The 2007 Prism Award Grand Prize - The Getty Villa in Malibu, CA. Awardee: Michael Cernevale of Carnevale & Lohr, Inc.

With more than 1,200 exhibitors from 100 countries, 80 educational sessions, hundreds of new products, and the Spectrum and Prism Awards, organizers of Coverings 2008 say the show’s return to Orlando, Fla., April 29-May 2, may result in a significant increase in attendance for several reasons. Primarily, the standard opening day headliner is non-existent this year, as the show’s Orange County Convention Center venue will host six keynote speakers.

Also on the opening day’s agenda is the recognition of the A+D community with the annual Spectrum (ceramic tile) and Prism (natural stone) Awards Competition. The awards, which honor architectural creativity and achievement in ceramic tile and natural stone, offer more than $30,000 in prize money. Winners will be recognized at a special ceremony.

Speaking to the A+D segment will be American architects such as Gisue Hariri, Chad Oppenheim and a team from VOA Associates/Chicago; interior design experts such as Jamie Gibbs, TV personality Doug Wilson, and kitchen and bath designer Ellen Cheever. Also slated are color experts Leatrice Eiseman and trend forecaster Maxine Lauer; Katie Weeks, senior editor of Contract; Barbara Dixon, editor-in-chief of Cottages & Gardens magazine; and Alexia Brue, a Luxury Spa Finder contributor.

Distributors, installers, retailers, builder-remodelers architects, fabricators, and designers will find a wide spectrum of educational seminars and conferences offered - all of which qualify for AIA, ASID, IIDA or NKBA CEU credits.

Attendees will also find evening networking events, contractor workshops featuring live installations on the expo floor’s main stage, new special interest group meetings and more. Additionally, the return of the “Bring Your Client” program, a perk according to A+ D community members polled last year, will again allow two VIP clients of architects and interior designers to attend the show free of charge.

As a final benefit for attendees, one winner will leave Florida on Friday, May 2, with a 2008 Harley-Davidson FLSTF Fat Boy motorcycle that boasts a 1582cc twin cam engine, re-tuned exhaust system, 200mm wide rear tire, custom chopped rear fender, and more.

Coverings 2008 is sponsored by several national and international associations, including: National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA), ASCER (Spain’s Ceramic Tile Manufacturers Association), Confindustria Ceramica (Italian Association of Ceramics), (Association of Italian Ceramic Tile and Refractories Manufacturers), Tile Council of North America (TCNA), and Ceramic Tile Distributors Association (CTDA).

For more information on registration or attendance, visit or call (703) 683-8500.

Coverings 2009 will return to Chicago’s McCormick Place Convention Center, April 21-24.