Surfaces 2011: Armstrong, Mannington take showroom route

Home News Surfaces 2011: Armstrong, Mannington take showroom route

DALLAS—Two of the industry’s most influential manufacturers will be exhibiting their wares at Surfaces in private display areas at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center next month in Las Vegas. According to Kelly Cooper, marketing manager, Hanley Wood Exhibitions, Armstrong and Mannington Mills will relocate from the main show floor.

“Both opted to take contracted space off the show floor,” Cooper said. “It is an offer available to all exhibitors; it all depends on the manufacturer’s focus.” She explained the rooms off the show floor are designed more for private meetings and have the flexibility of being closed for a period, then reopened to the public. “Manufacturers can set up meetings and run focus groups while still exhibiting product. The showrooms can be used in any way they see fit.”

In conjunction with the difficult but improving economic climate, Mannington is using its showroom space to create value for its visitors. “We think the timing is right for value, and we really want to make it a selling event,”            said Ed Duncan, senior vice president, marketing. He noted the mill is still developing the design and specific offers but wants to focus on one-on-one selling with accounts that will be there, as well as set up some new ones.

“Last year’s show floor had lots of action, which was great, but this year we’re looking

to facilitate something more intimate,” Duncan elaborated. “We’ll still have action but it will be different; this will be more for serious buyers rather than walk-by shoppers.”

Armstrong has also opted for the more intimate setting. “We will still be attending Surfaces, but will display our products in a private showroom off the show floor,” Alan Cubell, vice president of residential sales and marketing, told FCNews. “When we took this route two years ago, the results surpassed            our expectations. In fact, we met our sales projections for the entire show after the first day.”

Cubell said the private showroom provides a more intimate setting where executives are able to spend more time with customers and give buyers their full attention. “Every year Armstrong evaluates what makes the most business sense as it relates to Surfaces, and this year we felt the private showroom worked best.”

Cooper said Mannington will take a 7,000-square-foot space that would be built out for them near the main stairs and walled off for greater privacy. Jay’s Bargain Basement will be a part of that. Armstrong will take 3,000 square feet as it had in 2009.

-Emily Hooper

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