The International Surfaces Event (TISE)—Surfaces ’24—taking place this week at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, is shaping up to be its largest show in eight years, according to Informa Exhibitions, which manages the show. Based on current registration numbers, attendance is trending 20% higher than last year. More importantly, show organizers are expecting the strongest international participation since 2019.
“We are really excited for an industry event that is going to be one of the largest on the exhibitor side,” said Amie Gilmore, show director. “We are looking forward to seeing both old and new faces.”
There will be no shortage of activities and events for Surfaces ’24 attendees. On tap are scores of educational classes, networking events and, of course, new product demonstrations. This year’s event will also feature a newfound focus on wellness, according to Informa.
This year also marks a shift to a Wednesday-to-Friday schedule as opposed to the regular Tuesday-to-Thursday format—primarily due to venue availability, according to Informa. More importantly, the Mandalay Bay Convention Center has been completely renovated since the last Surfaces event.
“The convention center is fresh, updated, on trend and is super welcoming,” said Dana Hicks, director of events, Informa Exhibitions. “There’s new wallpaper, better lighting and all the common areas look fantastic.”
The changes are more than cosmetic. Based on last year’s surveys, attendees groused about having to leave the showroom floor for a place to sit down and grab a bite to eat. The goal at TISE 2024, according to management, is to have everything accessible on the expo floor and offer more interactive features to keep attendees engaged. New attractions include the Tile Expo Bar & Lounge, more comfortable seating areas and more exhibitor happy hours.
Here’s a sneak peek of what to expect at this year’s show:
Education in abundance
Educational opportunities have always been a huge part of TISE’s offerings, and this year is no different. Informa has announced the return of one-hour educational sessions that take place on the expo floor. Each educational “tour” maxes out at 25 people to keep the groups small and engaging. They will include topics such as Favorite Finds, Made in the USA, Kitchen & Bath Products, Healthy Flooring Options, Commercial Products and the latest Color Trends, among others.
New for TISE 2024 is curated, two-day programming hosted by architects, designers and influencers. Attendees can participate in CEU educational offerings, focused show tours on the expo floor, “lunch and learns” and networking opportunities with peers and exhibitors.
“The design-driven tours were the highest attended in 2023,” Hicks noted. “People made it clear they want to know more from industry leaders.”
New exhibitors less than two years old will once again be given the opportunity to attend TISE 2024 for free with the “Start-up Station” pavilion. Companies sent in proposals covering what their businesses are about and why they want to be featured at TISE 2024. This year, the selected applicants will be given a complimentary booth space and supportive marketing program.
“Attendees want to know not only what is new but who is new,” Gilmore explained, adding the pavilion will be near the main aisle this year for better exposure for the vendors.
Focus on wellness
New for TISE 2024 is a three-pronged Wellness Program. Activities include a “sunrise walk” at 6:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 24, and “sun- rise yoga” at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday. Proceeds from both activities will be donated to local Las Vegas shelters that participate in the PetSmart Charities Adoption Partner Program. Both events max out at 50 people each and attendees must register on the TISE website in advance.
The third leg of the wellness event will be the “PuppyLoveWellnessLounge & Bar,” which is sponsored by Shaw. Rescue puppies will be on site for a few hours each day of the show, and the set up will include seating room and greenery for attendees to relax amid their busy schedules.
“We want participants to have a place to unplug and recharge so they can make the most of their time at TISE,” Gilmore explained. “The puppy lounge will have a relaxing and inviting feel, just like a dog park. If you need to find me, this is where I am going to be during the show.”
The creation of the puppy lounge, according to Informa, is no accident. “It’s relevant to the flooring industry because pet-protect products are very important to today’s consumer,” Hicks added. “It all ties in very well.”
Cover Connect Pavilion
TISE 2024 has partnered with Cover Connect, a high-end area rug company based in London, to feature the Cover Connect Pavilion for a second year. This year the pavilion will include more high-end rug manufacturers with soft surfaces displayed horizontally on the floor and vertically hung surrounding the pavilion’s lounge.
“It will be a very pretty setting,” Hicks explained. “This will be a great place to have a beverage and get off your feet while being surrounded by custom-made rugs available in amazing visuals.”