By Ken Ryan Seventeen months after the last in-person meeting, The International Surface Event (aka Surfaces) gathers this week at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas.
More than 150 vendors have secured booth space for the downsized conference and trade show, led by Mohawk and its family of brands, which positions Surfaces as the final stop at its 2021 Momentum Roadshow after previous regionals in Dallas, Atlanta, Indianapolis and Huntington Beach, California.
According to Mohawk, more than 500 of its retailers are expected to attend Surfaces, which will be held June 15-18. “We exceeded our registration target by 25%,” said Laura Bartley, senior director of communications and events at Mohawk. “These regular appointments have helped us understand our customers’ goals at the show, and they’ve helped us ensure we have adequate staffing in our booth space, knowing that attendance will not be that of a typical Surfaces presence. to be.”
As usual, Mohawk will feature prominently at the big show, in this case featuring new or newly released products from several of its leading brands.
A few highlights:
Mohawk resilient: Expanding the SolidTech line and now offering LMF, flex and SPC rigid options to reach a wide range of consumers.
Mohawk soft surface: A cleaner home and a cleaner planet are the hallmarks of Mohawk’s 2021 eco-friendly EverStrand line.
Mohawk wood and laminate: The company will showcase its new UltraWood line, billed as the ultimate long-life hardwood with proven waterproof protection.
Karastan: The venerable brand will add a unique new stone collection to LuxeCraft’s resilient offering.
pergo: Mohawk is breathing new life into Pergo Extreme, making it easier to bring high-quality, deep performance to consumers, the company said. In addition, the new Pergo Elements builds on its brand awareness to deliver worry-free waterproof wood.
Godfrey Hirst: The brand will debut a revamped collection featuring new textures, patterns and loops, along with a refreshed range or custom displays.
Retailers are getting ready
Prior to Surfaces, the National Floorcovering Alliance (NFA) is holding its annual Specialty Vendor trade show in Mandalay Bay. Some NFA dealers said: FCNews that they skip Surfaces altogether or send a colleague in their place. But many others said they planned to attend the show, if only for the first day.
“It will be my first time at Surfaces, so I’ll mostly see what the show is like and see anything we might be missing for our stores,” said Sam Locher, vice president of business development & marketing for AJ Rose Carpets & Floors, Burlington, Mass.
Eric Mondragon, hard surface purchaser for RC Willey’s flooring division, Salt Lake City, Utah, said he will be primarily on Surfaces for the NFA meeting and specialty vendor show on June 15 and will visit the Surfaces show floor in the morning. from June 16 for a few hours for follow-up meetings with suppliers. “All my product selections and programs are already set for the year, so unless someone surprises me with something I haven’t seen yet, there’s nothing I’m looking for,” he stated.
Sam O’Krent, president/owner of O’Krent Floors in San Antonio – and new member of the NFA (see article on page 5) – said he plans to make the most of his trip to Vegas. “While Surfaces 2021 will have a smaller scope, we still think it’s important to see new products, research new suppliers and network with other dealers and manufacturers – all things that can’t be done from our offices,” he said. “We are always looking forward to improving the way we do business and will no doubt come back with new ideas.”
Fellow Texas retailer Sam Roberts, owner of Roberts Carpet & Fine Floors, Houston, won’t be in Las Vegas as he celebrates the birth of his granddaughter. In his place, Sales Manager Bill Siemon will attend the NFA meeting as well as Surfaces’ first full day before returning home.
Many dealers said they not only spend quality time at the Mohawk booth, but also want to watch the rest of the show. “I will be there all three days to learn about new products we are actively marketing and stocking as a company, reach out to active suppliers and make new connections with potential and unknown suppliers,” said Andrew Potter, lead sales manager for the flooring division of Pullman Building Supply, Moscow, Idaho.
Safety measures taken
Informa, organizer of Surfaces, said they are committed to providing the highest levels of hygiene and safety at the event, advising all attendees to follow CDC guidelines. Face masks are recommended for participants, but not required; masks will be available on site for those who want one. In addition, there will be continuous washrooms throughout the event with a focus on high-touch areas such as door handles, toilets and areas for food and drink. The Mandalay Bay Convention Center’s HVAC systems will continue to run during the event to continuously bring fresh air into the building. Temperature surveys and other safety measures will also take place during the three-day event.
Note: As of June 1, Las Vegas will be fully open for business following the expiration of Clark County’s local COVID-19 mitigation plan. This will see the return of pre-pandemic guidelines that lift restrictions on capacity caps, large gatherings and more.