Attendance at Coverings 2012 was up by 19 percent over last year’s show, with registration totaling over 22,000. This year’s tile and stone expo, having returned last month to Orlando and the Orange County Convention Center, put the brakes on what had been a decline experienced over the past three years in the wake of a global economic downturn. Helping to hit this year’s increased number was a huge spike in attendance among architects and designers, which climbed 84 percent. With Coverings next scheduled for Atlanta, April 29 to May 2, 2013, at the Georgia World Congress Center–its first time in that city–optimism abounds for another benchmark year amid what’s known to be a robust regional community of architects and designers.
Other market segments saw a rise at Coverings 2012, as well. Attendance among fabricators was up 69 percent from last year. Distributor attendance rose 16 percent. Installer/contractor visits were up 26 percent.
‘These numbers are valid indicators that the tile and stone industry is in a recovery mode,’ said Karin Fendrich, show director of Coverings. ‘No way has the dust fully settled from the economic turmoil, but there are decided improvements in business, with building projects re-booted and remodeling on the upswing–all good signs for anyone involved in this product category.’
According to Fendrich, no stone – or tile – was left unturned in working to make Coverings 2012 a success. ‘We enacted a very strategic, very aggressive marketing program, undertaking several new initiatives that helped attract visitors to the show.’
Nationally known Florida-based kitchen designer Joan DesCombes stepped out of her comfort zone into the outdoors to create a pampering patio setting. She was teamed with Cox Tile and Marble, of San Antonio, TX, which faithfully translated her vision, including construction of a working tiled fountain. Orlando native Grant Gribble, ASID, IIDA, partnered with Collins Tile and Stone, Arlington VA, and the outcome was a 70s inspired bath where tile composed into wall art was emphasized. Foreman Rogers, ASID, a senior designer with tvsdesign, Atlanta, stole the show with his boutique hotel guest room. Practiced in hospitality design, having recently completed the Gaylord Palms in Orlando, Rogers was paired with David Allen Company, Raleigh, NC, who met the design challenges, creating a visual treat of unorthodox cuts and skilled applications with materials sponsored by Ceramics of Italy, promoted by Confindustria Ceramica, tile provided by Ceramiche Coem, Emil Ceramica, LEA Ceramiche, Architectural Tile Solutions /Marazzi, Naxos Ceramiche and Sicis, and a special thanks to Ceramic Technics. Other sponsors included MAPEI, H.B. Fuller, TOTO, USG Corporation, RUBI Tools, European Tile Masters and QEP.
‘We had a very good show this year, with great response to the very design-oriented products.’