As we ring in the New Year, many of us might be wondering what will 2022 have in store for us. COVID cases were on the rise again as 2021 concluded, and I know I am not alone in thinking how this will affect in-person events – especially in the first quarter of this year.
As the industry opened up again in the latter part of last year, it was refreshing to reunite with our friends and partners. Trade shows and other live events took measures to make health and safety a priority. With new standards in place, hopefully we can continue to move forward and meet in Las Vegas next month. I know Informa, the organizers of The International Surface Event (TISE), including StonExpo, has been working diligently and enthusiastically to put together an exhibition to showcase the latest product introductions, as well as to offer a complete educational program.
Stone World is also excited to announce our Fabricator of the Year for 2021 at StonExpo. We had another year of solid nominees who are all deserving of the title. We enjoy the process and leaving the ultimate decision up to industry members. Look for more details soon as to the date and time of the awards presentation.
From what I heard from fabricators during the past year, it is safe to say that most were busy. Residential projects, especially home remodels, were on the rise – providing steady work for shops. Many fabricators still express concern about supply chain interruptions and the labor shortage. According to many predications I have heard, it won’t be surprising if delays in the supply chain continue for a while longer. Unfortunately, there is no sure fire solution to hiring and retaining employees. Incentive programs seem to have some success, and automation assists in a shop’s efficiency with less workers.
We hope that 2022 brings positivity and success for the stone industry. Stone World, along with the Natural Stone Institute, will once again offer a lineup of its Stone Industry Education events, including two virtual sessions. You can learn more about them at: www.stoneindustryeducation.com. These seminars provide an ideal learning environment and provide the opportunity to network and meet new industry peers.
As we begin 2022, we’d love to hear from you. If you have a story or suggestion you would like to share, please don’t hesitate to reach out and let us know.