Surfaces Highlights 2012 - March 2012
By Darius Helm, Anne Harr and Jessica Chevalier
Many in the flooring industry were waiting for the second year of Surfaces at Mandalay Bay to see if the show would rise or flounder, and it turns out the show was a success. According to Hanley Wood, which owns and produces the show, attendance was up 10%, the biggest growth in attendance since 2008.
Surfaces 2012 featured 546 exhibiting companies in close to 300,000 square feet of show floor. More than 130 companies exhibited at the show for the first time. Over 100 of the exhibitors were from foreign countries, and the international presence accounted for about 18% of total show participation.
This year there was little talk about whether it would be a growth year or flat or down. People didn’t have time for that. They were at the show with specific agendas and crowded schedules, and according to exhibitors, they were there to do business.
The atmosphere was busy but not loud, which may help explain why so many observers thought traffic was down or at best flat. The first day certainly seemed slow, but the momentum steadily grew, and the third day, traditionally a quiet day where all the exhibitors go around to look at their competitors’ booths, ended up busier than usual.
There were a few changes this year, like no opening session or leadership panel. And there were some missing exhibitors. Gone from the show floor were Pergo, Formica, Mullican, Somerset, Tarkett/Johnsonite, BR-111, Monticello, Roppe, Flexco, B Carpet, Milliken and Mohawk, which was at the show in 2011 representing its Wear-Dated brand. It will be interesting to see who comes back next year, now that the show exhibited growth and with signs that key parts of the economy may be showing some badly needed stability.
One of the biggest exhibitors, Mannington, was back on the show floor this year, and one of the fastest growing carpet companies, Engineered Floors, made its Surfaces debut this year now that it has acquired Dream Weaver.
For the complete Surfaces wrap up, see the March 2012 issue of Floor Focus Magazine.
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