Coverings returned to the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL, this year, and offered attendees several new attractions and a host of the latest innovations in tile design. The 2012 edition of the annual International Tile & Stone Show, which took place from April 17 to 20, drew exhibitors and visitors from around the world to display and view a broad collection of tile, stone, and installation and maintenance products. And according to National Trade Productions (NTP), the show’s management, attendance at this year’s exhibition was up 19% from last year -- with registration totaling more than 22,000. Most noticeable was a huge spike in attendance among architects and designers, which jumped 84%. Additionally, attendance among distributors was up 16% and attendance among installers and contractors rose 26%.
The large exhibition hall featured a seemingly endless collection of the latest tile and stone product lines as well as the newest developments in installation and maintenance products. Many manufacturers took advantage of the international audience by introducing their most recent product developments. Moreover, live demonstrations were also seen on the show floor from industry experts, such as the Tile Council of North America.
With such a diverse group of exhibitors, many were grouped in international pavilions throughout the exhibit hall. Among a few of the larger delegations represented were the Ceramics of Italy, Tile Council of North America and Tile of Spain. Other pavilions included Brazil and China.
Ceramics of Italy drew a daily crowd to its new 3,000-square-foot pavilion, which was named “Piazza Ceramica.” The association had held an “Exhibit Design Challenge” to find the designer of its new booth. Eva Perez de Vega and Ian Gordon of e+i studio in New York, NY, were announced as the winning team.
Tile of Spain also attracted a number of people each day with its offering of wine and tapas every afternoon as well as daily 30-minute educational seminars given by Ryan Fasan, Technical Consultant for Tile of Spain.