Education and certification are set to be major focuses of The International Surface Event East, the inaugural East Coast show combining Surfaces, StonExpo/Marmomacc Americas and TileExpo at the Miami Beach Convention Center, Oct. 19-22. According to Megan Phillips, senior marketing manager, this year’s event will boast 35 education sessions targeted directly to installers and 37 for builders/contractors. She noted, “TISE East is a chance to take advantage of a top-notch education program, network with colleagues and find out what products have been performing well since they were launched in early 2014.”

According to show organizers, the education program will take advantage of active-learning formats, which Hanley Wood said “are proven to be the most effective and engaging for adult learners.” The education program includes sessions, live demos, Show Floor Walk & Talks tours and other events geared toward professional improvement and increased industry knowledge.

The education program will run throughout the four-day show with most sessions offered before the exhibit hall opens, a move designed to allow both exhibitors and attendees a chance to participate in sessions. The exhibit hall runs from 1-6 p.m. Oct. 20-21, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 22. Education sessions run 12:30-5:30 p.m. Oct. 19, 8 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. Oct. 20-21, and 8-11 a.m. Oct. 22. “Attendees who wish to continue the discussion and follow-up with a session speaker will be able to sign up for ‘office hours’ for one-on-one coaching and mentoring with presenters,” Hanley Wood noted.

Live Demos, Show Features and Certification. FCI Editorial Director Jon Namba is working with Hanley Wood to recruit speakers for the on-the-floor live demos, running Oct. 20-22. At press time, demonstrations included: “Thin Is In: An Overview of the Installation of Thin-Profile Waterproof Membranes,” “The Newest Technology in Grouting Tile,” “What You Don’t Know Will Cost You – Care and Maintenance Tips & Tricks to Know and Avoid,” and “Properly Applying Mortars to Thin Tiles.”

BNP Media publications will be sponsoring several show features, including Social Learning Lab and Product Marketplace. Social Learning Lab, sponsored by Floor Trends and Tile, is a themed area designed to help visitors “get up and running or troubleshoot your biggest social media problems. Bring your own device and learn firsthand what you always wanted to know about social media. Learn new tricks from other industry professionals while sharing tweets, likes and follows.”

Product Marketplace, sponsored by FT, FCI, Tile, Contemporary Stone & Tile Design and Stone World, gives show-goers a sneak-peak at some of the products available on the show floor. Attendees will also be able to cast votes via text to decide which company’s product deserves the Best of Show award.

The International Concrete Repair Institute (ICRI) will be offering installers Concrete Slab Moisture Testing Technician Certification, following the successful ICRI certification event at Surfaces earlier this year. The program includes an educational session 8 a.m.-noon Oct. 20, a written examination follow directly after from 1:30-2:30 p.m., and one-hour performance examinations offered from 4-6 p.m. Oct. 20 and 1-6 p.m. Oct. 21. According to the organization, “the purpose of this certification program is to help improve the performance of concrete slab moisture testing for more consistent, accurate and reliable results that will help flooring manufacturers, architects, engineers and contractors make better decisions as to when a concrete floor is ready for a floor covering installation.”

The Marble Institute of America also announced it will hold an Accreditation Program Immersion Course, Oct. 22. The one-day course is “designed to give companies interested in accreditation the opportunity to learn about the application process, participate in a review of the exam material and to take the accreditation exam. The application and exam material review are conducted in the morning, while the five-hour, open book exam will be administered in the afternoon,” the organization noted.

MIA added, “Accreditation for natural stone fabricators and commercial contractors recognizes those companies that meet the industry’s highest standards for business activities, product knowledge, fabrication and installation. To earn MIA Accreditation, a company must complete an intensive, rigorous process that includes documentation of its business and employment practices, letters of recommendation, a written examination and site visits to the facility and completed jobs. Currently there are over 70 MIA Accredited Natural Stone Fabricators and over 10 MIA Accredited Commercial Contractors in the United States and Canada.”

Networking Luncheon. TISE East will also host the “140 Under 40 Luncheon,” 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Oct. 20. The event, open to emerging professionals under 40 years old who want to interact with peers and learn from industry experts, will feature mentors including Scott Humphrey (WFCA), Lisbeth Calandrino (Fabulous Floors), Mallory Cruise (Floor Covering Weekly), Mike Micalizzi (Custom Building Products), Lew Migliore (LGM and Associates), Christopher Ramey (The Home Trust International), Betty Sullivan (Architectural Ceramics) and Dana Teague (Hanley Wood Exhibitions).

For more information on the show, visit www.TISEeast.com.