Guest editorial: The reinvention of Surfaces

HomeEditorialsGuest editorial: The reinvention of Surfaces

By Dana Teague

Surfaces 2011 was a new beginning of sorts: a brand new home after being at the Sands Expo and Convention Center for the past 20 years and the co-location with StonExpo/Marmomacc Americas, the premier stone industry event, bringing a diversified product mix and opening doors for new business opportunities. And last, but certainly not least, free education. In my mind, what reason could there possibly be for the entire floor covering industry to NOT be at Surfaces?

Surfaces is not just your typical annual trade event where you spend your hard-earned money to fly out to Las Vegas for three days of walking miles of aisles looking at thousands of the latest floor covering products and meeting face-to-face with your manufacturers and suppliers. Sure, Surfaces is all that, but it is also an investment in your business—an investment that is becoming much more affordable and more valuable year after year.

The Mandalay Bay Convention Center not only served as a beautiful backdrop to the industry’s newest products, but it also brought cheaper hotel rates on show days, added conveniences of moderately priced restaurants within close walking distance of the show floor and the ability to take a complimentary tram from surrounding hotels.

The co-location with StonExpo/Marmomacc Americas was initially met with some apprehension, but when the last attendee exited the exhibit hall and the last crate was removed from the show floor, both exhibitors and attendees agreed the co-location was a good decision on various fronts, including decreased expenses, increased cross-selling opportunities, enhanced educational offerings and greater lead generation. Two shows for the price of one. You can’t argue with that. That’s Success Multiplied by the Power of Two.

A certain phrase comes to mind when I think about the Surfaces 2011 education program: “The best things in life are free.” I believe this program is the best and most valued in the industry and will continue to be free to all of our attendees and exhibitors. However, I also remember the sayings, “Good things don’t last forever,” and “The early bird gets the worm,” so you need to take advantage of the free education early. Surfaces offers 70-plus education sessions ranging from business and sales to whole building design and installation. We are dedicated to giving our attendees the most solid education program they can take back and implement into their businesses immediately.

As I mentioned above, Surfaces is not your typical trade event. It’s not something we at Hanley Wood put together in a few months, cross our fingers and hope all goes well. We don’t want to be a one-time-a-year event where you can connect with your industry peers and enjoy a couple of days out of the office in Vegas. We are committed to the floor covering industry and invested in your business. We want Surfaces to be the one event you feel you is absolutely essential to your business success. And because of that, we always welcome your opinions and candid remarks on how we can make the show a better experience for you and your bottom line. Contact me at anytime at

Another Surfaces is behind us and 2011 is the year we all hope is the turning point for the industry. We’ve got some exciting things planned for 2012, including more on-floor, interactive demos, an artisan area, a business services pavilion and more. In addition, our 2012 education advisory council will meet April 7 & 8 to begin planning the education program.

We hope that you’ll join us in 2012 to experience how we will continue to reinvent Surfaces to be your show.

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