Attendance rose nearly 10 percent at this year's Coverings in Chicago.

Show organizers say that Coverings will return to the McCormick Place Convention Center in Chicago for the 2009 convention. Coverings, the annual tile and stone show traditionally held in Orlando, Fla., touched down in Chicago this year to great success, according to organizers. Plans call for the 2008 show to be held in Orlando, then rotate between the two cities from year to year.

Show attendance this year jumped nearly 10 percent over last year, with about 37,000 people attending. The event also marked the first time in recent memory that Coverings was hosted in Chicago. According to organizers, almost half of the attendees at this year’s show were first-time visitors. Architects and designers, whose attendance swelled by 87 percent this year, were allowed to bring two VIP guests with them for free to the four-day event. Additionally, contractor attendance was up 22 percent, retailer attendance rose 17 percent and nearly 8 percent more stone distributors attended the Chicago show.

Coverings 2009 is slated for April 21-24 in Chicago. Next year’s show is planned for April 29-May 2 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando. For more information, visit