The NTCA/TCNA installation demonstrations at the North American Pavilion Stage will be a key component of Coverings 2006.

Organizers of Coverings 2006 plan to welcome more than 32,000 attendees to the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla., April 4-7. The show will feature a range of industry-specific seminars and installation demonstrations.

Show organizers say this year's event has the potential to be one of the busiest ever for Coverings, with double-digit increases expected from distributors, architects, designers, fabricators and contractors. In addition, organizers are expecting more than 1,200 exhibitors from at least 50 countries to attend the four-day event. Major tile manufacturers and fabricators from North America, Spain, Italy, Brazil and Turkey are among those slated to showcase their latest products and services.

Paco Underhill, a retail anthropologist and noted author, will kickoff the show on April 4 with a keynote address that will explore the science of shopping. His presentation offers insight into the psyche of consumers and their buying habits, drawing examples from his best-selling book "Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping."

For installers, the Tile Council of North America and the National Tile Contractors Association are planning a series of installation demonstrations at the North American Pavilion Stage. Justin Woelfel Jr., NTCA's director of training and education, will lead several of these demonstrations, as will technical experts from throughout the industry.

Retail scientist Paco Underhill will give the keynote speech at Coverings on the science of shopping.
Coverings will also host the annual Spectrum and Prism awards. A total of $18,000 in prizes will be awarded by a panel of independent judges at the Spectrum Awards, honoring the best ceramic tile installations of the past year. One entrant will walk away with the grand prize of $10,000. First prize and award of merit winners for both residential and commercial categories will receive prizes of up to $8,000. Winners will be announced at the start of Coverings.

Coverings will also house this year's Prism Stone in Architecture Awards, which recognizes the top natural stone installations in residential, institutional and commercial projects. The Marble Institute of America and Architectural Record, the official publication of the American Institute of Architects, are coordinating the competition.

The Prism Stone in Architecture Awards features a $10,000 grand prize, as well as up to $9,000 for first prize and merit of award winners in each of three categories: Residential, Commercial and Institutional.

Winners will be decided by an independent panel of judges, and announced at the start of Coverings.

At least two Coverings exhibitors will give away major prizes to attendees at the show, including a Ford pick-up truck and a full range of premium tools. Members of several Brazilian trade associations will have a hand in giving away the truck, including the Brazilian Association of Ceramic Tile Manufacturers, the Brazilian Association for Dimension Stone Industry and the Brazilian Export Promotion Agency.

The NTCA will coordinate the tool giveaways. Products in the drawing include QEP wet saws and diamond blades, Sigma Tools tile cutters and a Racatac Master Rac adjustable grouting and cleaning machine. Coverings attendees can enter for the prizes by dropping off a form at one of several designated bins situated throughout the exhibit hall.

For more information, call (703) 683-8500 or