This year started out in January with Heimtextil in Frankfurt,
Germany. According to the show’s producer, 90,000 visitors
attended the show where more than 2,900 companies exhibited home
textiles and interior fashions. Much closer to home, Surfaces 2005
was held the same month at the Sands Expo & Convention Center
in Las Vegas, NV. Surfaces producers say more than 1,000 companies
exhibited, setting a record. Surfaces’ main audience is the
floor coverings industry including carpet, hardwood, stone and laminate,
but this year in an effort to help dealers in these areas branch
out into other revenue streams a window and wall coverings pavilion
was added (sponsored by Draperies & Window Coverings and Interiors
& Sources magazines). Almost 40,000 visitors attended this year’s
For those really into traveling, Maison & Objet was held at the end of January in Paris, France. It often is billed as representing the height of luxury home fashions and trends (but of course!). This year, a reported 70,000 buyers attended. While in Europe you could have stayed on to attend Blinds and Shutters 2005 in England, sponsored by the British Blind and Shutter Association. About 2,500 visitors met with some 70 exhibitors showcasing interior and exterior window coverings including soft shades and “window dressing.”
Back in the U.S., February brought the first of two Custom Home Furnishings Educational Conference and Trade Shows (the second conference is scheduled for October near Philadelphia in Valley Forge, PA.) Approximately 500 attendees joined some 50 exhibitors and more than 65 seminar sessions on workroom techniques and business management. (Stay tuned for an announcement regarding next year’s surprising schedule.)
That pretty much brings us to April and the International Window Coverings Expo (see page 46 for a preview showcase of products to be exhibited). This show is the one, big event of the year for the U.S. window coverings industry. It will be held at the Georgia International Convention Center in College Park, outside Atlanta, GA. The IWCE is the main draw for many meetings and gatherings whether officially connected with the show or not. For example the Window Coverings Association of American (WCAA) holds an annual reception and cocktail party, and the Window Covering Manufacturers Association (WCMA) will announce the winners of its annual Product Innovation Awards.
So even if you already have been doing a lot of traveling this year, it’s not time to unpack your bags yet.