Coverings 2013 Offers A Rich Conference Program With Multiple Sessions Tailored Specially For Distributors

(ALEXANDRIA, VA. – MARCH 2013)–Coverings 2013, the tile and stone industry’s largest international exposition, offers an extraordinarily wide-ranging conference program comprising more than 70 sessions, many aimed specifically at distributors.
When The Ultimate Tile + Stone Experience comes to Atlanta for the first time, April 29-May 2, 2013, there will be more than 900 exhibitors showing an unrivalled range of innovative products and technologies. But distributors often cite the free conference sessions, which are categorized by professional-experience level ranging from novice to corporate leader, as a primary reason for attending the tile and stone super show.
In addition to the Featured Speakers previously announced, session topics of particular interest to the distribution community include successful ways to combine traditional advertising and marketing with the new social media; directions in the dimensional stone industry; and the present and future effect of the housing recovery on ceramic tile sales.
Here are some of the highlights:
Combining Traditional Advertising/Marketing and Social Media to Build Your Marketing Plan. Smart companies are combining traditional advertising and marketing with social media, the new wave of communication. Lisbeth Calandrino of Fabulous Floors magazine will show that an effective marketing plan is only possible when you understand the differences and similarities between the two, and how they can work together to reach your goals. Tuesday, April 30, 3:15 PM – 4:15 PM.
Wholesale/Slab Distributors Forum. Join Eric Schigiel of Opustone Natural Stone Distributors, Jonathan Zanger of Walker Zanger, Rup Shah of M S International, and Vincent Moiso of Quarry Collection for the fifth annual discussion of strategic issues critical to running successful wholesale/slab distribution companies. This open discussion will cover a host of operational issues including building strong fabricator relationships, networking with the design community, freight issues and much more. Wednesday, May 1, 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM.
The Effect of the Housing Recovery on Ceramic Tile Sales. In this annual industry outlook, Donato Grosser of Grosser Consulting will examine the developments in the ceramic tile market following the housing recovery: who will benefit the most from this trend; how the distribution system will be impacted; how the future of the industry will look. Wednesday, May 1, 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM.
Selling Tile: The Internet, the Industry & the Consumer. Moderator Christine Whittemore of Simple Marketing Now LLC, and panelists Steve Slutzah of Westside Tile, Bill Buyok of Avente Tile, Tom Carr of Pan American Ceramics, and Dave Milanowycz of Florida Tile discuss how the Internet is influencing the sale of tile to the consumer. From strict sale policies, to reduced prices and no sales tax, the Internet has created a new frontier for the industry to navigate. Learn from the players how this is affecting the industry and the consumer. Wednesday, May 1, 3:15 PM – 4:15 PM.
Managing a Successful Family Business. Working in a family business can be a challenge. Why are some businesses successful, while others struggle? What are the best practices? Moderator Tony Malisani of Malisani Inc., and panelists Michelle Goetzinger of Blume’s, Michael Twiss of Natural Stone Designs, Inc. and Columbia Stone, Inc., and Jeremy Twiss of Natural Stone Designs, Inc.–all family businesses–share their positive and not-so-positive experiences! Wednesday, May 1, 3:15 PM – 4:15 PM.
How Video Marketing Can Help Improve Your Branding and Online Marketing Efforts. Juliet Sallette of Wolf TMC shows the importance of video marketing and branding efforts, and how to use them to help generate online buzz and most importantly how to help achieve online leads and publicity by leveraging YouTube and other online marketing channels that can fit into any marketing budget. Tuesday, April 30, 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM.
The Psychology of Price and Why It Matters. Consumers are obsessed with price. But by some estimates there are almost half a billion dollars in unused daily deals, which is proof that for many consumers, getting a deal is more important than getting a product. Flooring retailers appeal to this consumer by slashing prices even more, which can have a significant impact on profitability. James Dion of Dionco Inc. will share at least ten alternative price strategies that don’t involve lowering prices but positioning them in a way that the customers feel they got the best deal. Tuesday, April 30, 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM.
Other programs of interest to distributors include:

Why Am I Being Sued When I Did Nothing Wrong? Tuesday, April 30, 3:15 PM – 4:15 PM.
How to Build Profitable Customers Through Experience Marketing. Wednesday, May 1, 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM.
Know Before You Import: U.S. Customs’ Classification of Building Stone. Wednesday, May 1, 9:30 AM – 11:00 AM.
Selling & Marketing Green the Easy Way. Wednesday, May 1, 10:45 AM -11:45 AM.
Green Squared: North America’s Standard and Certification Program for Tile Product Sustainability. Wednesday, May 1, 3:15PM – 4:15PM.
Social Media and Business: Creating Content to Engage, Build and Grow Customer Relationships. Thursday, May 2, 9:30 AM – 10:30 AM.

For the full conference program go to

About Coverings
Coverings is the largest and most important ceramic tile and natural stone trade fair and expo in the United States. It features exhibitors from more than 50 countries and 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 segments of the industry, with more than 70 informative, accredited seminars and live demonstration sessions throughout the show, all free of charge.
Coverings attracts thousands of distributors, retailers, fabricators, contractors, specifiers, architectural and design professionals, builders and real estate developers, as well as journalists and bloggers who cover this vital and dynamic industry.
Sponsors of the show are The Ceramic Tile Distributors Association (CTDA), Tile of Spain/Spanish Ceramic Tile Manufacturer’s Association (ASCER), Ceramics of Italy/Confindustria Ceramica, National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA) and The Tile Council of North America (TCNA). The show is managed by National Trade Productions. Coverings 2013 will be held April 29-May 2, at Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta, Georgia.
For more information visit or contact National Trade Productions, Coverings Show Management, 703-706-8257.