MARIETTA, GA -- Market Maker Events (MME) recently announced that plans for their regional Flooring Markets are moving forward for the first quarter of 2021. The Flooring Markets are scheduled for January 7 to 8, 2021, at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX; from January 28 to 29, 2021, at the Cobb Galleria Centre in Atlanta, GA; and from February 25 to 26, 2021, at the Mississippi Coast Convention Center in Biloxi, MS. MME would like to thank all of its exhibitors that are committed to supporting our industry and answering buyers needs by exhibiting in their regional markets.
“We fully intend to host our in-person regional markets,” said Lori Kisner, managing partner of MME. “The majority of exhibitors and attendees can drive to our markets, and as long as we’re able to bring our industry together for these extraordinary events safely, we will. We’re talking with our exhibitors and attendees every day and I can confidently say that our industry is ready to move forward. A survey sent last week to retailers showed an overwhelming response in support of continuing with our 2021 events as scheduled.”
Lacy Carver with Carver Floor & Tile in Tuscaloosa, AL, said, “I feel that the market [SEFM] is necessary for dealers to see new products in person. See, touch and feel! Digital imaging is great for some purposes and has come a long way over the years, however, no camera or computer can capture the beauty of texture and color like the human eye. With the overabundance of products on the market today, it is impossible for reps to get all the new products around to customers for them to see. The online world is already a great competitor for local dealers with showrooms. Omitting market shows and in person meetings will only increase the decay of our industry.”
Angelica Weber, project coordinator with Details Tile & Remodeling in Garland, TX, mentioned, “We love the Southwest Flooring Market (SWFM) and have been attending for two to three years now. Last year, we were able to attend the AT&T stadium tour and that was amazing! We will attend every year forever! We love seeing our current vendors and meeting new vendors; it’s a great time for our design team to see what is available. It’s also an awesome time to see our friends from within the industry; we love catching up with friends we haven’t seen in a while.”
Health & Safety
Health and safety are critical components for the upcoming Flooring Markets. The MME team is working diligently with convention center executives, vendors and state and local authorities to design the in-person experience. A preparedness plan with comprehensive health and safety guidelines and protocols will provide attendees with the safest experience possible.
“At this time, it’s mandatory for all attendees, exhibitors, building staff and show management staff to wear face masks inside each exhibition facility and maintain appropriate physical distancing,” said Barbara Stroup, managing partner of MME. “Masks will be available at registration upon request.”
Additional safety measures include:
- Increased hand sanitizer stations positioned through-out the convention center
- Increased aisle widths to help promote safe physical distancing
- Daily, heightened cleaning of all public spaces, exhibit halls, meeting rooms and registration areas
- Designated buyer hours for “at-risk” attendees
- Arrival appointment times to reduce congestion at the entrance and on the market floor
- Contactless registration process with pre-mailed badges
- Directional traffic in order to help manage traffic flow and encourage physical distancing
- Exhibitors are encouraged to design open booths to allow for open entry and exit points
- Exhibitors and buyers are encouraged to make appointments so that there is enough meeting time to show all needed products, features, and order placement
These plans may adapt and change to limit potential spread effectively.
“We will provide regular updates about the Flooring Markets to help all of our attendees make plans. As we’ve seen over the last six months, situations can change overnight,” said Stroup. “As show organizers, we are working to apply what we learn to produce a comfortable, productive market environment and a successful experience for everyone.”