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

(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 fabricators.
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 fabricators 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 fabrication community include best sustainability practices for tile and stone; a sales seminar for fabricators who hate sales; and how advancement in technology and production is resulting in never-before available tile, stone and glass.
Highlighted sessions include:
Fabricators Forum. In today’s business climate diversification is a critical step many fabricators are taking. This panel–Dustin Braudway of Bluewater Surfaces and Marco Duran of Atlas Marble and Granite, moderated by Tony Malisani of Malisani Inc.–is well versed in both residential and commercial topics and what it takes to be successful in both arenas. Costs, stone supplier relationships, collections, employee development, and meeting customer expectations are just a few of the business-related topics they’ll discuss. Tuesday, April 30, 8:00 AM – 9:30 AM.
Competing for the Future: Tools for Developing Your Team to Become World-Class Performers. An interactive presentation by Sandy Smith of Sandy Smith Seminars designed to assist small-business leaders and managers to create an organizational culture whose teams perform at a consistently high level. The content is practical in nature; participants will leave with ‘real world’ tools to be applied at work. Monday, April 29, 8:30 AM – 10:00 AM.
Marble Use in the Kitchen. Joshua Levinson of Artistic Tile and Todd Robertson of Vermont Quarries will focus on the use of marble on kitchen countertops, a practice on the rise in the US. Attendees will learn the different protective treatments required; appreciate the unique design possibilities of using marble for countertops; and expand their ability to set the proper consumer expectations. Monday, April 29, 3:15 PM – 4:15 PM
A Sales Seminar for Fabricators Who Hate Sales. If you are looking for more sales to help pay your overhead and generate long-term profits, then this session will provide you with a great foundation. Learn to recognize that all employees and all processes are part of the sales process and create a framework for sales within your business. Come prepared to develop strategies for sales success! Thursday, May 2, 9:30 AM – 10:30 AM.
Exotic Stones: Expectations, Issues and Resolution Tips for Fabricators. Filippo Emanuel of Tenax USA and Ron Hannah of Cadenza Corporation address the explosion of exotic stones, discussing how they are classified, and the new technology for quarrying and processing. You’ll also understand how to recognize slabs–the good and the bad–as well gain valuable insights into everything from fixing color issues and variances to edge polishing differences in colors. Thursday, May 2, 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM.
Sealing Natural Stone, Tile & Grout: Fact & Fiction. Joe Salvo of Miracle Sealants will provide the facts as to which surfaces benefit from being sealed; the difference between sealers, finishes and waxes; solvent versus water; the different protection sources used in most sealers and impregnators; how most impregnators work; how to determine effectiveness; and how to determine costs. Monday, April 29, 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, and Michael and Jeremy Twiss of Columbia Stone–all family businesses–share their positive and not-so-positive experiences! Wednesday, May 1, 3:15 PM – 4:15 PM.
Other programs of particular interest to fabricators include:

Natural Stone Tile: An Overview. Tuesday, April 30, 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM.
Stone Testing for Dummies. Tuesday, April 30, 3:15 PM – 4:15 PM.
Metrics for the Automated & Un-Automated Fabrication Shop. Tuesday, April 30, 3:15 PM – 4:15 PM.
Wholesale/Slab Distributors Forum. Wednesday, May 1, 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM.
Sustainability for Those Who Haven’t Been Paying Attention. Wednesday, May 1, 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM.
Stone Trends 2013. Thursday, May 2, 8:00 AM – 10:00 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 over 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.