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This Just In

Coverings Sees Large Showing From International Exhibitors, Celebrates Earth Day and Adds New Features in 2024

ANDREW WARRICK, DIGITIAL ASSOCIATE EDITOR
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ATLANTA — Coverings, managed by Taffy Event Strategies, LLC and held at the Georgia World Congress Center (GWCC) April 22-25, saw a large number of international exhibitors, representing a post-pandemic recovery, celebrated Earth Day with themed activations, donation programs and more, and introduced various new features in 2024.

“It’s an event like no other,” Jamie Rich, Coverings Show Director, said. “The exhibitors come out days, weeks in advance to build their booths from the ground up to create breathtaking, immersive experiences for our attendees.”

Following a post-pandemic trend, the show’s international exhibitors made up approximately 75% of its exhibitor count this year, which Rich explained was “as strong as pre-pandemic times.”

New Features

The show reimagined its Coverings Lounge into a new “Outdoor Oasis,” which showcased tiles from three of its owner associations, including in Coverings’ first-ever pool on the show floor, and hosted activations such as its 10th annual Rock Star Awards, honoring emerging leaders in the industry.

Also, due to “massive crowds” at Coverings’ 2023 Artisan Showcase, where art tile exhibitors displayed unique, handmade tiles, an Artisan Stage was added to this year’s show, which was also well-attended.

Additionally, Coverings collaborated with six different female organizations in the tile and stone industry to create a new Galvanize Women’s Lounge, which was used for association events, networking and more, and was open to all. The space included floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the show floor, tables and comfortable seating for networking, a bar and a small library for book exchanges.

“It was wonderful, inclusive space to connect and collaborate, that we will definitely be doing again,” Rich said.

The GWCC and the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau, which Rich said “went above and beyond,” helped facilitate new strategic partnerships for the show, including one with the Georgia Building Trades Academy (GABTA), which brought their students to the event. GABTA joined students from other area technical colleges at Coverings, coordinated with help from another new Coverings partner, the Floor Covering Education Foundation.

“It was so phenomenal to see how engaged the students were at Coverings. They are the future of the industry and will help to ensure that tile and stone retailers and distributors, installation contractors, and construction businesses survive and thrive for years to come,” Rich said.

Related. Sustainability is the Theme of This Year’s Global Exhibitions Day

Earth Day Activations

Coverings 2024 kicked off on Earth Day, and was held during Earth Week.

The event shared “Green Tips” through digital signage and emails, while the GWCC helped facilitate donation programs with Habitat for Humanity, Scraplanta and other local charities. Mosaic artist David Arnott also used tiles leftover from the show’s move-in to create a mosaic of Earth.

Coverings worked with Clean the World for an Earth Day hygiene kit-making event, and 1,000 kits were donated to a local Atlanta charity. Furthermore, during online registration, attendees could select one of six charitable organizations, including Earthday.org, for Coverings to donate $10 to on their behalf as part of the new Coverings Cares program, which raised more than $50,000 this year.

Coverings 2025

Coverings 2025 will be held in Orlando April 29-May 2.

“I think the international numbers will be just as strong,” Rich shared, adding that on-site 2025 space selection at Coverings 2024 was “wildly successful… [and] that’s always a good sign.”

Reach Jamie Rich at jrich@taffyevents.com

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