Since the last time I wrote about a convention—TISE in Las Vegas—I’ve had the opportunity to participate at the JLC Live New England remodeling show, in Providence, R.I., and Coverings 2019 in Orlando. Let’s start with a recap of the JLC Live show, which, like TISE, is an event run by Informa.

Last year was my first year participating, and I went away in total awe of the energy of the show, fueled by an audience made up mostly of residential remodelers. This year’s show was just as impressive. You know these contractors are serious about their trade when they attend educational seminars that start at 7:30 in the morning and go all day.

I did a presentation on proper substrate preparation for hardwood, floating floors and LVP, and although the audience is primarily remodeling contractors, they wanted to know as much as possible about what the flooring industry requires for a proper substrate, to be able to work with flooring contractors for a successful install.

I also had the opportunity to do some hands-on demonstrations on stage, from applying self-leveling products to the installation of hardwood, laminate and LVP. The demo stage was sponsored by Bostik, Festool, STABILA, OLFA, and LOCTITE; so a big thanks to the sponsors who supported the flooring clinic.

For those of you out West, the JLC Live Northwest show will be December 4 to 6, 2019, at the Oregon Convention Center. I encourage you to attend. Even if you are a flooring contractor, the show gives you an understanding of the total building envelope in which we work.

In April, I attended Coverings. This is a tile and stone show that makes you feel like you’re walking through an art gallery! The exhibits are big and beautiful and if you’re looking for tile/ stone, along with tools, this is a great show to attend.

As for education, there was no lack of that either. There were seminars for manufacturers, distributors, sales associates, installers and fabricators. The National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA), Tile Council of North America (TCNA), and Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF) even had a dedicated area for contractors to get together to network and learn proper installation methods. 

What these events prove is there is definitely not a lack opportunities for our industry to see new products and gain education in all the flooring categories. Yes, there is a cost in time and travel, but those cost are an investment for your business. I hope to see some of you at next year’s shows, not to mention the shows still to come this year.