Here we are, just weeks after Coverings 2008's conclusion and people are still abuzz about what they experienced during the four-day event. From manufacturers to attendees (first-time and veteran), all have commented on what the show had to offer in terms of new business and opportunities.

One reader and first-time Coverings attendee, Joe Vartanesian from North Carolina, shared his impressions with me. “Overall, it was well worth the time and expense – the knowledge will be of great value to me today and in the immediate future,” he said, adding that there were ample opportunities to watch various demonstrations, attend educational sessions, make new contacts, renew old ones, visit booths, and so on.

Exhibiting manufacturers also agreed that despite the decline in foot traffic, the term quality not quantity came to mind. For the complete story of what they and others had to say, see this issue’s Industry News section, or visit our website (www.tilemagonline.com) for items that are exclusive to our website.

As for what’s on everyone’s mind lately, the economic state of our nation, the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel seems to be ringing true.

According to a recent report by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), Baby Boomers are electing to stay in their current homes, and as a result, are turning to remodelers to make the changes they need for their current lifestyle.

Additionally, the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) reports that “more than 84 percent of people age 50 and older want to stay in their homes as they age.” Remember what I said last month in my column: “Open your eyes, check your surroundings, and expand your client’s options through your vision for their space.” What you see as a small job now could turn into a more lucrative account later – as early as the first quarter of 2009, which is when industry forecasters have predicted economic improvements.

Having said that, what methods have you explored or implemented in your daily workload to help alleviate any monetary shortcomings? We’re all in this together so share your comments by emailing me at nalbandiana@bnpmedia.com for an upcoming Web Exclusive article.

Finally, staying informed and educated about the industry will only add to your arsenal of offerings to your clients. We can help add to your repertoire by providing the latest information available daily via our website (www.tilemagonline.com) or with our monthly subscription-only e-Newsletter. If you haven’t signed up for TILE’s e-Newsletter yet, do so now (it’s free!) so you won’t miss another valuable and informative issue filled with opportunities!