St. Louis, MO, April 24, 2014 -- Attendance at the National Wood Flooring Association’s Wood Flooring Expo grew by 30%, with attendance topping 3,000 for the first time in more than five years.
The show, held in Nashville, had 20 more companies on the floor than in 2013, with 51 first-time exhibitors.
“We’re very pleased with this growth,” said Michael Martin, NWFA president & CEO.
“It demonstrates that our industry is recovering after a sustained economic downturn. To have our show grow 30% in 2012, 20% in 2013, and now 30% again in 2014, is an indication that we can finally relax a little as an industry and start to enjoy our successes.”
The NWFA completely overhauled the Expo in 2012, rebuilding the show, and the show staff, from the ground up. “We’ve tweaked the show a bit each year since then,” said Martin, “but essentially, we’ve found a formula that works for our industry that we’re pretty happy with.”
Changes in 2014 included additional trade show hours, as well as expanded education hours.
“This year, we tried something new as well in response to attendee surveys,” Martin explains. “We added a three-hour Wood Flooring University track on the last day of the show to give our attendees a deep-dive into issues affecting their businesses. We had tracks for certification, contractors, and for distributors and manufacturers. We also added a mill tour to our program, hosted by Somerset Hardwood Flooring, in conjunction with two continuing education units for architects and designers. This is the first time we’ve offered this kind of tour to reinforce our education sessions, and we had a waiting list of people wanting to participate. It was very well-received.”
Another education change was adding the NWFACP Symposium to the front end of the show and bringing in speakers that had expertise in areas impacting certified professionals. This helped to increase Symposium attendance by more than 50% from 2013.