Coverings 2014 Conference Series Offers Access To Industry Authorities And Strategic Practices To Boost One’S Business Model

(ALEXANDRIA, VA—MARCH 12, 2014) In today’s ever-changing marketplace, maintaining best business practices and successful tactics requires continued education from industry leaders. Coverings 2014, the largest international tile + stone exposition and conference in North America, provides this competitive edge with a robust platform of respected experts speaking on a range of topics—all free of charge. With more than 80 sessions, the tile + stone super show returns to Las Vegas for its 25th Anniversary, April 29–May 2, at the Las Vegas Convention Center, with the education program beginning on April 28.
Seminars are organized into customized tracks for each segment of attendees—distributors, retailers, architects, designers, fabricators, contractors, builders and professionals seeking green education—yet remain open to all attendees, based on their individual areas of interest. The Coverings conference component is consistently ranked as one of the show’s most valuable features, and has been a critical element since its inception in 1990. The experience yields unparalleled education and, in most cases, the benefit of highly valuable CEU credits.
Keynote Sessions
Among the impressive lineup are four keynote speakers – Eric Astrachan, Robert Bacon, Lauren Rottet and Sheldon Yellen – a selection of top innovators and influencers across their respective categories. Examining diverse aspects of the versatile tile + stone industry, these sessions promise to enrich and empower this year’s show attendees.
Eric Astrachan will discuss “Hot Issues in Tile Standards and Design” on Tuesday, April 29 at 12:30 p.m. Always a favorite, Mr. Astrachan will examine standards-based issues, trends and potential liabilities in an entertaining and compelling fast-paced visual presentation. Attendees will be advised on emerging concerns and legal liabilities with a sneak peek into the 2015 TCNA Handbook discussion on mortars, uncoupling, labor and tiles. Mr. Astrachan also will discuss what is and isn’t working for thin tiles along with design trends ranging from ventilated facades to high-definition digital printing in this “can’t miss” program for all tile industry professionals. At the end of his session, Mr. Astrachan will be joined by Luciano Galassini, Deputy Director General, of Ceramics of Italy, for additional information on thin tiles from an Italian perspective. 
Additionally, Robert Bacon will explore “Natural Stone & Green Design” on Tuesday, April 29 at 3 p.m. The session will share how the stone industry continues to reduce environmental impacts through technology advancements and responsible manufacturing and shipping processes. Historical uses of natural stone that have stood the test of time will be discussed, and attendees will learn how key characteristics of stone, such as its life cycle and carbon footprint, satisfy elements of green building standards.
One of the most celebrated interior architects today, Lauren Rottet, will present some of the nation’s most highly awarded hotels and offices on Wednesday, April 30 at 12 p.m. The projects designed by Rottet Studio showcase creative use of materials including, of course, tile + stone. The seminar is titled “Rottet Style with Stone and Tile,” and is sponsored by Contract magazine. Featured projects of Rottet include the James Royal Palm in Miami, named Best of Year by Interior Design magazine, recipient of the Gold Key Award for best room, and recipient of four international awards for Best Hotel and Best Renovation; St. Regis Aspen, awarded a Conde Nast “Number One Best Ski Hotel” in 2013; Beverly Hills Bungalows; and The Surrey in New York City.
Rounding out the keynote sessions is Sheldon Yellen, who will present “Breaking Through Barriers by Putting People First” on Tuesday, April 29 at 9 a.m. The business guru, who was featured on Undercover Boss, will discuss how he took a $5 million company to a $1.5 billion global leader by putting people first. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn how his employees have built a culture of loyalty and compassion and explore how taking the long view, by focusing on the welfare of families of workers and of customers, can reap word-of-mouth business opportunities that no amount of marketing dollars can buy. This insightful and touching leadership speech is not one to be missed.
Featured Sessions
What’s more, Coverings offers seven Featured Sessions that provide additional vantage points from the tile and stone industry:

“Stone Trends” – Vincent Marazita of Marazita & Associates advises that especially in these lean construction years, it is crucial to understand the direction of the market for dimensional stone. The presentation will provide an overall view of the market and its trends in this sixteenth annual “State of the Stone Industry” presentation. Tuesday, April 29, 8:30–10:30 a.m.
“A Leading Question: ‘Why Can’t I Generate Leads From the Internet?’” – Successful marketer Marty Gould of Focalize Consulting notes that getting qualified leads is a core objective for nearly every home improvement business, and that the Internet has redefined everything about generating leads. Gould’s session will provide information that will affect how your online messages can make a big improvement in your results. Wednesday, April 30, 10:30–11:30 a.m.
“State of the Design Industry” – Randy Fiser, executive vice president and chief executive officer of ASID, will examine where the design industry stands today, as well as where it is headed. The session promises to be a “must attend” for those in the interior design profession. Wednesday, April 30, 4–5 p.m.
“New Harmonies: Changing Themes in Color/Design Trends” – Celebrated color guru Leatrice Eiseman of the Pantone Color Institute advises that for most consumers and clients today, color and style coordination in interiors is a consistent goal, but the old rigid color rules have been replaced by more creative guidelines and options. Eiseman will present an engaging, highly visual program that demonstrates the strongest trends in color and styling families. Thursday, May 1, 9:15–10:15 a.m.
“Maximizing Your Retail Space For Stronger Sales and Customer Engagement” – RetailMinded’s Nicole Reyhle will observe how consumers navigate through retail and studio spaces, providing a realistic understanding of how consumers engage in stores, with store associates, products and more. Attendees can expect to stand in the shoes of their customers as they learn best practices in store layouts, displays and customer engagements, as well as how they collectively work together. Thursday, May 1, 2:45–3:45 p.m.
“Prospering in Turbulent Times: Strategies for Success” – Knowing consumers have more choices than ever before in today’s hyper-competitive marketplace, Rich Kizer and Georganne Bender of Kizer & Bender Speaking! share what it takes to be successful with ideas to make your store different, special, and memorable to boost your bottom line. Friday, May 2, 9–10:30 a.m.
“Designing for the Post-Carbon Economy: It’s Zero or Nothing” – Eric Corey Freed, organicARCHITECT, will advise a better way to sell your clients on greening their buildings by examining the emotional, psychological and financial reasons why we design the way we do. The presentation will uncover specific, bold ideas for how to retrofit new and existing buildings. Friday, May 2, 10:15–11:15 a.m.

Learn more about the Keynote Sessions, Featured Sessions and all of the conference programming by clicking here. Register to attend this year’s show for free at
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About Coverings
In 2014, Coverings celebrates its 25th Anniversary as the largest and most important ceramic tile and natural stone trade fair and expo in the United States. It features exhibitors from more than 35 countries and is the stage for introducing some of the most innovative tile and stone products in the world.

The exposition serves as a valuable resource for continuing education for all segments of the industry, with more than 80 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 Tile Council of North America (TCNA). The show is managed by National Trade Productions.

Coverings 2014 will be held April 29—May 2 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. For more information, visit or contact National Trade Productions, Coverings Show Management, 703-683-8500.