A record number of architects and designers, many lured by the promise of free admission, helped increase attendance at the year’s Coverings to nearly 37,000. Show organizers say half of the show’s attendance came from first time visitors. They noted that the decision to hold Coverings in Chicago this year after a long history of meetings in Orlando, Fla., clearly paid off.
“With more showgoers than
ever before from the East North Central, Mountain and Pacific West states,
there is clear evidence that Coverings exceeded its goals to expand to new
audiences,” said Coverings show management company National Trade Productions
in a statement.
Attendance at Coverings rose in
a number of categoriesl. Most notable was a 90% increase in the number of architects and designers over last
year. Many were on hand as guests of attendees in the flooring business who were
encouraged to invite a client for free.
Also up was attendance among contractors which grew by 22 percent. Retailer
participation was up 17 percent and the number of those involved in the distributor
side of the stone business rose nearly 8 percent. In a regional breakdown,
attendance from the East North Central region was up 48 percent, visits from
the Pacific West grew to 28 percent, and participation from the Mountain states
rose 22 percent.
call for Coverings to return to Chicago in 2009 as part of a schedule that now
alternates the show between the two cities. The show is scheduled to return to
Orlando next year at the Orange County Convention Center, April 29 to May 2.