With its return to Orlando, Fla., Coverings reported increased attendance numbers, yielding the highest attendance in several years. Nearly 28,000 industry professionals attended the show, reflecting a 9% increase from last year’s show in Chicago and a 10% jump in attendance from the last time Coverings was in Orlando in 2015.

“The big gains of attendance at Coverings are in line with growth of the tile and stone market overall—consumption of ceramic tile in the United States has increased for the seventh consecutive year, with 2.9 billion square feet of tile consumed in 2016,” said Alena Capra, Coverings’ industry ambassador. “Attendees are continually taking advantage of the show’s opportunities, doing business, and boosting their bottom lines. We’re thrilled with the expansive growth of the industry.” 

The largest attendee segment was held by contractors/installers, which increased by 36% from 2016, and 12% from 2015. Both the fabricator and distributor segments increased by 16% from 2016, and 13% from 2015. The retailer segment increased 15% from 2016, and 3% from 2015. 

“This was my first time at Coverings and the show lived up to its reputation—our space had so much foot traffic,” said Ted Acworth, founder and CEO of Artaic. “We’re pleased with all the connections from the show, and are looking forward to growing these leads into meaningful relationships.” Artaic—who shared booth space with Bostik—presented its large-scale, custom mosaic tile installation software.

Krista Park, area manager for APE Cerámica S.L.U., said, “Coverings was extremely busy with non-stop customers visiting the booth. The show gives us an opportunity to hear real time feedback on our products. For example, this year we saw a surge in the popularity of textile inspired tile. This is useful insight to our team as we develop new products in the upcoming years.”

Charles Zelaya, sales manager for Sicis, said, “I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of architects and designers at Coverings this year. It’s a great opportunity for us to build strong relationships with these industry professionals. The show not only provides great access to the regional market but, with attendees from around the world, we’re also able to make global connections.”

Coverings 2018 will be held May 8-11 in Atlanta, Georgia.

For more information, visit www.coverings.com.