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

(ALEXANDRIA, VA. – MARCH 2013)–Coverings 2013, the tile and stone industry’s largest international exposition, offers an extraordinarily wide-ranging conference program comprising over 70 free sessions, many aimed specifically at retailers.
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 retailers 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 retailing community include using the psychology of pricing to create the sense of a bargain for the customer; how Apple’s super-successful retailing strategies can be used in tile and stone stores; and understanding how merchandising real estate, from window displays to store floor plans, affect retail sales.
Some of the not-to-be-missed sessions include:
What Every Retailer Can Learn from Apple. Head-turning products are not the only reason Apple has so many apostles worldwide. Designed to simplify and enhance the presentation and marketing of personal computing products, Apple stores are a feast for the eye and intended to guide the intellectual and emotional experience of the customer. Nothing is left to chance, every detail matters. Then there are the people they attract as employees and the way they get them to join the ‘life’s work.’ And, finally, there is the stellar customer service. James Dion of Dionco Inc., will explain what Apple does that you can do too: have a clear, consistent and simple vision to guide everything you do in your store. Monday, April 29, 3:15 PM – 4:15 PM.
Understanding Merchandising Real Estate. From how customers react to a store window display to how they respond to its floor plan, Nicole Reyhle of Retail Minded magazine will share the tricks of retail real estate that help increase sales. Using props, participants will experience the critical components of retail real estate through interactive display challenges, sales scenarios, and customer role-playing. Reyhle will also identify what’s worth what in regards to floor space. Attendees will have the chance to re-create their own store spaces with a hands-on game that lets them imagine their stores laid out differently. Tuesday, April 30, 3:15 – 4:45 PM.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Selling & Marketing Green the Easy Way. Understand green from your customer’s perspective as Paul Bumblauskas of PFC Services, Inc. take you through the seven drivers of the green decision. Using them, anyone can relate to customer needs whether you sell business to business (B2B) or business to consumer (B2C)! This green session will immediately drive more sales and profit. As an added benefit, manufacturer green programs will become more meaningful as you will be able to translate their objectives into satisfying your customers’ needs. Wednesday, May 1, 10:45 AM -11:45 AM.
How to Market your Showroom Online. Eric Edelson of Fireclay Tile gives tips on marketing your showroom online, explaining key action steps that are free or inexpensive and will ensure your company has a strong presence and that your customers will find you. The focus includes ways to ensure you have a great website, as well as basic search engine optimization and local directory strategies to make sure you company is found online. Social media and online advertising will be briefly discussed as well. Thursday, May 2, 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM.
Other programs of particular interest to retailers include:

Competing for the Future: Tools for Developing Your Team to Become World Class Performers. Monday, April 29, 8:30 AM – 10:00 AM.
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.
The 10 Essentials to Selling Interior Designers and the Decorative Trade. Wednesday, May 1, 3:15 PM – 4:15 PM.
Six Essential Strategies to Creating Passionate Customers. Thursday, May 2, 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM.
Best Practices for a Business to Business Content Marketing Strategy. Thursday, May 2, 8:00 AM – 9:30 AM.
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 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.