Officials for Coverings 2010 are preparing for what promises to once again be the largest gathering of tile products, exhibitors and industry professionals in North America when the show convenes Tuesday, April 27 and runs through Friday, April 30, in Orlando, Fla.
Education plays a key role at Coverings and this year is no different, as seminars for distributors and retailers span a range of subjects and feature high-caliber experts to offer tips and tactics for sharpening the competitive edge and improving profitability. Coverings veteran James Dion will address what is arguably the most pressing issue facing this segment in his presentation, “The Consumer in 2010. What Will Get Them Back?” This session will be devoted to a discussion of the top 10 trends shaping consumer behavior in 2010 and is designed to provide valuable insight into how applying these trends can result in greater profits. Dion takes the stage Wednesday morning, April 28.
As the popularity of green products continues to grow, distributors and retailers can look forward to quite a menu of seminars on the topic, including “Tired of Talking Green? Let’s Sell Green,” a guide to what’s driving green purchases and how to use these drivers to convert conversations into sales. Also on tap is “Unified Tile Industry Environmental Initiatives,” an overview of worldwide environmental efforts pertinent to tile.
“We’re thrilled to again present a top-notch program for distributors and retailers that reflects our ongoing focus on this unique facet of the show,” said Jennifer Hoff, president of client events for National Trade Productions (NTP), which manages and produces Coverings. “The number of opportunities for professional development is rivaled only by an array of the best new tile and stone products on the show floor.”
Other sessions of interest for distributors and retailers include “Forecasting the U.S. Ceramic Tile Market,” an in-depth look at where the industry is headed in 2010; “Trends in Tile and Stone for Retail Work,” an overview of the emerging trends in the use of tile and stone in retail design, and “Marketing in a Recession 101,” a three-hour workshop that offers real solutions for gaining a competitive edge in today’s economy.
Classes for contractors, installers, too
Tile and stone contractors and installers can also look forward to a daily offering of educational sessions as more than 40 seminars are on the docket for this segment, with topics ranging from how to boost profits in a challenging economy to the latest innovations in installation methods and materials.
The 2010 schedule spans a wide spectrum of subjects, with a particular focus on tactics and strategies contractors and installers can use to help bolster their bottom line. This year’s featured session, “The Seven Steps to Closing a Profitable Sale,” will offer techniques that help contractors and other industry professionals generate greater profits by differentiating their products in the marketplace, thus increasing gross margins in the process.
In this same vein, Jim Olson of the National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA), a Coverings sponsor, will present, along with John Cox of Cox Tile, “The NTCA Reference Manual: A Look at the New Business Section of this important Resource.” NTCA collaborated with Coverings in developing the conference schedule for this industry segment. James Woelfel, NTCA’s technical committee chairman, will join Nyle Wadford, the association’s second vice president, to moderate “The NTCA Contractors Forum: Frequent Topics Commonly Shared Over the Internet,” which will examine the benefits of the Internet for contractors and key issues that are influencing the industry.
Returning to Coverings for a third year is the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF) Certification Program, an intensive four-and-a-half day series for professional installers that includes hands-on skill testing and will yield the industry’s only standards-based accreditation. Enrollment for this program is limited; applications must be made to CTEF. However, for those who want to learn more about it and hear first-hand testimonials on the benefits of certification, plan on attending, “It Pays to Be Certified.”
There are also plenty of how-to sessions regarding installation and technology. Seminars such as “Field Update: Large Format Tile Facade Systems,” “Recent Developments in Sound Reduction Membranes,” and “Exterior Stone Adhered Veneer Standards; An Industry Update” will arm attendees with the information they need to know to stay ahead of the curve in an increasingly competitive business environment.
Coverings is sponsored by ASCER (Ceramic Tile Manufacturers Association of Spain), Confindustria Ceramica (Italian Association of Ceramics), Tile Council of North America (TCNA), Ceramic Tile Distributors Association (CTDA) and the NTCA.
For more on Coverings 2010, call 703.683.8500 or visit coverings.com.