Back in the familiar and welcome venue of the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, the excitement for Coverings 2023 is gaining steam. The owners and management of Coverings met in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., in January to put last minute touches on promotion and marketing of the event. Coverings 2023 is being held April 18-21, and preliminary reports indicate that attendance will meet or exceed the goals established by the board and will approach the levels of 2019, the last time the show was held in Orlando before Covid-19 impacted the trade show industry.
Attendees of Coverings 2023 will be able to explore more than 400,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space with numerous global pavilions hosted by the world’s leading tile associations and product manufacturers. Coverings 2023 will host exhibitors from more than 30 countries, displaying the most sought-after tile, stone, tools, equipment, machinery, and other resources. Over 20,000 attendees from all segments of the industry will be able to connect with exhibitors to explore and discover new and trending products onsite at the most preeminent tile and stone industry marketplace in North America.
The Coverings Lounge
The Coverings Lounge at this year’s show will provide a centrally-located and comfortable space for attendees to gain professional knowledge, network with peers, hear from industry leaders, and attend happy hours featuring valuable prize giveaways. The four key tenets of Coverings 2023 – “Health & Wellness,” “Sustainability,” “Outdoor Spaces,” and “Timeless Luxury” – will be focal points of the Coverings Lounge. Each tenet will be highlighted through live demonstrations, displays, relevant market trends, and numerous hands-on activities to provide showgoers with custom, memorable experiences that accentuate the innumerable benefits and uses of tile and stone.
NTCA Five-Star Contractor and 2nd Vice President Woody Sanders of D.W. Sanders Tile & Stone Contracting will be working alongside Coverings to underscore the “Outdoor Spaces” tenet in the Coverings Lounge. Woody and his team will showcase a raised pedestal system by dismantling and rebuilding it each day, so attendees can see and learn how the advantageous system works. Pavers for this project have been donated by Atlas Concorde, with pedestals donated by Bison.
As part of the “Health & Wellness” tenet, Gianna Vallefuoco, Co-Owner of award-winning NTCA Five-Star Contractor Vallefuoco Contractors LLC in Rockville, Md., will share her wisdom on mindfulness in a series of short sessions in the Coverings Wellness Lounge.
The Coverings Lounge will also be the center for complimentary Contractor Tours and the Coverings 2023 Rock Star Awards. Emerging, young professionals will be honored at the 2023 Rock Star Awards Ceremony and Reception, April 18 from 4-5 p.m. The Contractors Tours will continue to be a special feature on Wednesday and Thursday at the show, and NTCA Assistant Executive Director Jim Olson will host this and will coordinate tool and prize giveaways leading into Happy Hours.
On display in the Coverings Lounge will be “Wally the Gator,” a 6′ x 4′ Florida gator-themed mosaic tile project designed, built and installed by the tile artisan team of NTCA Members Lee Callewaert of Dragonfly Tile and Stone Works and Joshua Nordstrom of Tierra Tile. This awe-inspiring tile art was created live and streamed during Coverings 2021 and is making a first-time appearance in Orlando, Florida, for Coverings 2023.
All the show is a stage
Coverings is enhancing its popular lineup of interactive Stages for 2023 to feature all the latest and most important updates from tile and stone industry leaders. Trends, solutions, live “how-to” classes, and other relevant content will be available on three stages throughout the show floor, offering attendees the latest innovations in products, techniques and business processes for the tile and stone industry.
The Installation Innovation Stage will headline live demonstrations, allowing showgoers to precisely see how to install a wide variety of new products and learn techniques to ensure highly successful tile and stone installations. Visitors can check out the Installation Innovation Stage each show day to hear from pros about new materials, industry standards, methods, and best practices for delivering superior tile installation. Demonstrations will be delivered by NTCA and TCNA members.
Art Tile Village
The Art Tile Village will have an invigorated presence at the show, with opportunities to meet art tile creators and artisans and their unique pieces. An Art Tile Wall will showcase stunning art tile samples, and a series of live demos in the space will explore mosaic pre-mounting techniques for installation, as well as hand forming, cutting, decorating, glazing and painting tiles. Also, after you have a chance to see Wally the Gator in person at the Coverings Lounge, stop by the Art Tile Village to see recordings of the process of creating him.
The Coverings Installation & Design (CID) Awards celebrate outstanding achievements in the design and installation of ceramic tile and stone in residential, institutional, and commercial projects. Winners will be announced at Coverings in a ceremony on Wednesday, April 19.
The NTCA Awards Program will take place Thursday, April 20, from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Highlights include the NTCA Tile Person of the Year, Joe Tarver Service to the Industry Award, NTCA Five-Star Projects of the Year and Tom Ade Scholarship Recipients.
The Conference Program
The Conference Program is loaded with business and technical education, and the program is FREE. Check out the complete schedule at https://bit.ly/3wz7qzQ or navigate to www.coverings.com/learning-opportunities.
NTCA sessions include a presentation by Executive Director Bart Bettiga and Coverings spokesperson Alena Capra on design and installation trends, a live discussion with NTCA consultant members on troubleshooting jobsite challenges, and sessions focusing on exterior installations addressing best practices on installing large format tiles in 2cm and 3cm thicknesses, glass tile panels and larger formats, gauged porcelain tile panels and slabs, and much, much more. As part of the Workforce and Profits track, TileLetter Editorial Director and Senior Writer Lesley Goddin will moderate a panel of distinguished women in the “Women Talking” session on Thursday morning at 9:30 a.m., where women from diverse aspects of the industry will talk about their journeys and experiences, what drew them to this life path, how roles have changed, and what opportunities exist for women today in the industry.
Visit the Coverings website for more information about the lounges, stages, tours, educational sessions, and other special programs at Coverings 2023. Register to attend Coverings 2023 at no cost by visiting coverings.com.
Bart Bettiga is the Executive Director of the National Tile Contractors Association and Publisher of TileLetter. Bettiga is a member of the Board of Governors of Coverings, one the largest tradeshows in North America. He has over 30 years of experience in the tile and stone industry and has served as the NTCA Executive Director since 2002. He is a well known speaker and author on ceramic tile and natural stone distribution and installation. He oversees the financial operations of the NTCA, TileLetter and the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation.