Winter Shows Preview: Shows are finding their footing again following the pandemic - December 2022
By Jennifer Bardoner
Last year marked a tentative return to in-person events as lockdowns lifted and people began to again move about. Surfaces returned to its usual place on the calendar in early February of this year. However, the nation was trying to fend off Omicron, dampening attendance at what is North America’s premier industrywide flooring show. Across the Atlantic, Europe’s leading floorcoverings show, Domotex, was again canceled amid the ongoing uncertainty and renewed restrictions. Many will also remember that CCA Global’s winter meeting was canceled last January. But it appears that, finally, things may be returning to normal, including next year’s show schedule.
Noting the impact of Omicron at the last show, Surfaces director Dana Hicks expects an uptick of at least 10% in attendance at the 2023 event, to be held January 31 to February 2 at Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. “I think we’ll be at 85% to 90% of a banner year,” he says, pointing to the strong attendance in 2019 and 2020.
Though the pandemic may have diminished attendance, it heightened the caliber of attendees, he notes. “Everyone is more careful about who they send, and if they’re coming to the show, they have real business to do,” Hicks explains. “We definitely notice that the quality of attendees is better than ever.”
After a nearly 20-year hiatus, the Shaw Floors brand returned to the show in 2022 and will be exhibiting again next year along with sister brands Coretec, Anderson Tuftex and Philadelphia Commercial. “Shaw is bigger than ever,” Hicks says, adding, “All our bellwether companies will be there. None of them are lacking.”
With registration already underway, he says domestic participation will be “really strong” and international participation is tracking well, particularly from Canada, Europe and South America. “Asia is coming back, but that’s still limited,” says Hicks. “There’s still plenty of product offerings, and while Asia is down, there is an uptick from India. Attendees will get a sampling from other parts of the world they haven’t seen before.”
Just as the exhibitor and attendee lists are swelling, so too is the educational lineup. Instead of two stages, there will be four next year, one for each of the product categories represented. The Surfaces Theater, TileExpo Theater, StonExpoTheater and Natural Stone Theater will be located on the show floor in their respective halls, allowing for easy access so that attendees don’t have to take too much time away from finding and sourcing product. Additionally, the ever-popular product demonstration stage will offer a chance to delve into the details of featured selections from the floor’s offerings.
Two new pavilions will be added next year, including one dedicated to a renewed category for the show-Cover Connect, which will feature bespoke handloomed area rugs. “We haven’t had that type of representation in a lot of years at Surfaces, so it’s nice to have that back,” says Hicks.
The other will focus on sustainability. “That certainly is a world initiative; I think it’s an industry initiative, and it’s really an Informa initiative,” he says. “As we talk to manufacturers such as Mohawk, sustainability is a very big part of how they approach manufacturing nowadays, and the end user is so interested in that and becoming more acutely aware of it. It’s more important to them when they’re making buying decisions.”
With a goal of becoming the number one event owner in the world with a net-neutral environmental impact, show host Informa Markets has quietly had sustainability on the agenda for years, working to reduce the show’s footprint and to donate leftover product and materials to nonprofits that can use or distribute them. The new pavilion will showcase such efforts, including those of other companies.
After launching at this year’s event, the women’s leadership conference will return in 2023 with a half day of content and a networking reception the day before the exhibit halls open. “It is our fastest-growing conference program,” Hicks says. “Women are stepping up and looking for that leadership and organization around it, so we are working with any standing association within the industry to come together. We’re going to promote this to exhibitors as well this year. There is interest from all facets.”
For more event information, visit intlsurfaceevent.com.
The world’s largest show dedicated to all types of floorcoverings (with the exception of ceramic), Domotex draws an international audience-which made it impossible to host in 2021 and 2022. “I am convinced that the visitors who will attend [in 2023] will certainly be interested in buying and will bring a large purchasing volume with them,” says Sonia Wedell-Castellano, global director of Domotex, which typically has events in Asia, as well. “We have received a lot of positive feedback from exhibitors and visitors about the upcoming Domotex. Everyone agrees that the last few years, when the show couldn’t take place, showed that something was missing, and anticipation for Domotex in January is high.”
To be held January 12 to 15 in Hanover, Germany, the fair offers an international perspective on the intersection of different categories and trends, which tend to originate in Europe before making their way to the States. While Wedell-Castellano is expecting roughly half the usual number of exhibitors, the more than 700 on the show floor will include market leaders such as CFL Flooring, Design Parquet, HMTX, Swiss Krono, Välinge and I4F. “As expected, we are not yet at the pre-Covid level, partly due to the current difficult conditions such as economic recession and rising production costs,” she says. “In addition, there are still considerable travel restrictions, which simply make it more difficult for our exhibitors to take part in a trade fair abroad. What is decisive for us, however, is that many relevant companies will be exhibiting.”
To help attendees better navigate the eight halls featuring exhibitors from more than 50 countries, the team has moved the exhibition grounds completely to the north and optimized the hall plan to ensure shorter walking distances. “Especially in these challenging times, trade fairs offer reliable business platforms,” notes Wedell-Castellano. “At Domotex, all senses are addressed, challenged and stimulated. The carpet and flooring sector absolutely needs this in order to be successful.”
New on the show floor next year will be Mood Spaces, designed by five international interior architects, such as Sebastian Herkner and Holly Becker, to bring the interplay between floorcoverings and interior design to life in tangible ways via room scenes.
In keeping with the theme of Domotex 2023, “Floored by Nature,” Wedell-Castellano says the Domotex on Stage conference program will offer a holistic view of the challenges of sustainable design. Centering on sustainability and the circular economy, the lineup includes presentations and discussions featuring speakers from politics, associations, interior design and retail. “The topics of sustainability, environmental protection and circular economy are more relevant to the flooring industry than ever before and will play an important role in the future,” she says. “Many exhibitors are now dealing with these topics and will use the upcoming event to show products within this spectrum.”
To learn more, visit domotex.de.
Dallas Total Home and Gift Market
January 4 to 10
The Total Home & Gift Market connects retailers and manufacturers in home décor, gifts, gourmet, housewares, accessories and lighting. The market’s permanent showrooms are augmented by a roster of visiting vendors housed in temporary set-ups, including several area rug dealers.
Mohawk Momentum Roadshow
January 10 to 11: Washington, D.C.
January 18 to 19: Chicago, Illinois
January 26 to 27: Huntington Beach, California
January 31 to February 2: Las Vegas, Nevada (Surfaces)
February 20 to 21: Calhoun, Georgia
Mohawk’s third annual Mohawk Momentum Roadshow will again be offered on an appointment-only basis, providing retailers dedicated one-on-one time with the company’s representatives and new products.
“The Mohawk Momentum Roadshow started out as a revolutionary way to reach retailers in unprecedented times, and, since then, it has elevated into the status quo for how Mohawk helps retailers stand out amongst the crowd,” says Trey Thames, senior vice president of residential sales.
The event is also a chance to learn about marketing programs and digital solutions, and the final show, at the Mohawk Flooring Center in Calhoun, will give retailers an inside look at the company’s headquarters and features exclusive plant tours.
Registration is already underway via the website.
Shaw Winter Markets
January 11 to 13: Dallas, Texas
January 15 to 18: Orlando, Florida (SFN Convention)
January 19 to 20: Atlanta, Georgia
January 31 to February 2: Las Vegas, Nevada (Surfaces)
February 7 to 8: Baltimore, Maryland
With its theme of “Thrive United,” Shaw’s 2023 market season will highlight the symbiotic relationship between Shaw and its retail partners, says Nina LoCicero, vice president of marketing and digital commerce for Shaw Residential.
“Our future is connected, and to create seamless shopping experiences that deliver and delight on the expectations of today’s consumers, we must take a dual approach that focuses on both the online and in-store experience,” she adds.
Next year’s schedule features the biennial SFN Convention, offering Shaw Flooring Network (SFN)-aligned retailers a tailored market experience and learning opportunities, including a deep dive into the consumer journey, exclusive SFN programs and show promotions, and breakout sessions. Then, visiting families will take over Universal Studios.
Registration is underway via the website. Customers can also contact their local sales representatives for information about showcases happening in their area-in addition to the main winter markets listed, regional showcase events will begin after the holidays and run through February.
January 10 to 16
Housing a broad mix of gifts and home décor, the Atlanta Market features more than 8,000 brands across categories including seasonal, gourmet, tabletop, outdoor and more. Next year’s event will debut four floors of casual furnishings and outdoor living products, increased access to the market’s exhibitors through the new JuniperMarket online platform, and the premiere of First Look East, an expansion of event host International Market Centers’ proprietary trend programming. Loloi is among the event’s area rug exhibitors.
Southwest, Southeast and Gulf Coast Flooring Markets
January 12 to 13: Southwest-Arlington, Texas
January 19 to 20: Southeast-Atlanta, Georgia
March 2 to 3: Gulf Coast-Biloxi, Mississippi
Featuring more than 400 well-known flooring dealers and designers across nearly 150,000 square feet of exhibition space, next year’s regional events will see the return of key manufacturers that abstained from exhibiting during the midst of Covid, according to organizers, including Mohawk Carpet Distribution, Daltile, MSI and more.
CCA ConneXion Winter Convention
January 9 to 11
This convention offers CCA Global Partners members updates on programming and initiatives to help them grow their business. Following the rollout of the group’s new store design and retail program at this year’s summer convention, the January event will focus on e-commerce and lead generation.
Las Vegas Market
January 29 to February 2
Las Vegas, Nevada
Featuring a variety of home furnishing and gift vendors, area rugs are a highlight of this show, with selections from Karastan, Oriental Weavers, Nourison, Feizy, Kaleen and many more. Updates for next year include a new lifestyle floor in Building C and strategic reorganization of key home furnishings in Building A-one of the buildings primarily dedicated to rugs and floorcoverings. Event host International Market Centers (IMC) is partnering with Design & Construction Week, Surfaces and the National Hardware Show to offer attendees access to even more products and ideas at the event.
“Strategic resource growth across the gift, furniture and décor offerings-the industry’s only opportunity to source these complementary categories at one time and in one place-combined with our positioning with three powerhouses of the remodeling and construction industry gives buyers the opportunity to explore new categories and revenue streams like nowhere else,” says IMC CEO Bob Maricich.
Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS)
January 31 to February 2
Las Vegas, Nevada
With more than 400 exhibitors-60 of them new for next year-the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) is North America’s largest trade show dedicated to kitchen and bath design. Thousands of designers, dealers, architects, showrooms, custom builders and remodelers attend the event for its 80 conference sessions and more than 40,000 square feet of exhibits showcasing products, trends and technologies.
KBIS is co-located with the National Association of Home Builders International Builders Show (IBS), which together make up Design & Construction Week and draw over 90,000 design and construction professionals between both events. Next year’s event will also host the National Hardware Show.
Next year will mark the convergence of many of the industry’s big shows, with the Las Vegas Market and the Design Week shows aligning with Surfaces. (Read more about those on the following pages.) Additionally, several buying groups will host conferences and tabletop exhibits in conjunction with Surfaces, helping their dealers capitalize on this built-in time away from their businesses. Floors & More’s Winter Convention will run January 29 to 31, offering membership updates, training and vendor tabletop exhibits. The National Floorcovering Alliance will also host a tabletop exhibit for its vendors in conjunction with Surfaces.
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