This year’s show, held in Las Vegas from January 30 to February 1, was busy, colorful and enthusiastic. Attendee traffic was strong, exhibitor bookings were up 5% and manufacturers put their best foot forward, investing not just in product but also in new brands, booth design, unique merchandising units and dramatic displays on booth floors and walls. The massive L-shaped 450,000-square-foot exhibit space-featuring Surfaces, TileExpo and StonExpo/Marmomac under the umbrella of TISE (The International Surface Event)-was so crammed with people and product that a shortcut across the outside parking lot turned into a pedestrian highway. It didn’t help that the middle third of the exhibit hall was focused on stone processing machinery, essentially cutting the flooring show in two. The Las Vegas Market, showing product including area rugs at the World Market Center at the other end of the Strip, ran more or less concurrently with Surfaces. For the first two days of Surfaces, shuttles, free with a TISE badge, ferried attendees between the shows. But many attendees reported that they just didn’t have enough time to travel across town. The downside for Surfaces is that there’s not much t...