Installers will possibly have more to do and see at Surfaces 2006 than any Surfaces show in recent memory. This year's show is shaping up to be the largest gathering in Surfaces' history, with close to 40,000 people set to attend. More than 1,100 exhibitors, including major installation tool manufacturers, will be displaying their latest products during the show, Feb. 1-3 at the Sands Expo & Convention Center in Las Vegas. With the number of industry professionals attending, it's clear that Surfaces aims to provide a wealth of business opportunities to installers.

A major component of Surfaces continues to be the Installation Showcase. These seven, one-hour installation demonstrations give expert installers a forum to share their know-how on installation techniques and tricks of the trade. And, because installation can involve complicated tasks, there's also help with common troubleshooting. During the run of the show, experts will address the installation of ceramic, stone, self-leveling compounds, carpet, hardwood and resilient. The Installation Showcase, which is sponsored by Laticrete, is produced in conjunction with the World Floor Covering Association, the International Certified Floorcovering Installers Assoc., Floor Covering Installer and National Floor Trends magazines.

Additionally, installers can enrich their knowledge through the Surfaces Conference Program, which offers 42 courses in six tracks - Installation, Business, Marketing, Sales, Design and Window Coverings. Editors and columnists of BNP Media's TILE, NFT and FCI magazines will be among the presenters slated to speak at the Conference Program, which is sponsored by Mannington. Before the start of the show, Jan. 31, NFT columnists Janet Carter and Dave Gobis will present workshops ("Making the 5th Wall an Important Feature" and "Ceramic Tile: Meeting the Consumer Demand," respectively). During the first day of the show, Feb. 1, TILE columnist Patti Fasan will speak about "Trends in Ceramic Tile," 8 to 9:30 a.m. On the same day, Al Stewart, editor of NFT, will moderate a retailer panel called "Retailers' Most Valuable B2B Practices," 4 to 5:30 p.m. On the final day of the show, Feb. 3, FCI editor John Moore, FCI columnist Jon Namba, Mickey Moore of NOFMA, and Paul Micalizzi of TCNA will present "Common Causes of Installation Failures."

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