Aside from serving as the launching pad for some of the newest and most innovative products in the flooring industry, Surfaces and StonExpo/Marmomacc Americas 2013 will be home to more than 70 education sessions ranging from flooring installation to design trends, sustainability, business best practices and more. Floor Covering Installer andFloor Trends columnists will be among the presenters sharing their expertise and insights with a crowd set to include installers, contractors, distributors, retailers and designers.

FT columnist and industry troubleshooter Lew Migliore is lining up speakers for the third annual Flooring Symposium, which at press time was set for 8 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. Jan. 28-29. Previously an event geared toward flooring inspectors, this year’s symposium has broadened its focus and will look at the state of manufacturing, retail, installation and other key flooring industry topics.

“This is something very unique that partner Larry Cooper and I are putting together,” Migliore explained. “This is not just for inspectors anymore, as we found that to be a very specialized and limited audience. For 2013 we wanted to put together a program that could benefit anyone attending Surfaces.”

At press time, the first day of the symposium was set to include presentations on the state of the flooring industry, high-end and woven carpet, hard surface flooring, new carpet backings, the art of tufting, polyester carpet, flooring underlayment, and luxury vinyl tile. The second day of the event would cover the retail side, sustainability, social media marketing, buying groups, product testing procedures, soft fibers, imports, legal issues and flooring installation.

Migliore said he was in talks with companies including Base King, Bentley Prince Street, Carpet America Recovery Effort, CCA Global Partners, Centiva, Couristan, INSTALL, Mannington, Mohawk, Universal Textile Technologies and XL to find top-level presenters for the symposium.

Migliore will also offer two presentations himself during Surfaces 2013: “Avoiding Problems with Floor Covering – Getting the Right Product in the Right Place,” 3:30 to 5 p.m. Jan. 28; and “Carpet Fibers: New Technologies and Advancements You Should Know About to Keep You Out of Trouble,”noon to 1 p.m. Jan. 30.

FCI columnists Jon Namba and Dave Gobis will present during Surfaces 2013. Namba will host “Proper Substrate Preparation for Hardwood, Bamboo and Laminate,” 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Jan. 28. Outlining his plans for the presentation, Namba noted, “We will have discussion and Powerpoint on the real-world scenarios and challenges that installers, retailers, architects, inspectors, and manufacturers deal with, and how it affects the bottom line.”

Gobis will present “Glass Tile: A Journey Through Design Trends, Colors and Applications,” with Crossville’s Mikeal Jensen, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Jan. 28 and “Selection and Specification of Installation Materials for Ceramic Tile and Stone,” with Mike Micalizzi of Custom Building Products, 3:30 to 5 p.m. the same day.

For his glass tile presentation, Gobis commented, “There is a bewildering array of products out there for end users to choose from. I will focus on the installation aspect of glass which, while similar to that of other tile products, requires special consideration for different areas of use and an exacting installation process.”

On the ceramic tile and stone presentation, Gobis added, “It is my hope that our attendees realize that to create a specific level of performance, products need to be properly specified rather than continuing to rely on materials that may have been suitable for products in the past.”

FT columnists Sam Allman and Annette Callari are also set to present during the show. Allman will offer “The Selling Begins When the Customer Says No,” aimed at identifying the steps of working with a customer and influencing their purchasing decision, 8 to 9:30 a.m. Jan. 29; and “Don’t Compete on Price, Compete on Value,”about positioning a product for its benefits instead of its price tag, 10 to 10:45 a.m. the same day.

Callari will be one of the featured designers during the Trends Hub tours, running 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Jan. 29-30, and 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Jan. 31. Calling the presentations “fast, fun and informative,” Callari added that “I plan to hit the highlights of what the current trends and color drivers are for 2013 and 2014, and how those trends are influencing floor coverings and reflected in some new introductions at the show.”

New and expanded show features

FCI is sponsoring this year’s Tool Alley, an exclusive area dedicated to the latest flooring installation tools and equipment along with a full complement of live demonstrations. Chris Grundy, host of DIY’s Cool Tools, will visit on Tuesday, Jan. 29, to tour the Tool Alley exhibits.

FT is co-sponsoring the New Product Marketplace with TILE Magazine, and the World Floor Covering Association’s (WFCA) Gold Standard Award.FT will also be part of the new Technology Trends demonstrations and kick off its inaugural TrendSetter Award at the show.

The New Product Marketplace will offer a sneak-peek of some of the newest products to debut at Surfaces. For the first time this year, attendees can vote for their favorite products in the Marketplace by text. Votes will be tabulated and the winner will be announced during a special awards presentation on the afternoon of Jan. 30.

WFCA’s Gold Standard Award is given to a WFCA-member retailer that exemplifies the standards of the WFCA. The winner, to be announced at Surfaces, will receive a $5,000 check, a trophy, press recognition and a customized seal for his or her store entrance.

The Technology Trends demonstrations are part of the show’s brand-new Business Enrichment Center. This area will feature an education stage, a social lounge with a focus on social media, and an attendee lounge. The demonstrations are 15-minute presentations of new technology-based products, running Jan. 29-31.

FT will give demonstrations all three days for its Floor Trends+ app, which lets readers see special videos and animations by scanning the + icons in issues of the Floor Trends print magazine. The app is available for both Apple and Android devices.

Floor Trends’Trendsetter Award recognizes individuals in the floor covering industry whose contributions, efforts and innovations have resulted in the betterment of their business, their industry and their community, improving the lives and prospects of those around them. This new awards program will kick off at the show.

For more information on these and other events, visit our exhibit at booth #B2409. Surfaces 2013 is set for Jan. 28-31 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas.


Trade groups share their Surfaces plans

For a show as significant to the industry as Surfaces, flooring industry trade groups are eager to make their mark. We asked several industry groups what their plans were for this year’s show.

International Certified Flooring Installers Association: CFI will offer a two-day carpet installation training and certification program, Jan. 29-30. The event will mark the first time CFI has offered this type of certification at Surfaces.

Scott Carothers, Ceramic Tile Education Foundation: “CTEF will preview our next phase of Certified Tile Installer certifications. Included are Large Format Tile and Surface Prep, Shower Base (conventional), Membranes and Mortar Bed Wall and Floor. I will be joined by Michael Whistler and Gerald Sloan, NTCA Symposium presenters and trainers, in doing 10 20-minute demonstrations throughout the three-day show.”

John McGrath, INSTALL: “We will meet with our partners to work on installation standards and continue conversations begun at our recent certifications review so that we are at the forefront of satisfying the installation needs of the industry. We also will be offering tours of our International Training Center, which is nearby the Surfaces Expo. If anyone is interested in taking a tour, please contact me at or 215-582-4108.”

Michelle Miller, North American Association of Floor Covering Distributors: “Our booth will be located close to the other associations that support the industry. It gives NAFCD the opportunity to visit with our current members, network and discuss the latest news with other industry association executives, and to meet with new distributors or manufacturers that may not be familiar with NAFCD.”

Anita Howard, National Wood Flooring Association: “For the first time, NWFA will have a wood flooring pavilion at Surfaces. There will be a demo stage near our pavilion as well where our exhibitors can demonstrate their products. We’ll also be presenting a CEU to designers and architects at the show: Beauty Is More Than Skin Deep – Maintaining and Refinishing Wood Floors.”

Bill Dearing, North American Laminate Flooring Association: “NALFA plans include our booth in the association area that will feature NALFA’s educational opportunities; installer certification, inspector certification and expert sales personal certification. On Tuesday evening our NALFA Lammy winners for 2012 will be revealed and recognized for their achievements. I will also present the 2012 Laminate State of the Industry report.”