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ITSS 2002- Review of International Tile & Stone Show- Las Vegas
October 24-27, 2002 Las Vegas, Nevada
  • The inaugural International Tile & Stone Show in Las Vegas opened October 24 and ran for four days. From a "stone" perspective, for a first time show, attendance seemed respectable, with exhibits from the stone machinery sector providing the dominating presence. No official figures have been released on attendance, but a best estimate runs around 1500 which places the ITSS at less than the 1/10th the draw of Coverings or Surfaces, and about ½ the numbers of StonExpo. There is promise that the show will grow into the West Coast version of Coverings that it is aspiring to be, although it is a long way off from that at this point.
  • Noticeably absent were the ceramic tile companies, and the West Coast dock strike did not help matters as several ceramic tile companies were forced to withdraw from the show when their booths were not able to be offloaded. The ITSS provided an opportunity for stone fabricators and installers on the West Coast and Southwest to view machinery that they can only see in Europe, at Coverings in Florida or at StonExpo. And since these venues do not take place in the West, it was a good opportuity to fill the need. ITSS visitors attending their first show seemed impressed with the offerings.
  • I noticed some attendees were companies that normally exhibit at stone industry trade shows, were curiously checking things out the show, trying to evaluate the show for the future. Will they participate next year?…that seems to be the question on which the success of the ITSS will pivot. One thing for certain, there is a demand from the stone industry for a stone show on the West Coast.
  • Also for certain, for the ITSS to become a successful show in the future, it will have to lure more exhibitors. This is a complicated task given the politics within the tile and stone industries, and given the Catch 22 nature of putting on a trade show: attendees want to be guaranteed substantial numbers of exhibits, and exhibitors want to be assured that there will be plenty of attendees to justify the expense of displaying their products and services. For a first time show and given the obstacles of the West Coast dock strike, I think the ITSS pulled of a respectable showing and one can only hope that it will grow next year as the demand for a trade show serving the West Coast is there.

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