FloorTek Expo sets the stage for a renewed focus on the floor covering industry.
Jennifer Dennard, Assistant Editor
Formerly known as The Carpet Technologies Show, the show's name was changed at a time of restructuring, for both the exposition and the American Floorcovering Alliance, its organizer since 1994.
FloorTek Expo’s debut will attract an estimated 3,000 to 3,500 exhibitors.
The Board of Directors of the Dalton Floor Covering Market Association (DFCMA), founded in 1979, voted in March 2002 to change the association's name to American Floorcovering Alliance (AFA).
The adoption of new titles for both the association and the show reflects AFA's desire for expansion of the alliance and the floor covering industry as a whole.Wanda J. Ellis, AFA executive director, said AFA members and the floor covering industry approve of the changes. "All in all, it is the right directional move for our association and our members," she said.
FloorTek is to be held at the NorthWest Georgia Trade and Convention Center, Dalton, Ga.
A New Focus
The new names bring with them a renewed focus on the floor covering industry. In response to the growth and development of the marketplace, AFA has enlarged the scope of FloorTek Expo to encompass all sectors serving the global floor covering industry, including carpets, textile floor coverings, solid surfaces and laminates, fibers and yarns, machinery, applications and equipment.
The enlargement allows AFA access to a larger pool of prospective exhibitors and attendees than was the case with The Carpet Technologies Show.
Ellis said altering the scope of the show to attract new segments leaves a lot of work to be done, especially since the textile industry is facing its toughest years in quite some time.
But she remains upbeat. "I do think AFA is poised to prove the value of what we are trying to accomplish. I think this will grow to be a more exciting, innovative event due to the expansion, with more focus on the trends of our growing industry," Ellis said. She mentioned that current exhibitors and pre-registered attendees are positive and excited about attending a brand-new show."
With such a small section of our industry's hard-surface and laminate flooring being manufactured in the North Georgia region, this year is just the first step into broadening our show to cover all floor covering," said Ellis. "I think our expansion into all surfaces will catch hold, and we will definitely see a greater commitment from all areas at our next exhibition."
FloorTek will continue as a biennial showcase, with expected attendance at this year's debut between 3,000 and 3,500. A minimum of 25 countries will be represented by 150 expected exhibitors.
FloorTek Events, New Awards Program
Aside from walking the expo floor, visitors and exhibitors will have the opportunity to attend an opening panel the morning of Tuesday, April 22, given by the Atlanta-based Georgia Institute of Technology and local Dalton State College. An international trade workshop also will be offered.
Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio-based Americhem Inc., a manufacturer of custom color concentrates, additive concentrates and specialty dispersions for the plastics industry, will offer an invitation-only color theory course Tuesday, April 22 and Wednesday, April 23.
New to the show this year are the Best of FloorTek Awards, which will honor exhibitors' leadership, environmental responsibility, innovation and overall contribution to the floor covering industry for the previous year. Trophies will be awarded at a special Awards Dinner on Tuesday.
Award categories include:
• individual leadership award for best individual industry contribution;
• environmental award for best practices in environmental responsibility;
• product/method innovation award for the most innovative contribution of products or methods; and
• contribution to the industry award for the historical contribution of a company to the industry as a whole.
Activities Around Dalton
Visitors to FloorTek Expo also will have the opportunity to take in the sights of Dalton, often referred to as the "Carpet Capital of the World."
Downtown Dalton offers antique and specialty shops. Self-guided walking tour maps of the downtown area are available from the Dalton Convention & Visitors Center, which also arranges free carpet industry tours around the city.
The Clisby-Austin House Railroad Tunnel, a Civil War historical site, is the oldest railroad tunnel in the South. Prater's Mill, a historic grist mill, and Blunt house, home to Dalton's first mayor and postmaster, are both open to visitors. Barnsley Inn & Golf at Barnsley Gardens offers golf enthusiasts 1,300 acres among the Appalachian foothills.