Jan 18/25; Volume 30/Number 15
By Nadia Ramlakhan
Every year the flooring industry looks to The International Surface Event (TISE)—better known as Surfaces—in Las Vegas as the place to discover new products, technologies, trends and more for the upcoming 12 months. The 2016 event, scheduled for Jan. 19–22 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, has much more in store for its attendees, including top educational programs, a new floor plan and unexpected twists on favorite show features.
“The goals for TISE are always to create the atmosphere for networking and showcasing products while allowing manufacturers to get in front of their customers and prospective customers,” said Amie Gilmore, TISE show director, who noted Surfaces has traditionally been a buying show and sees that trend continuing.
Registration for the show is running slightly higher than last year at this time, which is indicative of an “exciting buzz in the industry right now,” Gilmore continued. “New products being introduced, news in the industry, companies returning to the show floor after an absence—the show is an industry event and having all the manufacturers in one place truly represents that. The timing of Surfaces is very important for several reasons: product introductions and orders.”
Of course, the crossover in attendance from other shows being held concurrently with TISE will positively affect its turnout and overall success. TISE’s partnership with the NAHB International Builders’ Show (IBS) and the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) as part of the third annual Design & Construction Week will make it seamless for attendees to visit all events. Visitors who register with TISE for the Design & Construction Week Pass will have access to all shows. In addition, there will be shuttles running back and forth between the Las Vegas Convention Center—where the other events are held—and Mandalay Bay Convention Center.
Another feature that will significantly impact TISE is the show floor layout. For the first time, TISE will have one floor of exhibit halls as opposed to its traditional two-floor plan due to Mandalay Bay’s expansion of the main floor exhibit hall and the addition of two new halls along with extra space.
According to Gilmore, being on one level will greatly benefit the show’s attendees because they will be able to access all exhibitors and show features on one floor rather than having to accommodate for travel time during their planning phases. “Having such a large show and [only] three days to visit and research new products can be intimidating and hard to plan for,” Gilmore explained. “Having one level to navigate should make the process easier and allow more time to visit manufacturers.”
Typically TISE sees about 200 new companies each year. Because of the changed floor plan this year, an increasing number of exhibitors have invested in new or renovated booths, while some haven’t been on the show floor for several years. Those planning a significant comeback on the floor include Mohawk Flooring and its family of brands, including IVC (FCNews, December 21/28, 2015), Armstrong Flooring and BerryAlloc.
Attendees can expect to see additions to popular programs as well. For example, the Trends Hub Living Magazine is a new twist on the Trends Hub of years past. This year’s Trends Hub will host a sleek, modern “living magazine” in which visitors will have the opportunity to experience a 3D tour of a magazine featuring the forecasted design trends and colors for interiors for 2016 and 2017, product samples and interactive educational sessions.
The Installation Showcase explores some of the most common challenges facing flooring, stone and tile professionals today. New techniques will be introduced during live how-to demos. Leading experts will explain the latest tips and tricks for installation, care and maintenance of carpet, hardwood, stone, resilient, laminate and more.
Also known for its exceptional educational programming, TISE 2016 will again deliver on its promise to provide attendees with the most up-to-date methods and tips for building their businesses. At the forefront of Surfaces is its education program, Ignite. This unique educational program offers proven strategies for increasing a company’s profitability and productivity.
“Participants will learn best practices and the latest technology to help increase their bottom lines and network with industry leaders and get answers to the challenges faced in their businesses,” Gilmore said. “Carefully crafted into the program are courses to assist industry professionals in navigating and targeting key growth areas for their business.”
To prepare for the show, Gilmore suggests newcomers and returning attendees plan their visits beforehand to make navigation easier and to get the most out of their time in Las Vegas. “I would definitely suggest any attendees to plan their visits and know who they want to see prior to coming. Doing a little bit of homework ahead of time will save you valuable show time while onsite. We have a newcomer orientation [offered daily at the show Wednesday through Friday] which will cover show basics and highlights, and will provide newcomers with an opportunity to answer any questions they might have.”
The TISE app for mobile phones and other handheld devices is a helpful resource to use while planning a visit to Surfaces. With the ability to view exhibitors, events and the floor plan ahead of time, the app allows visitors to easily connect with fellow attendees and colleagues. To download this free app, search “Surface Event” in the app store.