Coverings 08 To Present Keynote Speakers
Coverings is enriching the conference programming it offers-a component that consistently wins praise from attendees-with the addition in 2008 of a series of daily keynote speakers. The world-class trade show and exposition dedicated to tile and stone convenes
April 29 to May 2, at Orlando's Orange County Convention Center.
While past editions of Coverings have kicked-off with a single headliner, six compelling keynoters have been scheduled for the upcoming event, each addressing interests that cut across all the varied professions and trades of show-goers. Last year, registration topped 37,000.
First up on Tuesday morning, April 29, is Mark Matteson. An internationally known best-selling author (Freedom from Fear) and consultant, Matteson will be presenting "The Art of Change." Matteson inspires audiences to "stretch their comfort zones" beyond the norm and equips them with improved management and sales skills.
Later that day, a boldface name in architectural circles-Gisue Hariri-takes to the stage. Together with her sister Mojgan, she heads the award-winning New York City firm Hariri & Hariri Architecture. For more than two decades, the Iranian-born, Cornell-educated Hariris have been exploring the use of dynamic forms and materials as they create futuristic and visionary projects that are both conceptually provocative yet visually elegant.
Attendees can expect to learn new and empowering negotiating techniques from the Wednesday morning, April 30th keynoter, James Dion, one of North America's leading experts on retail technology, selling and service, merchandising and operations, and consumer trends. A regular speaker for the National Retail Federation, Dion has authored the definitive selling manual, Retail Selling Ain't Brain Surgery, It's Twice As Hard, and is acclaimed for providing his audiences with "Swiss Army Knife" negotiation skills.
TV personality Doug Wilson is a featured speaker, appearing Wednesday afternoon. Wilson, who hosted the hit TLC show "Trading Spaces" and is now at the helm of its latest incarnation, "Moving Up," is a leading design talent who pens a regular design column for In Touch Weekly and whose book, Doug's Rooms, offers practical decorating advice encouraging readers to focus on a specific touchstone for each room. With a comprehensive portfolio of work that includes many celebrity clients, his signature is melding organic elements with a fresh, sophisticated and inherently American sense of style.
Set to deliver one of his top-rated motivational presentations is Jim Bearden, a former decorated Vietnam Marine officer, corporate executive, published author and owner of his own successful speaking and training business. Bearden, who is slated for Thursday morning, May 1, brings a large measure of humor to his approach and will offer valuable insights and advice on the changing circumstances we encounter, the choices we make about those circumstances and the consequences those choices produce. A powerful agent of change, he is passionate about sharing that gift with his audiences.
On Thursday afternoon, renowned architect Chad Oppenheim has top billing. An "alchemist of atmosphere," Oppenheim transforms the prosaic into the poetic, eliciting a site's inherent power through minimal gesture and sincere means. Oppenheim lives and practices in Miami, and is considered to be an important and influential voice for "green" architecture, helping to gain global acceptance for sustainability.
Those scheduled for morning keynotes appear at 8:30 to 10:00 a.m.; afternoon speakers are on at 12:30 to 2:00 p.m.
"The keynote speakers are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the top names booked to appear at Coverings 2008," said Glenn Feder, president of client events for National Trade Productions, which manages and produces Coverings. According to Feder, more than 80 seminar sessions are being planned for the four-day show, all themed to the special interests of attendees. "The seminar tracks are very targeted, yet there are no limitations on how many you attend or which ones you participate in" he explained. "They include programs for Distributors & Retailers; Architects & Designers; Contractors & Installers; Fabricators; and one that is developed exclusively for Stone," he said. "What adds to the attraction and value of these programs is that they are all absolutely free of charge and all accord CEU credits from either AIA, ASID or NKBA."
Coverings is the premier international trade fair and expo dedicated exclusively to showcasing the newest in ceramic tile and natural stone. It has grown to be the largest and most important show of its kind in the U.S., featuring 1,300 exhibitors from more than 50 countries and attracting nearly 37,000 distributors, retailers, fabricators, contractors and specifiers, architectural and design professionals, builders and real estate developers, plus the press and journalists who cover this vital and growing industry. Coverings is the stage for introducing some of the most innovative tile and stone products in the world. The exposition also serves as a valuable resource for continuing education for
all categories of attendees, with informative, accredited seminars and live demonstration sessions conducted throughout the four days. For more information on attending or exhibiting at Coverings, please visit website at www.coverings.com or contact NTP at 703.683.8500.