Surfaces Highlights 2011 - March 2011
By Darius Helm, Anne Harr & Jessica Chevalier
Housed in the Mandalay Bay for the first time, Surfaces 2011 was a different show than it has been previously. The exhibit was still held on two floors. However, in 2011, the bottom floor was also home to StoneExpo/Marmomacc Americas, a significantly smaller show. In addition, unlike previous years in which the big booths were on the top floor and smaller booths were clustered together a level down, large and small booths were interspersed, with generous space between vendors.
There was a lot of talk among the exhibitors about the amount of traffic compared to previous shows; most concluded that it was difficult to judge the traffic level due to the new venue and layout. And many felt like it would take a few years in the space to truly judge the strength of the show—and the advantages of the new location. But most were optimistic about the new location.
Rather than featuring a panel discussion by industry leaders for this year’s general session, Aron Ralston, who happily embraces his designation as “the man who cut off his own arm,” was the speaker at this year’s session, which took place on Tuesday morning. Ralston narrated the story of how his right arm was pinned by a falling boulder during a 2003 hiking trip; his existence and thought process for the six days that he was trapped in the remote canyon in Utah; and, finally, his escape, by using a pen knife to saw off his arm. Though Ralston didn’t attempt to make any direct connection to the flooring or stone industries, his message of having courage in the face of adversity was applicable to a number of life’s challenges, business included.
For the complete Surfaces Wrap up, see the March 2011 issue of Floor Focus Magazine.
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