Hanley Wood Exhibitions reports that The International Surface Event East (TISE East) posted excellent results in its first year, with 185 exhibiting companies covering over 50,000 square feet of booths and displays. The event, held Oct. 19 to 22 at the Miami Beach Convention Center, drew attendees and exhibitors from over 50 countries. Local attendance was solid, with participating business owners from more than 30 cities in the surrounding Miami areas.
“TISE East attracted a completely new audience, compared to our sister event in Las Vegas. It translated into new business for our exhibitors,” said Dana Teague, vice president of Hanley Wood Exhibitions. “Our goal from the very beginning was to create a unique trade show experience that allowed attendees to take full advantage of educational offerings, certifications and networking, in addition to the exhibits and buying opportunities.”
The show attracted a global audience, including buyers from Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China Germany, Italy, Mexico and the Virgin Islands. Twenty-six percent of registered attendees had never attended TISE in Las Vegas.
Exhibitors presented and demonstrated a wide range of products, sold tools and machinery, and were able to use the event to launch new brands before the end of the business year.
“TISE East worked great for us,” said Steven Wang, owner and designer for Measure Square. “We had plenty of qualified leads with big operations looking for measure estimating technologies. It was a pleasant surprise to see a lot of familiar faces from our East Coast customer base stopping by to say hi.”
“We were thrilled at the exhibitor participation for our launch event,” commented Amie Gilmore, TISE’s show director. “Equipment was sold, orders were written and new contacts were made. The on-site sales office was consistently busy with exhibitors signing up for TISE East 2015.”
The education program for TISE East included over 50 sessions targeted to specific audience segments—architects, builders, designers, retailers/dealers, fabricators, installers, distributors, emerging professionals and care/maintenance/restoration professionals. Education program highlights included the 140 Under 40 Emerging Professionals Luncheon; a round-table networking event, featuring some of the industry’s most influential leaders; Designing with Natural Stone—also referred to as the AIA Day of Education—presented by Marmomacc; and an Architect & Designer Hospitality Tour, showcasing the innovative use of building and design products at SLS Hotel South Beach and The James Royal Palm Hotel, two luxury award-winning Miami Beach hotels.
Walk & Talk Sessions incorporated tours of the TISE East show floor and utilized the exhibit hall as a classroom, allowing attendees to gain perspective from industry experts with three different areas of emphasis—Equipment & Tooling, Luxury Trendspotting Floorcovering and In Our Green Shoes: An Eco-Agenda.
On-floor education highlights included “How To Houzz” mini-sessions held in the Social Learning Lab, presented by David Mayer, Houzz’ director of community; an Interior Trends & Merchandising Workshop, in which participants created window displays on the show floor, led by trend specialists Victoria Redshaw and Phil Pond of Scarlet Opus; and numerous live demonstrations presented by representatives from Custom Building Products, DriTac, Duradek, Integra, International Concrete Repair Institute (ICRI), Laser Products, MAPEI, Miracle Sealants, Noble Co. and Wagner Meters.
“The education sessions were excellent,” said Scott Humphrey, CEO, World Floor Covering Association (WFCA). “The teacher-to-student ratio allowed for more specific expertise to be applied directly to the challenges of session participants.”  
Jim Hieb, executive vice president and CEO, Marble Institute of America (MIA), added, “The education at TISE East was one of the best conference programs I’ve seen in several years.
Michele Nebel Peake, TISE East conference manager, said, “Our goal for the TISE East education program was to provide meaningful and timely educational opportunities in a variety of formats. Because TISE East was a new event, we were free to experiment with new and alternative methods of delivering education to our audience. We plan to capitalize on our successes and offer bigger and better opportunities in 2015.
Other special show features included the Snap N’ Share Studio, a dedicated area on the show floor where attendees and exhibitors could have souvenir pictures taken in the TISE East photo booth and enter the #IAMTISE Photo Contest with oversized TISE letters; and the Product Marketplace where select exhibitors displayed their products in hopes of being awarded the Best Product of TISE East, voted on by attendees.
“TISE East was an excellent show for WFCA,” continued Humphrey. “We signed new members and reconnected with existing ones. With the hectic pace we keep on a day-to-day basis, having the opportunity to actually listen to the needs of our members and potential members was priceless. For an industry that is usually resistant to change, this was a great start. I look forward to 2015.” 
Teague concluded, “Overall, we are very happy with the results of TISE East. We believe a solid foundation was established for our East Coast event and we’re already planning for a bigger, better 2015 showing.
Dates for TISE East 2015 will be announced soon. For more information, visit TISEeast.com.