The inaugural International Surface Event East (TISE East) in Miami Beach, Fla., drew 185 exhibiting companies coverings more than 50,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space. The first-year show saw attendees and exhibitors from more than 50 countries. More locally, the event brought in business owners from more than 30 communities in the surrounding Miami area.

“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’s global audience included buyers from Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China Germany, Italy, Mexico and the Virgin Islands. Twenty-six percent of the registered attendees had never attended TISE in Las Vegas, according to Hanley Wood.

Education program for TISE East included over 50 educational sessions targeted to specific audience segments – architects, builders, designers, retailers/dealers, fabricators, installers, distributors, emerging professionals and care/maintenance/restoration professionals.

On-floor education highlights included 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.

Cindy Jo Miller of Douglas Stephenson Marble and Tile, Jupiter, Fla, said she attended the show because “I love learning something new, whether through taking a class or meeting someone I didn’t know before. Knowledge is power, and when someone asks me a question, I want to be able to tell them the real story.”

Anita Howard, NWFA COO, stated the show allowed her organization to meet with people it otherwise might not see. “Many of the people here are not the ones who go Vegas – they’re here at this show and this is our chance to connect with them as well as our members.”

Willy Sanchez, product manager for FlooringMaster in Orlando, said he attended for the educational benefits. “Continuing education in this industry is extremely important and gives you a step up on the competition. Anything that extends the reach of education in our field is valuable.”

John Lio, DriTac director of marketing, said attending this first-year show “shows our company’s commitment to the flooring industry. It is very important for us to attend these types of shows and support the industry.”

Franklin International’s technical market manager, Mark Lamanno, said the show was better than he had anticipated. “For a first-year show, it’s been pretty busy. It also gives us a chance to talk with distributors in Florida.”

International Certified Floorcovering Association’s (CFI) executive director, Robert Varden, said the show experienced “steady traffic and steady interest. It was busier and more energetic than I thought it would be.”

According to J.D. Cohen, National Gypsum market development representative, southeastern region, “This is a demographic we wouldn’t hit otherwise, meeting people in the South Florida market. It’s a nice mix of distributors, retailers and installers. This show has definitely met our expectations.”

At press time, information on TISE East 2015 was not available. For more information, visit tiseeast.com.