Coverings ’18, a monolithic conference for tile and stone dealers and installers, takes place May 8 – 11 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. Other attendees and exhibitors include architects, builders, remodelers, contractors, designers, distributors and fabricators. Coverings 2018 offers educational sessions, a tradeshow, meetings, live product and installation demonstrations, workshops and networking events. Unlike other conferences, the tradeshow and all educational sessions at Coverings ’18 are free.
Located in downtown Atlanta, the Georgia World Congress Center is a 3.9 million square foot convention facility with 1.4 million square feet of exhibit space among its 12 exhibit halls, making it one of the largest convention centers in the country.
Over 1,100 exhibitors are anticipated at Coverings ‘18, enabling the 26,000 attendees to “see thousands of dazzling products, connect with suppliers from around the globe and discover ground-breaking techniques, tips and tricks.”
Exhibits are scheduled in two buildings from 10:00 am – 6:30 pm, Tuesday, May 8; 10:00 am – 5:30 pm, Wednesday and Thursday, May 9 – 10; and 10:00 am – 3:00 pm, Friday, May 11.
The trade event has a major knowledge-sharing theme running throughout its four days of programming — 45-plus educational sessions available to both attendees and exhibitors manifested via conference sessions, hands-on workshops, live demos, exhibit hall tours and more. Furthermore, Coverings '18 is an AIA/CES Approved Provider (architects) and a NKBA CEU Provider Partner (kitchen and bath), offering free continuing education units (CEU).
The Coverings 2018 EventScribe site offers several ways of searching and sorting information on events:
- Quickfire Presentations
- Coverings Connect Sessions
- Demo Stage Presentations
- Conference Sessions
- Networking Events
Part one of this series focuses on Quickfire Presentations, Coverings Connect Sessions, Demo Stage Presentations, and “The Cage” by the Stone Fabricators Alliance.
Quickfire Presentations are 30-minute targeted sessions about cutting-edge topics, techniques, issues and trends for tile and stone dealers and installers. Here is a sampling of the 27 presentations located in the B-C Connector (the comfortable lounge area between buildings B and C).
“The 7 Deadly Sins of Waterproofing” will be presented by Dean Moilanen, AIA, CSI, RCI CTEF, director of Architectural Services at Noble Company. As a Division 9 waterproofing, crack isolation and permeation specialist, he will also present “Permeation and Crack Isolation … What Every Architect, Specifier, and Contractor Needs to Know.”
The “Sound Control for Ceramic and Stone Tile Floors – What You're Not Hearing” session is led by Earl Maicus, VP of Commercial and Architectural Sales at Schluter Systems LP. Maicus will discuss key considerations when installing a tiled floor where sound control is necessary, such as buildings with multiple units. “Installing a tiled floor that meets minimum standards for sound control is a complex undertaking as there are many approaches and products available on the market,” he stated.
Another presentation, “Proper Use of Pre-Sealers & Grout Releases – Increasing Profits & Success While Decreasing Headaches” with Rod Sigman, business development manager of Custom Building Products, looks at the specifications, research and development that go into pre-sealers and grout products.
“Tile is the Greenest Option” by Bill Griese, the director of Standards Development & Sustainability Initiatives at the Tile Council of North America, provides insight into the eco-friendly benefits to using tile in building construction.
Coverings Connect Byte Sessions
According to organizers, these 30-minute educational “Byte” sessions (also in the B-C Connector) have “a digital focus and will provide quick tips and tricks for growth through social media and online channels.” The B-C Connector also offers networking ops for tile and stone dealers and installers, and a relaxed setting with charging stations for personal devices. A cross-section of timely topics include the following:
“Best Practices for Social Media Advertising” — Presenter Lori Dolnick, the senior VP of Frank Advertising, describes social media advertising as a “pay-to-play content machine designed to drive links to your websites, increase foot traffic, get your story out.” Furthermore, it can help marketing programs create more online impressions while achieving company goals and measured success. This session provides 20 tips, tricks and strategies to master social media advertising as well as important tools to begin advertising campaigns on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest.
“Pin to Win – Pinterest's Power for Your Biz”— Presenter Irene Williams is the owner-principal of Msg2Mkt, LLC, a digital marketing and public relations firm representing domestic tile manufacturer Crossville, Inc. and other clients. She writes a monthly digital marketing column for Floor Trends magazine and speaks at national conferences and regional events. She is also the creator of @TileTuesday, a popular Instagram account with 35K+ followers that’s focused on the love of tile design. Williams will leverage the knowledge garnered from her collective experience into a tight session for businesses interested in using Pinterest to develop loyal customer bases.
“Five Tips for Better Understanding SEO” — Presenter Saxon Henry, the founder of Adroyt, offers five tips for gaining command of search engine optimization (SEO):
- The importance of search engine results pages (SERP)
- Understanding why search engines see B2B sites and e-commerce (B2C) sites differently
- Why naming images intelligently is important
- The different layers of the user experience (UX)
- The benefits of providing high-quality content in every possible field
“Rise Above the Noise – Strategies for Social Media Engagement on LinkedIn and Twitter” — This session focuses on developing a strategy to network via LinkedIn and Twitter, the two social media platforms offering the most professional setting for engaging with customers and key industry partners. Presenter John Kester III, PhD and Sustainability Advisor I (Building Products) of MAPEI Corporation, will help tile and stone dealers and installers elevate their organization's presence on LinkedIn and Twitter and discuss the use of analytics to track engagement progress.
Demo Stage Presentations
The Live Installation Demo Stage (booth 7201) presents live presentations of challenging tile installations, enabling attendees to view how to use a wide variety of new products and learn techniques to make tile and stone installation more successful.
Demonstrations are offered throughout Coverings 2018 (approximately every half hour), and are sponsored by the Tile Council of North America (TCNA) and the National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA). These presentations will be made by NTCA staff or top contracting professionals who are TCNA members. Topics include:
- MAPEI Mortar and Grout Solutions for Large Format Tile
- iQTS244 - the World’s First Dry Cut Tile Saw
- How to Make Floor Heating Installations Easy with Nuheat Mats & Membrane
- L.A.S.H. Tile Leveling System, the Benefits of Flat and Curved Clips
- Non-Cracking Grout
- Levolution – a Revolution in Tile Spacing & Leveling Systems
- All Things Wild: Review of Exterior Installations - Floors, Walls, Balcony/Roof Decks
SFA & The Cage
The Stone Fabricators Alliance presents “The Cage” in booth 6403, a popular wet fabrication area on the exhibition floor where SFA members conduct “mini-workshops” with hands-on demonstrations of various fabrication techniques such as top polishing and mitering. Topics include:
- Quartz Surface Repair
- Dust Free Cutting and Grinding
- 3 Step Pads, Core Bits and Cartridge Glues
- Porcelain Panel Grinding with Beveling Guide Base
- Overcoming the Challenges of Ultra Compact Surfaces
- StoneGlo Backlighting System for Illuminating Translucent Stone
- Glacier Colors in Tubes and Cans/New Silk Epoxy
CrossCheck provides payment services for tile and stone dealers and installers that help mitigate risks, increase sales and simplify transactions. For example, dealers using our Check on Delivery (COD) premium service in conjunction with Standard Check Guarantee approve payments before delivering materials to job sites. COD is easy to use:
Dealers receive an approval number from CrossCheck via phone, POS terminal or the CrossCheck website after entering the estimated amount of the sale and the customer’s phone number.
- The driver picks up a check payment for the sale after delivering the materials.
- Dealers complete the transaction by phoning in the final amount and the check number, or by entering the data into their POS terminal or on the CrossCheck web site.
- Dealers deposit the check — if it is returned unpaid, they mail it to CrossCheck for reimbursement.
Download our free guide to learn how Check on Delivery can help increase sales at your dealership.