More than 25,000 industry professionals attended the week-long Coverings expo in Chicago.
According to organizers, this figure is an increase in overall attendance from the 2015 show, and to industry insiders, affirms positive movement in the tile and stone market.
The attendance count is a 15% increase from 2009, the last year Coverings was held in Chicago. This year’s most impressive attendance segment is held by distributors, which increased by a noteworthy 18% since 2009.
“The uptick in overall attendance from last year signals continued vitality and vigor in the tile and stone industry,” said Alena Capra, Coverings’ industry ambassador. “There was an onsite energy that emanated from the show floor, and it is encouraging to have that excitement verified with these recap figures.”
Veteran Coverings exhibitors noted the excitement on the show floor as well as the ample opportunities for networking and education that took place during the show.
“This year we had great feedback from key customers that came to the show. It’s important for us to have these quality interactions with attendees,” said Sarah Eamigh, director of U.S. marketing for StonePeak. “The feedback from the architecture and design crowd is always exciting; there was a great turnout from that segment due to the show’s location in Chicago this year.”
There was also plenty of buzz from the Ceramics of Italy pavilion, which impressed attendees with a new central booth design in addition to the bevy of tile products from manufacturers.
“The atmosphere at Coverings 2016 was fantastic—we saw an exciting turnout in attendees here in Chicago,” said Dave Bouchard, representative of Emil America. “Chicago is a great town for the show, drawing in the architecture and design crowd, as well as retailers and distributors. We feel confident with the sales relationships generated by being at the show.”
Natucer, a long-time Spanish exhibitor, found the show to be an imperative part of the company’s global business for sales and relationship building.
“We have been at Coverings since 1998 and have always found tremendous value in the show,” said Victor Gasque Balaguer, area manager for Natucer Ceramica. “The North American market is always one of our top priorities after the domestic market in Spain. All of the programming and networking opportunities at the show are important in growing our relationships and increasing awareness of our products.”
There was no shortage of opportunities for attendees to build on their technical skills or to network with others, as Coverings offered an extensive conference program with more than 75 sessions and CEU courses.
Coverings 2017 will be held April 4 through 7 in Orlando, Fla.
For more information, visit coverings.com.