Organizers of Coverings, the preeminent and largest international ceramic tile and natural stone event in North America, have announced that Coverings 2023 exceeded expectations with a vigorous 50% year-over-year increase in attendance, totaling nearly 27,000 event-goers who gathered April 18-21, 2023, at the Orange County Convention Center, in Orlando, Florida. The event rivaled pre-pandemic levels and was one of the most dynamic expositions and conferences in Coverings’ renowned 34-year position as the leading event in the tile and stone industry.
Coverings 2023 was an action-packed, four-day event laid out to span 450,000 net square feet of show floor space in addition to the main North and South Concourses in the convention center. The show floor featured immense global pavilions hosted by the world’s leading ceramic tile associations and product manufacturers from the United States, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Turkey, Portugal, India, China, and other countries.
Exhibitors represented 40 countries, showcasing their newest and most innovative ceramic tile, natural stone, tools, equipment, machinery, and technology. International exhibitors made up 74% of the exposition, whereas 26% were domestic.
Attendees of Coverings 2023 included industry professionals from all business sectors within the tile and stone industry. 77% of attendees were from the United States, and 23% hailed from other countries.
Involvement with distributors, architects, designers, contractors, installers, fabricators, retailers, and others was at an all-time high at Coverings 2023, with more than 1,000 exhibitors, 24 learning sessions, 95 demonstrations and presentations, nine show floor tours, nine podcasts, and many other activations created to address the business interests and growth pursuits of all segments.
“Positive networking connections and productive business resonated throughout Coverings 2023,” said Jenn Heinold, president of Taffy Event Strategies, the show management company for Coverings. “With a tremendously busy show floor and standing-room-only learning sessions, we are extremely pleased with the stream of elated feedback we continue to receive from Coverings 2023 attendees, sponsors, exhibitors, speakers, and press members alike.”
The Coverings 2023 growth comes on the heels of Coverings’ recent “Fastest 50” award for net square footage show floor growth between Coverings 2021 and Coverings 2022.
This year’s Coverings Lounge provided showgoers with a designated and comfortable show floor space to network with peers, hear from industry leaders, gain professional knowledge, and attend happy hours with valuable prize giveaways. The four key tenets of Coverings 2023 – “Health & Wellness,” “Sustainability,” “Outdoor Spaces,” and “Timeless Luxury” – converged at this centrally located area through various activations, such as live demonstrations, displays, relevant market trends, and many hands-on activities.
The show floor at Coverings 2023 also featured the Art Tile Village, an area of creative displays that were of particular interest to architect and designer attendees. The Art Tile Village, which was dedicated to artisans who keep old-world traditions alive by crafting handmade art and specialty tiles, included a range of imaginative tile art designed by local and regional tile experts.
New to Coverings 2023 was the Distributor Lounge, sponsored by the Ceramic Tile Distributors Association and the North American Association of Floor Covering Distributors. This energetic new lounge provided attending distributors with a relaxing space to meet, unwind and network with peers and customers over light refreshments and snacks.
Showgoers of Coverings 2023 had the chance to explore more than 1,000 exhibit displays, encompassing the world’s most superb ceramic tile and natural stone selections, along with innovative equipment, tools and supplies. The exposition also provided attendees with near-countless examples of this year’s top tile trends. The trends were further highlighted by Alena Capra, owner of Alena Capra Designs, Certified Master Kitchen and Bath Designer and Coverings’ ambassador, through several onsite presentations and tours during this year’s show.
Show favorites for learning included the return of Coverings’ extensive offering of educational sessions focused upon three tracks: “Installation & Fabrication,” “Materials & Trends” and “Workforce & Profits.” Insights were shared with the latest information about ceramic tile and natural stone as the materials of choice, coupled with resourceful ideas for growing sales and business during the coming year.
Those interested in attending Coverings 2024, to be held April 22-25, 2024, at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, can sign up to be notified when event registration opens at www.coverings.com.