Design and Construction Week 2015 - Dec 2014

By Calista Sprague and Darius Helm

One week, three venues, seven expos—those attending Design and Construction Week in Las Vegas, January 19 to 23, will be partaking in the largest residential building and design showcase in U.S. history. The already impressive International Surface Event (TISE), which combines shows for Surfaces, StonExpo/Marmomacc Americas and TileExpo, will run concurrently with the International Builder Show (IBS), the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS), the International Window Coverings Expo (IWCE) and Las Vegas Market. Never before have so many building and design products and services been offered in one place. 

Each tradeshow will retain its individual identity, but the events will run simultaneously in nearby venues, allowing attendees to pick and choose from an unprecedented array of expo and education options. Registration for one show will garner access to all five events, so registration fees won’t break the bank. Time, however, will be at a premium. Seeing all anticipated 3,750 exhibitors across 4.7 million square feet in five short days is simply not feasible.

With so much to navigate, it’s essential for attendees to make the most of their time. The information provided below should help attendees determine what the different shows offer and the best ways to navigate them. Next month’s issue will offer a preview of the 2015 product and program introductions planned for Surfaces. 

The most relevant show for the flooring industry is still Surfaces, which is part of TISE (The International Surface Event). TISE also includes the stone show, StonExpo/Marmomacc Americas, and a brand new tile show added last year, called TileExpo. 

The largest event for carpet, hardwood, laminate, LVT, natural and engineered stone, porcelain tile and more, TISE offers the latest in products, tools and services from a vast array of manufacturers and providers on two levels of the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. Thousands of retailers, distributors, installers, architects, designers and builders attend TISE each year to keep abreast of industry innovations, to network with fellow professionals and to learn more about virtually every facet of the flooring and surfaces industry. 

Exhibitors on the show floor will be grouped for ease of navigation, and show floor highlights will include the Cleaning Restoration Pavilion, the NWFA Hardwood Flooring Pavilion, Tool Alley, the International pavilions, a specialty product pavilion with non-flooring items called Artisan Avenue, Product Marketplace, Trends Hub and Wools of New Zealand. And the Social Media Lounge will provide opportunities for attendees to learn from social media experts. 

An education program offers sessions on a myriad of flooring topics, and many sessions qualify attendees for certifications with organizations such as AIA/CES, IDCEC, IICRC and AIBD. After completing eight hours of coursework during the show, attendees can earn TISE Masters Certification in areas such as business/retail, installation, stone fabrication, sustainability and design/trends. Expert instruction, demonstrations and hands-on training will also take place throughout the show on the exhibition floor. 

Last month, Hanley Wood announced the sale of its exhibitions business to Informa PLC, a British international publishing and events company. Hanley Wood owns TISE and Greenbuild, as well as World of Concrete, which takes place in Las Vegas in early February. Hanley Wood will continue as official media and information provider. 

The National Association of Home Builders annually hosts IBS, touted as “the largest annual light construction show in the world.” Building products, services and tools will be exhibited across the convention floor, and more than 100 education sessions will be taught by industry experts on a variety of topics from sales and marketing to building codes. The highest rated speakers from last year will return, along with 70 new voices with fresh perspectives. Master Sessions offer smaller class sizes and the chance to consult with designers and architects with your own building plans. 

At the Tech Hub, attendees can learn about new technology and platforms for running business more efficiently or for marketing to consumers. And The New American Home, NAHB’s show home, displays cutting edge efficiency, technology and sustainability in a contemporary house.

Plenty of manufacturers of flooring and flooring related products will be exhibiting at IBS, including Daltile, Armstrong, Carlisle Wide Plank Floors, Lumber Liquidators, Schönox, Ann Sacks, Laticrete and Henry/Ardex. CCA Global’s FEI Group will also have a space, as will NALFA, the North American Laminate Flooring Association.

Hosted by the National Kitchen and Bath Association, KBIS showcases the latest kitchen and bath products, trends and technologies. In anticipation of this year’s combined tradeshow event, KBIS plans to offer more leading brands, the latest product launches and wider industry exposure for attendees. Awards will be given to the Best of KBIS, and attendees can view all the product entries. 

KBIS NeXT will feature a Tech Bar, a Future Haus Kitchen by Virginia Tech and additional KBIS exhibitors, and the NeXT stage will present the latest innovations and live programming, including expert panel discussions, award announcements and more. 

HGTV and DIY Network will hold open auditions, scouting for new television show hosts, and visitors can also join the #KBTribe Progressive Chat, tweeting and chatting about design trends and innovations found along the show floor. 

Floor tile manufacturers and importers, like Eleganza, Arizona Tile, Fiandre and Ann Sacks, will be exhibiting, along with laminate producer Abet, underfloor heat provider Warmly Yours, and many more.

IWCE, the International Window Coverings Expo, features products, technologies and networking opportunities for anyone in the business of fabricating or selling interior or exterior window coverings. Architects, designers, retailers, fabricators and installers attend the show each year. It’s much smaller than shows like Surfaces and KBIS, but it’s still a good bet for flooring retailers that have either already diversified into window coverings or are considering doing so.

Attendees can choose from an expansive list of educational and CEU-accredited seminars focused on design, fabrication and business, taught by industry experts. Designology allows attendees to delve further into window covering topics with pre-show webinars, post-show follow-up and individual time with each instructor. 

The Construction Zone returns as a hub where workroom experts share their techniques, and the International Contemporary Furniture Fair Pavilion will showcase the best in global design and luxury. New this year, the Architect’s Pavilion and Lounge will feature sustainable exterior solutions from Europe, a seminar on engineered shading solutions, and information about the latest in custom window coverings at IWCE. 

One of the most comprehensive furniture, home decor and gift markets in the U.S., Las Vegas Market features over 2,000 resources in five million square feet, including 850,000 square feet of new products added this year. Retailers and designers can shop for floorcoverings, furniture, bedding and mattresses, lighting, accessories, home textiles, gifts and more. 

What makes Las Vegas distinct from the other shows is that it is made up of permanent showrooms (like the showroom floors of NeoCon) as opposed to pipe and drape set-ups for temporary booths.
Must-see exhibits include: Better Home Decor and Textiles, C-One tabletop, accessories and gifts, the Las Vegas Design Center, the Lifestyle Collection, the furniture market, the National Bedding Market and Modern Trends.

In recent years, Las Vegas Market has become a big show for area rug manufacturers, in part because of the volume of rugs sold through furniture stores. This year, area rug exhibitors include Oriental Weavers, Dalyn, Mohawk’s Karastan and American Rug Craftsmen, Feizy, Kalaty, Kas, Surya, Momeni, Loloi, Nourison, Orian, Safavieh, Natco and Liora Manné.

A steady stream of shuttles will be working to ferry people between the three locations—Mandalay Bay at one end of the Strip, the Las Vegas Convention Center toward the other end, and World Market Center even further north at the edge of downtown Las Vegas. Nevertheless, it’s going to be challenging for even the most athletic of attendees.

It’s a challenge for manufacturers as well, particularly stone, tile and area rug producers, because several of these shows are ideal for their product offerings.

Daltile, for instance, makes stone and tile flooring and also fabricates stone slab, so it theoretically belongs at Surfaces, TileExpo, StonExpo, KBIS and even IBS. The TISE shows have been straightforward for Daltile for the last few years, with the firm taking a large space at the front of the lower level, essentially in the TileExpo area but adjacent to the other two shows.

Daltile has shown at both KBIS and IBS in the past. This year, the firm is forgoing KBIS, and its largest footprint will be at IBS. It will have a smaller presence than in recent years at TISE, this time in association with the National Tile Contractors Association and the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation.

Crossville, which is primarily a commercial tile company, will be exhibiting at Surfaces this year, though in a smaller space, but again in that central location that brings all three shows within arm’s reach. 

The firm won’t be at KBIS but it will still have some visibility there, working with partners and like-minded companies, including Toto and cabinet companies like Wood-Mode. Crossville is working with these firms on both catalog visuals and show vignettes, and the firm also works with Toto on reusing its porcelain waste.

Florida Tile has exhibited at KBIS since its first expo a few years ago, but its main focus has always been Coverings—in part because East Coast dealers are more relevant to the firm’s business. For the last few years it has had a meeting room at Surfaces, but this year it won’t be offering one. However, it will have a space at KBIS, exhibiting flooring and other products.

Mapei will retain its large booth at Surfaces this year, and it’s showing at World of Concrete a couple of weeks later, also in Las Vegas. It’ll show at the NWFA and Coverings expos in March as well. Mapei also participates at StonExpo and KBIS (along with Surfaces) in the education programs.

Oriental Weavers has historically had a prominent presence at Surfaces with its distinctive monolithic black-walled showroom, and it has also had a showroom in Las Vegas Market for about seven years. However, Oriental Weavers hasn’t shown at Surfaces since 2012, and it won’t be exhibiting this year either. But it expects a lot of traffic at its permanent space at the World Market Center, including plenty of folks shuttling over from Surfaces at Mandalay Bay.

Floor Focus also spoke with several retailers headed to Vegas for Design and Construction Week, and it turns out that most of them will be largely focusing on one show, with plans to visit the other expos as time permits. One of the larger retailers, New Jersey’s Avalon Flooring, which has 14 locations, mostly in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, will be coming to Vegas to go to Surfaces for its wood, vinyl and laminate programs, but it won’t be doing tile business there. Instead, the firm goes to Coverings, and for area rugs it goes to the Rug Market in Atlanta.

In general, most flooring retailers report that Surfaces will be their main show, though several intend to spend time at Las Vegas Market to take in all the area rug offerings. And some retailers that have been diversifying beyond flooring are considering visiting KBIS to see what sort of kitchen and bath products will be on display.

Several retailers pointed out that even shows like Surfaces, which feature all flooring categories, don’t cover the whole market, because the giant players like Shaw and Mohawk no longer exhibit there. So retailers must also go to their regional shows, which take place in December and January.

Copyright 2014 Floor Focus

Related Topics:Crossville, Daltile, Carlisle Wide Plank Floors, Coverings, Armstrong Flooring, The American Institute of Architects, The International Surface Event (TISE), Greenbuild International Conference and Expo, Karastan, FEI Group, Lumber Liquidators, Surya, Mohawk Industries, Shaw Industries Group, Inc., Laticrete, NWFA Expo