SURFACES Event at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas Sees Positive Numbers

February 2, 2014

From marble to bamboo, flooring materials of every kind took center stage at the International Surfaces Event that took place Jan. 28-30  at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas.

The trade show unites SURFACES, StonExpo/Marmomacc America and a new TileExpo, and is produced by Hanley Wood Exhibitions. Turning the corner after the recession, it’s all set for growth with new additions and alliances.

“The show feels reenergized,” said Amie Gilmore, associate show director of SURFACES. “We went into this year with big goals, and we met them all. Next year, we’re looking to expand into Hall A here at Mandalay Bay.”

Gilmore noted that preliminary numbers were up across the board, with square footage at about 350,000, exhibitors at just under 700 and attendance at about 35,000.

Much is going on the growth front. In January, TileExpo joined SURFACES and StonExpo/Marmomacc America as part of the 2014 International Surfaces Event. “Tile companies have always had a strong presence, but we wanted to focus on the growth in that market,” Gilmore said.

In October, Hanley Wood will launch International Surfaces Event East at the Miami Beach Convention Center in Miami Beach, Fla.

“We have received countless requests for a fall show, as well as an East Coast show,” Gilmore said, noting that it will diversify the geographic and market segment reach, and let exhibitors tap into two different buying seasons. “Miami is a gateway to Latin America, and many buyers don’t come out west.”

In 2015, the International Surfaces Event, TileExpo and StonExpo/Marmomacc America will join the Design and Construction Week in Las Vegas, launched this week by the National Association of Home Builders’ International Builders’ Show and the National Kitchen & Bath Association’s Kitchen & Bath Industry Show.

Gilmore said that the show’s team is meeting with NAHB and KBIS to talk about cross promotion, badging and transportation, among other opportunities for the new event.

“Our exhibitors are very excited about next year,” she said. “We’re encouraging them to bring additional products and the right sales people for the builder market.”

On the floor, the mood also reflected gearing up for a productive year. Exhibitor Andrew Dobosh, with Georgia-based Joy Carpets, said that they had a very busy show and that “the overall pulse of the industry seems to be positive.” He added, “Some of the big manufacturers are investing a lot of money into soft surfaces. We’re shipping orders quickly.” He wasn’t sure about the impact of the new Surfaces East, but is willing to “give it a try.”

Attendee Tom Salisbury of Washington-based Salisbury Woodworking said he came to talk to European manufacturers about new reactive wood stains for custom flooring. “We’re looking for new color palettes,” he added. “What’s popular in Europe tends to become popular here.” 

Salisbury said that after three flat years, the company is growing thanks to the improving real estate market and a growing number of remodels as well as emerging new construction. “The economy is definitely on the mend,” he added. “In the past three years, we hired three people. This year alone we’re looking into hiring four.”

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