By Steven Feldman With the recent announcement that the rescheduled Surfaces is “officially” a go for June, it’s time to start making plans. Book your flights, reserve your hotel rooms and register. Even though many of the big names will be taking a pass until next February, there will still be hundreds of exhibitors showcasing their wares. As well, the anticipation of connecting with friends after all this time should have you salivating like Pavlov’s dogs.
I’m expecting things in Vegas to feel much more normal by the time June 16 rolls around. The restaurants are open, and even some shows have restarted. Don’t be afraid; I’m guessing by June 16 about 70% of all eligible people will have gotten at least one shot in their arm. (Time to schedule your appointments if you haven’t already done so.)
I’ve been to a few tradeshows since last fall, and they’ve gone off without a hitch. Sure, the Mohawk Roadshows and the Southeast Flooring Market are regional events, but I have every confidence that the Surfaces folks will do the same by following the requisite safety protocols.
As I think about Surfaces, I want to concentrate on the things we traditionally do during those three days in Vegas, not the least of which is the Best of Surfaces competition we co-sponsor with Informa, owners and operators of the show. Now in its 10th year, Best of Surfaces has become a benchmark for product and program excellence. But the success of the contest cannot be achieved without the help of the industry—both our suppliers and retailers. A little background for those new to the industry or who have been orbiting the planet for the last 10 years: Best of Surfaces recognizes those companies whose product, program, service, business practice or booth design are considered to be “best” in their class.
But unlike other awards, which are typically handed out by product category, the Best of Surfaces awards are handled a bit differently. Winners are announced in four categories: Innovation, Sustainability, Style & Design and Technology. In addition, there will be two awards for exhibit space: Booth Design (under 1,200 square feet and over 1,200 square feet). The criteria is simple: Products must be making their debut at Surfaces. What’s more, there is absolutely no charge for entering.
For exhibitors, consider this a call for entries. Please enter a product, program, service, business practice or booth in the category you believe to be most reflective of the product’s primary attribute. Suppliers can have one entry per category; I repeat: They cannot have multiple entries in one particular category. Contact Michelle Swayze at Informa at 972.536.6449 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to enter. To make things easier, you can copy me at email@example.com when you enter so nothing falls through the cracks.
For the record, winning a Best of Surfaces award can truly drive product success on the retail floor. Winners will receive:
- Recognition on the Surfaces and FCNews websites through December
- A customized Best of Surfaces 2021 logo for placement on all advertising
- An exquisite, custom-engraved award presented at the booth by members of show management and FCNews staff
- Coverage in FCNews
That takes care of the entry part. The next thing we need are retailer panel judges who will determine the 2021 winners. It’s a job you don’t want to take lightly because there’s a lot at stake for the manufacturers. If you are a flooring dealer—past or present—who has an understanding of what constitutes excellence in the Best of Surfaces’ four categories, we want to hear from you.
Some criteria: First, you have to attend Surfaces. Second, you must be willing to evaluate some of the submissions in the weeks leading up to the show. Third, you are required to share your thoughts with other members of the panel. After we decide the category for which you will be judging, you and your peers will be given some criteria on what to look for. You will then receive information on each of the entries. In some cases, it will be a description of the entry. The respective panels will then come up with their five finalists, which will be viewed on site on day one at Surfaces. Those interested in judging Best of Surfaces can contact me via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.