita, CA.
According to show management, the retailer, contractor and installer, fabricator, and architect and designer segments experienced a boost in attendance compared to 2012, with increases of 11, 8, 8 and 6%, respectively. In addition to the attendee growth, Coverings 2015 experienced a surge in the number of exhibitors showcasing new products. In total, Coverings hosted 1,094 exhibitors from 41 countries, representing a total growth of 12% from 2014. Exhibit space spanned 440,000 net square feet, which was 18% more than last year.
While walking around the show, fabricators had the opportunity to observe many of the new and updated products that were on display. ETemplate Systems of Raleigh, NC, debuted its new Express system. The combination of Leica’s new X-Range laser technology powered by ETemplate’s Measure Manager Software allows the product to come in a portable and affordable package. The laser features digital leveling, Wi-Fi connectivity, 5mp video, cross hair targeting with four times zoom and accuracy started at 1 mm.
Salem Stone of Winston-Salem, NC, presented the new Luna 740s in-line polisher by Montresor, exclusive to the company. The machine has a unique polishing head rotation system that uses efficient electrical drives instead of hydraulics, eliminating a majority of moving parts. “The Montresor 740s is quickly becoming one of the most sought after machines in the industry,” said Doug Mangus, machinery sales director for Salem Stone.
The Keg, a new product from Tenax of Charlotte, NC, is offered in a new 64-liter size that the company is also offering for several other products, including Proseal, Hydrex, Ager and Ager Tiger. Also, Tenax offered Transparent Flowing in a 60-liter container.
TopZero of Fort Lauderdale, FL, featured its seamless under-mount stainless steel sinks using TopZero edge technology. The technology brings a seamless appearance against almost any solid surface material without the challenges of complex fabrication techniques.
In addition to the numerous machinery and tooling manufacturers, Coverings also included several international pavilions, including stone producers from Brazil, China, Italy and Turkey. An assortment of stone varieties, such as granite, marble, quartzite and exotic material, were prominently displayed.
The 2016 edition of Coverings will be held from April 18 to 21 at McCormick Place in Chicago, IL.