This year at Coverings – the largest American exhibition of ceramic stone and tile – the Italians are reinventing the trade show experience. To make the exhibition as enjoyable and constructive as possible for the A&D community, Ceramic Tiles of Italy will host a private After Hours event on Thursday, April 23 in the North Hall of McCormick Place. After the general show dims its lights at 5:30 p.m., the Italian Pavilion’s doors will still be open for two more hours, offering more time for those who are unable to attend the show during normal business hours to take in all the latest collections and technological developments in Italian tile.

In addition to browsing the avant-garde exhibits from the nearly 60 Italian tile manufacturers participating in Coverings this year, guests will have the rare opportunity to speak one-on-one with representatives from each company to discuss which products will fit their specific project requirements. They will also have extended access to view the winning projects from the 2009 Ceramic Tiles of Italy Design Competition, which showcase the versatility of Italian tile in commercial, residential or institutional settings.

Preregistered guests will receive a special A&D Tour Bag, full of information on the Italian tile industry, participating Coverings exhibitors and sustainability efforts. Special raffle cards will also be given out for the chance to win a free trip to Bologna, Italy to attend Cersaie 2009 (the world’s largest exhibition of ceramic tile and bathroom furnishings). For a little extra “la dolce vita,” authentic risotto and wine from the main tile-producing regions of Italy will be served at various stations in the Italian Pavilion throughout the night.