The International Surface Event 2017 - Dec 2016

By Ruth Simon McRae

Floorcovering dealers and suppliers will be flocking to Las Vegas this coming January to see the latest in every type of flooring product and accessory at The International Surface Event (TISE). Held at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center January 18 to 20, TISE brings together Surfaces, StonExpo/Marmomacc Americas and TileExpo.

TISE’s exposition floor is nearly 10% larger than in 2016, with an additional 25,000 square feet of exhibits. Approximately half of the exhibitors are floorcovering manufacturers. Attendance is also projected to be up 10% from 2016.

Many new faces will be seen at the show. Of the 140 exhibitors that didn’t show at last year’s expo, 82 are newcomers. Kronoflooring is back after a ten-year absence; Forbo and Ecore are back after seven years; Amorim Flooring is back after a three-year break. Couristan, Schluter Systems, Urban Floor and Taylor are all coming back to TISE after just one year away. Schluter also has a milestone anniversary this year, celebrating 50 years in tile installation solutions business.

EDUCATION
A key part of Surfaces will be the 2017 Ignite education program, running January 17 to 20. Ignite offers focused education and activities targeted specifically to designers, distributors, contractors, care and maintenance professionals, and retailers.

Many of the educational sessions qualify for certifications (such as AIA/CES, IDCEC, IICRC and AIBD). TISE also offers its own Masters Certification, which can be earned by attending eight hours of course work in Business/Retailing/Business Management, Installation, Stone Fabrication, Sustainability and Design Trends.

Architects and designers have a full day of education and activities on January 18, with sessions ranging from principles of design and color, trend forecasts and consumer insights to business development. There is also an off-site tour of the DesertSol House, a 754-square foot solar-powered home designed and built by University of Nevada Las Vegas for the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon competition. It is now housed in The Spring Preserve Botanical Gardens.

Design Day features a luncheon with Art Gensler, the architect who founded Gensler, speaking on the topic of “Unanticipated Opportunities.” Houzz, Karastan and Floor Focus/Floor Daily are sponsoring the luncheon.

Design inspiration and trend information as well as a preview of the hottest new products can be seen at the Trends Hub, sponsored by Floor Focus and Polycor. The Trends Chat in the Trends Hub will break down trends into five different influences, and will be presented by Stephanie Coffaro, designer and owner of Faro Creative. For those who want a quick read on the trends, the Speed Trending Tour will feature a presentation of curated products, moderated by Suzanne Winn of Carpet Distributors, based in Laguna Hills, California.

Houzz, an online platform for home remodeling and design, will be providing several educational opportunities. One highlight is the presentation of its annual homeowner study, a survey of 200,000 respondents that offers insights into planned renovations and the motivations behind these projects, as well as how consumers evaluate prospective building professionals.

Retailers have their own special day on January 19 that includes a huge array of courses covering trends, case studies, business best practices and technical topics. Retailer Day includes a tour of Zappos’ corporate campus, billed as “a 90-minute glimpse into the Zappos culture.”

Exhibits are organized in some distinct areas, such as the NWFA Hardwood Flooring Pavilion; the International Pavilion displaying products from India, China, Italy, Mexico, Pakistan and Turkey; and the Wools of New Zealand pavilion. Also not to be missed is the Social Learning Lab, which offers educational sessions about social media, as well as opportunities for attendees to blog and post from the show floor.

INSTALLATION SHOWCASE
Surfaces offers many opportunities for contractors to hone their skills with live demonstrations and instruction. The Installation Showcase explores some of the most common challenges facing flooring, stone and tile professionals today. Leading experts will explain the latest knowledge about installation, maintenance of carpet, hardwood, stone, resilient, laminate and more.

The Cage, sponsored by the Stone Fabricators Alliance, will be offering live demonstrations of the latest tools for installing and finishing natural stone products. And CFI will offer its Certified Floorcovering Installer Training & Certification in a two-day course at either entry or advanced levels. The training will focus on hands-on skills and knowledge for flooring installers with a minimum of two years of experience.

NETWORKING
Networking is a key component of any trade show, and Surfaces is no exception. Younger professionals will be given the opportunity to meet and mingle with each other during the Emerging Professionals event to be held at The Border Grill of the Mandalay Bay. As sponsor of the happy hour, Floor Focus will also announce winners of the Young Professional awards, recognizing excellence in up-and-coming professionals in the dealer segment.

Also for newcomers: in 2017, Surfaces will feature First Time Attendee Orientations, quick 20-minute sessions to help newcomers navigate the show floor and learn about the variety of events and activities available.

LEGENDARY LAS VEGAS
Las Vegas was founded as a city in 1905 with 22 residents and incorporated in 1911. In 1906, the Hotel Nevada opened, the oldest continuously operating hotel and casino in Las Vegas. It is still operating today, as the Golden Gate Hotel & Casino.

On July 3, 1930, President Herbert Hoover signed the appropriation bill for the Boulder Dam. When work started on the dam in 1931, Las Vegas’ population swelled from around 5,000 citizens to 25,000, mostly unattached men. Not coincidentally, Nevada legalized casino gambling and established a liberal six-week divorce policy in 1931.

The 1940s marked the opening of several early casinos. On April 3,1941, hotel owner Thomas Hull opened the El Rancho Vegas, the first resort on what would become the Las Vegas Strip. Following World War II, lavishly decorated hotels, gambling casinos and big-name entertainment became synonymous with Las Vegas.

Organized crime has been closely linked with old-time Las Vegas, yet actually mobsters did not own any casinos until after the war. In 1946, gangsters Bugsy Siegel and Meyer Lansky laundered their money through the Mormon-owned banks and built The Flamingo. The Golden Nugget also opened that year.

The notable Binion’s Horseshoe was established by Texas gambler Billy Binion in 1951. Most recently known as Binion’s Gambling Hall and Hotel, the operation closed in 2009. Two other historic casinos were established in 1952, the Sands and the Sahara. Crime bosses Lansky and Frank Costello also invested in the Sands.

Frank Sinatra became a headliner at the Sands in 1953. Sinatra’s elegance and style established the tone for the new Las Vegas. The “Rat Pack” came to town when Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Joey Bishop and Peter Lawford joined forces with Sinatra. The classic 1960 caper film Ocean’s 11 was filmed at the Sands. Along with comic Red Skelton and others, the group performed regularly in the hotel’s Copa Room.

In 1959, the classic iconic “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Nevada” sign was erected outside of the city.

The corporate world became a force in Las Vegas during the 1960s when Howard Hughes and others began developing hotels and casinos. In 1989, entrepreneur Steve Wynn opened up The Mirage, the Las Vegas Strip’s first mega-casino resort, starting a trend of major resort development on the Las Vegas Strip.

In all, there are 42 casinos on or alongside the Las Vegas Strip and over 100 in and around Las Vegas. And in terms of hotel rooms, the Strip offers 62,000.

Copyright 2016 Floor Focus