Coverings 2012 Conference Series Is Set To Talk Strategy For Boosting The Bottom Line

(ALEXANDRIA, VA–MARCH, 2012)–Surviving in today’s unpredictable marketplace often means modifying your business model. How best to do this? Coverings 2012 may have some answers. With a raft of respected experts speaking on a range of topics meant to add a competitive edge for those in the tile and stone industry, the annual international super show has scheduled more than 70 game-changing sessions — all free of charge — April 17 through April 20, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.

Seminars are composed into custom tracks for each of the attendee segments — distributors, retailers, architects, designers, fabricators, contractors and builders — but participants may select whatever sessions are of interest. The Coverings conference component is consistently ranked as one of the show’s most valuable features, yielding an unparalleled educational experience plus, in most cases, CEU credits.

Keynoters of Note
Among the impressive lineup of speakers are seven ‘keynoters’ who indisputably are top-of-their-game authorities. They will address topics that promise to enrich and empower.

Christine Whittemore, principal of Simple Marketing Now LLC and renowned as a pioneer in the blogosphere, will jump start the conference series at 8:30 a.m., on Tuesday, April 17, facilitating the panel ‘Marketing an Installation Company: The Web is Your Best Marketing Tool.’ This session is especially fitting for fabricators and installers, and will zoom in on today’s informational highway movement, specifically how social media can serve as a platform for generating mega-successful marketing campaigns. Whittemore, who has been working with several tile contracting companies for over a year in assessing their online operations, will moderate the discussion. Panelists from the contracting companies will share their experiences and strategies for capitalizing on this crucial area of marketing. Whittemore is a seasoned consultant in the digital arena and floor covering industry. She is a contributing writer for Floor Covering Weekly, and was recognized in 2011 by Floor Covering News as one of 25 women propelling the flooring industry.

Next on deck, at 12:30 p.m.,Tuesday, is ‘America’s Color Guru,’ Leatrice Eiseman, who will talk ‘Future Color Trends: Fantasies and Realities.’ A must for architects, builders, designers, remodelers and retailers, this sales-driven seminar will paint a picture of how to create profitable marketplace magic with 2013 color palettes that are powerful yet practical, and will, most importantly, satisfy and inspire clients. As the executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, principal of the Eiseman Center for Color Information and Training, and ‘tops in the field of color’ titleholder as declared by The Color Association of the U.S., Eiseman will impart vibrant and valuable information.

Taking to the stage Wednesday, April 18, at 9:15 a.m., is corporate training specialist Sandy Smith. With more than 20 years of experience, Smith will discuss ‘How to Prosper in the New Normal–Strategies for Navigating the Terrain During Turbulent Times.’ It’s a session intended to provide the insight and skills set for effectively competing in the marketplace. This is a session that can benefit all attendee segments.

Interior Design magazine will be presenting a major headliner: Jamie Drake. He’s set to speak Wednesday, at 2:45 p.m., on ‘Mixology: Eclecticism is the Perfect Interior Cocktail,’ Drake will dive into the trend of assorted assemblages in home décor, and serve up the secret to his sought after signature style–personality-driven design. Additionally, attendees will find inspiration in his menu of exciting possibilities for hard surface finishes, and walk away with insider information that will prove profitable with their own practices. As the principal of Drake Design Associates, he has completed countless interiors for an impressive roster of clients (Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Madonna), masterminded furnishing collections for a slew of prestigious companies, and has won a shelf full of industry honors. This is a ‘must’ session for architects and designers attending the show.

Business owners and managers looking for a plan to pump-up their profit margin should put Dr. Albert Bates and his program, ‘Triple Your Profit: Stop Being a Profit Soldier and Start Being a Profit Winner,’ (also the title of his latest book) on their Coverings agendas. He will provide practical training and a tried-and-true template that attendees, particularly installers, can immediately put into practice to drive a higher return on their bottom line. Principal and founder of the Profit Planning Group that works exclusively in the area of corporate financial mapping, Bates is an accredited authority on getting and staying fiscally fit and is scheduled for 2:45 p.m. on Wednesday.

For anyone who misses Sandy Smith’s Wednesday presentation or wants to learn more from him, he returns Thursday, April 19, at 9:15 a.m., with ‘Reinventing Your Organization?Tools for Leaders/Managers to Develop and Retain Talent in Uncertain Times.’ Armed with an arsenal of practical and proven methods, Smith will share tips for creating an organizational culture of peak performers who will collectively strive toward success. This team-building seminar will prove beneficial for all attendees.

Also stepping into the spotlight at 9:15 a.m. on Thursday is marketing and media expert Marty Gould, who’s going to tackle trust issues with ‘Open for Business: Why Transparency is Mandatory in the Online Marketing Age.’ Taking the position that the Internet, coupled with the tough economic climate, have empowered customers to dictate all aspects of the sales process?from what they’ll pay to how and when products and services are packaged and delivered?Gould will emphasize that honesty is, in fact, the best policy when it comes to customer retention and loyalty. He will offer insight into identifying the people who are most likely to buy what businesses are selling, steps to develop an authentic, informative message that’s relevant to solving customers’ problems, and how to create a media strategy that’s affordable, sustainable and effective. Prior to founding Focalize Consulting, which helps companies navigate the treacherous waters of media and marketing, Gould was a highly influential radio station owner/operator and Emmy Award-winning television journalist.

Marc Kushner, a prolific architect and co-founder of Architizer, the industry’s premier online community showcasing stellar concepts and projects, is set to speak at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday. Kushner promises to deliver a dynamic, interactive session during which he will moderate panelists plucked from the Architizer family. They will talk trends and influences in architecture across various vertical categories such as retail, education and healthcare. Attendees will take away inspirational information and a fail-proof blueprint for their businesses to grow. This is a must for architects, builders, designers and remodelers, though all are welcome.

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About Coverings
Coverings is the premier international trade fair and expo dedicated exclusively to showcasing the newest in ceramic tile and natural stone. It has grown to be the largest and most important show of its kind in the U.S., featuring exhibitors from more than 50 countries and attracting thousands of distributors, retailers, fabricators, contractors and specifiers, architectural and design professionals, builders and real estate developers, plus the press and journalists who cover this vital and dynamic industry. Coverings is the stage for introducing some of the most innovative tile and stone products in the world. The exposition also serves as a valuable resource for continuing education for all categories of attendees, with informative, accredited seminars and live demonstration sessions conducted throughout the four days and all free of charge. Coverings 2012 is set for April 17-20, at Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, FL.

For more information visit or contact National Trade Productions, Coverings Show Management, 703-683-8500.