The 28th edition of Coverings was celebrated in Orlando, FL, this year with a fresh image and new management. The 2017 event, held at Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center from April 4 to 7, proved successful with a total attendance of 28,000. The inaugural exhibition for Taffy Event Strategies, LLC housed 1,100 exhibitors from more than 90 countries.
Sponsored collaboratively by the Ceramic Tile Distributors Association (CTDA), Ceramics of Italy, National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA), Tile of Spain and Tile Council of North America (TCNA), Coverings once again drew the interest of distributors, retailers, specifiers, contractors, installers, fabricators, architects and designers. This year, the show saw a 9% increase from last year’s exhibition in Chicago, IL, and a 10% jump from 2015 when it was also held in Orlando.
“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 U.S. 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.”
Of all attendees, statistics indicated the highest contingent of contractors and installers, whose attendance increased by 36% from 2016 and 12% from 2015. The fabricator and distributor segments also rose 16% from 2016 and 13% from 2015 -- as well as retailers, which saw a 15% increase from 2016 and a 3% increase from 2015. “We’re thrilled with the expansive growth of the industry,” said Capra.
Overall, Stone World received positive comments from those we talked to on the show floor. Many exhibitors stated there was a pool of quality visitors throughout the duration of the exhibition.
“The first two days were solid traffic,” said Paula Perry of Water Treatment Solutions in Hampton, NH. “People are making decisions about purchases, which is very exciting. It’s been great.”
Sebastian Salemi of Continental DIA Diamond Products, Inc. in San Carlos, CA, shared Perry’s sentiments. “Overall, customers are much more positive and optimistic about the future,” he said. “They are looking towards technology and automation.”
Coverings 2017 also included various international pavilions, including exhibitors from Brazil, China, Italy and Spain. In particular, the Brazilian pavilion often appeared to have crowded aisles. “The show has been great,” said Raphaiane Silva of MaqStone Cachoeiro de Itapemirim, Brazil. “A lot of customers have been placing and confirming orders.”
In addition to the plethora of innovative displays, Coverings 2017 included an extensive education program, including 70+ seminars on a diverse range of topics to meet everyone’s interests and area of expertise.
The next edition of Coverings will be held from May 8 to 11, 2018, at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, GA. For more information, visit coverings.com.