Best of Surfaces: Call for entries, judges

Home Column Best of Surfaces: Call for entries, judges

best of surfacesChristmas is fast approaching. Then it’s figuring out what to do with all those useless presents you received. A few days later it’s New Year’s Eve and the imminent hangover. Then it’s the diet and gym regimen you’ll stick to for two weeks—if you’re lucky.

Do you know what this all means? Surfaces is just around the corner, approaching almost as fast as long-lost relatives after they find out Cousin Emmett just hit the lottery.

With Surfaces only six weeks away, it would be wise to start making plans if you haven’t done so already. Book your flights and hotel rooms, make your restaurant reservations and register for the show. All the big names will be either on the show floor, and don’t worry if you don’t see someone on the show floor you’re bound to see them at Eye Candy—the debauchery capitol of Mandalay Bay. There will be hundreds of exhibitors showcasing their wares. As well, the anticipation of connecting with friends—new and old—should have you salivating like Pavlov’s dogs.

I’m expecting this Surfaces to feel as normal as it did in 2019. Pandemic concerns are in the rear-view mirror. I believe you’ll even see a return of the international crowd given they won’t have to quarantine for five years upon returning home. Last year not everything in town was open; this year you have about five shows going on at once, including KBIS, the rug market, et al.

As we ready for Surfaces, I want to concentrate on the things we traditionally do during those days in Vegas, not the least of which is the Best of Surfaces competition. Now in its 12th 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: The Best of Surfaces awards 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, Disruption, 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 debuts 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 to enter. To make things easier, you can copy me at 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 2023 logo for placement on all advertising

• A 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 2023 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 be attending Surfaces. Second, you must be willing to evaluate some of the submissions in the weeks leading up to the show. Again, contact me via e-mail at if you’re interested and I’ll provide you with the details.

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