Show organizers said that attendance for Coverings 2008, held April 29 to May 2 in Orlando, Fla., fell slightly from 37,000 to 35,000 showgoers compared to last year’s event in Chicago. However, Coverings management added that attendance was up 3.8 percent over the last outing in Orlando, in 2006. Organizers said the increase in Orlando attendance points to the “hardiness” of the tile and stone segment in the area.
“We knew it was a challenge to try
and repeat or top the numbers we achieved last year in Chicago,” said Glenn
Feder, president of show management company National Trade Productions. “But
this year’s number has to be interpreted as a bellwether for the building
industry. Though there’s a slowdown, there’s no standstill.”
He added that while the housing
market was still challenging, “there’s still plenty of construction,
remodeling, opportunities and needs for tile and stone.”
Compared to 2006 numbers, 56.6
percent more remodelers/contractors and 41 percent more commercial builders
attended the show this year. Additionally, architect and designer numbers rose
about 40 percent, partly due to a “Bring Your Client” program where members of
the A&D community were encouraged to bring VIP clients to the show for
attendance was only slightly down, the show’s board of directors announced that
they would hold off from opening a “Coverings L.A. Boutique” show planned for
Nov. 19-20 in Long Beach, Calif. The show would have been the first Coverings
event on the West Coast. No new dates have been announced yet.
“We know we’ve disappointed
many exhibitors who had signed on for November, but the board agreed that it would be prudent to hold off until
the economic climate is a little calmer and more stabilized,” Feder said.