The halls of the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV, were filled with the buzz of excited attendees at the start of The International Surface Event (TISE), which took place from January 28 to 30, with the educational program beginning on January 27. Hanley Wood Exhibitions reported that the exhibition, which includes Surfaces | StonExpo/Marmomacc Americas | TileExpo, experienced a 7% increase over last year’s event — “a strong indicator of the industry’s growth and bright future in a period of continued economic recovery.”

Exhibitors and attendees at this year’s show hailed from 90 countries with significant representation from global markets such as Italy, Germany, Spain, China, Canada and Mexico, stated Hanley Wood Exhibitions. A total of 706 exhibiting companies showcased their products and services on two floors of the convention center covering just under 350,000 total square feet. Of the exhibitors, 20% were new participants, further illustrating the expansion of the floorcovering, stone and tile industries in both residential and commercial design and construction markets. Throughout the two stories of exhibition space, a wide range of new products were on display and live demonstrations of tools, equipment and installation products were regularly taking place.

“The International Surface Event 2014 was one of the strongest in recent history,” said Dana Teague, Vice President of Hanley Wood Exhibitions. “You could feel the excitement throughout the halls during all three days of the show.”

At TileExpo, many of the leading tile manufacturers were on hand, showcasing their latest product innovations. Tile collections continue to increase in size and texture, and finishes have become so refined. Wood-look tile has maintained its popularity, and product lines now include distressed and hand-scraped aesthetics. Additionally, stone-look tiles are still bountiful and decorative and mosaic tiles were also on display.

There were also many material setting manufacturers exhibiting at TileExpo. With so many new tile formats and thicknesses, these companies are responding and developing installation products that are appropriate for each tile application. Many booths offered live demonstrations for attendees to view.

And for the first time, the Advanced Certifications for Tile Installers (ACT) program conducted live certification tests, allowing attendees to witness the test procedures and to understand the skill requirements necessary to pass certification in the ACT Program. ACT addresses four technically challenging installation areas of current importance: Large-Format Tile Installation and Substrate Preparation, Mudwork, Shower Pans and Membranes. A specific certification will demonstrate the installer’s skill in each of these four segments.

Partners in the development initiative of the ACT program are: Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF), providing training and certification for any installer; Tile Contractors Association of America (TCAA), representing IUBAC signatory tile contractors; International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers (IUBAC), whose members are skilled tilesetters who have completed a multi-year apprenticeship as well as other trained masonry craftworkers; International Masonry Institute, which provides professional and technical training for union masonry contractors; and National Tile Contractors Association, with membership open to all tile contracting companies. Tile Council of North America (TCNA) manufacturer members companies contributed to development of the modules and tests.

Also returning to the show floor this year was the New Product Marketplace. Sponsored by TILE Magazine, Contemporary Stone and Tile Design, Stone World, Floor Covering Installer and Floor Trends, this area — stationed at the entrance to the exhibition hall — gave attendees the opportunity to preview some of the newest products and then go visit the manufacturer or supplier in their booth.

With TISE deemed a success, over 80% of exhibitors have already committed for the January 2015 event, which will be co-dated with the International Builders’ Show (IBS), the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) and the Las Vegas Market, according to Hanley Wood Exhibitions. The show will return to the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas from January 20 to 23, 2015.

“We are excited to partner with these shows to promote Design & Construction Week, which will allow attendees from all four events the opportunity to conveniently attend all,” said Teague. “The future of the floorcovering, stone and tile industries looks bright.”

Hanley Wood Exhibitions recently announced the launch of TISE East, which will be held October 20 to 22, 2014, with the educational program beginning on October 19, at the Miami Beach Convention Center in Miami Beach, FL. “There has been tremendous enthusiasm industry-wide about the addition of a fall show, said Amie Gilmore, Associate Show Director for The International Surface Event (TISE).   “Attendance by the architect and design communities is expected to be significant based on the large number of show inquiries from this audience segment.”