Tile is produced in all parts of the world, which makes traveling in this industry inevitable. As a business professional, I have been afforded the opportunity to travel to several countries throughout the years, which has been a very humbling experience, to say the least.
Although many would deem themselves “outside of their comfort zone,” I use each trip outside of the U.S. as a chance to embrace another culture and its history of tile production. I’ve been blessed to meet many people from all walks of life, which has been incredibly rewarding and invaluable. With each voyage, I’m welcomed with open arms and hearts, and every country has taught me something new about life. As I like to tell people, traveling keeps me grounded.
While we can sit here and argue which countries produce the best tile products (which I certainly won’t), what I can say is that each country I’ve visited has an admirable sense of pride for the goods they create. It’s seen in manufacturers’ day-to-day operations, the time-tested methods they utilize and the candor of their employees.
This year, I visited Spain and Turkey to attend two of the largest international ceramic tradeshows. I observed a myriad of growing trends, but also garnered a different perspective of the industry. In the beginning of February, I ventured to Valencia, Spain, to attend the 36th edition of Cevisama, which attracted more than 90,000 visitors this year. Head over to pg. 42 to view some of the products I discovered this year.
Two weeks after returning from Cevisama, I journeyed more than 5,000 miles to Istanbul, Turkey, to attend the country’s largest ceramic and sanitaryware show, Unicera. The global event spanned over 860,000 square feet, with more than 1,000 ceramic companies in attendance. To learn more about my experience, flip to pg. 46.
Although we have a strong international presence, our U.S. audience is just as important to us. I say this as I anxiously prepare to attend Coverings in Atlanta, the largest tile and stone event in North America. I’m eager to learn about the new product developments and standards, as well as anything else the interactive tradeshow has to offer.
I will be documenting all of my finds during the upcoming event on Instagram, as I do each time I travel, so make sure to follow me @heather_of_tilemagazine. Interaction is only one click away.